No. 10 Volleyball rolls past Texas Tech, 3-0
Oct. 12, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The 10th-ranked Texas Volleyball team extended its home winning streak to 23 matches, Wednesday night as it swept past Texas Tech at Gregory Gymnasium. The 25-17, 25-11, 25-22 victory improved the Longhorns to 11-4 on the year and 4-1 in Big 12 play, while the Red Raiders fell to 14-6 overall and 0-5 in league action.
Sophomore outside hitter Bailey Webster headlined the Horns' attack with 11 kills on .320 hitting, while senior All-America middle blocker Rachael Adams connected for seven kills and hit at a .600 clip. Freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman added nine kills, while sophomore defensive specialist Sarah Palmer and senior libero Sydney Yogi each tallied three service aces.
Texas jumped out to an early edge in the first, taking advantage of an 8-2 rally fueled by two kills from junior opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal that gave UT a 15-9 lead. Webster kills allowed the Horns to maintain the margin before two late Adams kills and a pair of Tech errors propelled Texas to a 25-17 set win.
In the second, the Longhorns used a rally headlined by the strong serve of Yogi to claim a 20-9 lead before eventually closing out the set 25-11 on an Eckerman kill.
The Horns built their lead to 19-9 on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Haley Cameron in the third and forced set point at the 24-17 mark, but had to stave off a 5-0 Tech rally to close out the set 25-22.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 15 when it travels to Kansas State. First serve is set for 3 p.m. Central.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
Opening statement: I thought we did a nice job today. Especially after we were able to get our passing down after game one. With the new lineup there is going to be some relationship issues, but the things we thought we were going to get like a lot more balance from our team, and Rachael Adam's hitting numbers going up due to Sha'Dare pulling extra blockers over. Ultimately we were able to get a lot of players in tonight and see them play, and I was very happy about that.
On closing matches out: We had a lot of subs in there, and I elected to roll the dice by leaving Bailey (Webster) in there instead of Amber (Roberson). But I wanted to see how we would react to that situation in case we needed to go to it in a bigger match.
On their good defensive play: I thought we did a pretty good job. Our blocking numbers were low, but our digging numbers were up. I knew that we would get a lot better blocking on the left side with Bailey, and we did a good job on the left side just controlling balls. I would have liked for our blocking numbers to be a bit higher, but ultimately I was pleased.
On the low blocking numbers: We got a lot of touch blocks and soft blocks, which helped us slow balls down. They didn't have a lot of balls hit to the wood and when that happens we are usually pretty successful. Overall I think there are still some things we can get better at, but overall I was very pleased with our performance tonight.
Junior, UTIL. Sha'Dare McNeal:
On being back: It feels great being back on the court and supporting my teammates. It's been kind of a challenge, but everyday getting in the practice gym has helped me get back to where I was. The nerves were definitely there, and it has been an adjustment in learning to trust my knee.
Freshman, OH.Haley Eckerman:
On the offensive performance: I think we are always happy with a win, but we know we can still get better.
On closing out sets: It is something we need to work on, but all that really matters in the end is getting the win.
On the recent time off: It was nice having time off, and we had some really good practices, but it is definitely an adjustment to come back out and play a game after all that time off.