No. 9 Volleyball wins ninth straight with 3-0 sweep of Kansas
Oct. 12, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Sophomore middle blocker Khat Bell registered a career-high 10 blocks Friday as the No. 9 Texas Longhorns swept the No. 21 Kansas Jayhawks, 3-0 (25-14, 25-22, 26-24), in Big 12 action. The Longhorns won their ninth-straight match, handing the Jayhawks their first conference loss this season.
Sophomore All-American Haley Eckerman recorded her third straight double-double with 16 kills and 12 digs while hitting .484 (16-1-31) for Texas (15-3, 7-0). Bailey Webster chipped in 10 kills and two digs while Hannah Allison posted 28 assists and three blocks. Texas out-blocked Kansas (17-3, 5-1) by an 11-5 margin.
The Longhorns held the Jayhawks to a .101 hitting night with KU committing 29 hitting errors. Catherine Carmichael had 16 kills while Caroline Jarmoc had nine kills, two aces and three blocks.
Bell and Eckerman recorded back-to-back blocks as Texas jumped out to the 10-4 lead in the first set. The Jayhawks came within four after a four-point run made it 15-11 for Texas, but after a timeout, the Longhorns responded with a 5-1 run on two Webster kills. UT finished the set with another 5-1 run.
Kansas broke a 15-15 tie in the second set and used the 4-1 run to take a three-point lead at 19-16. Eckerman's two kills would aid the Longhorns to tie it at 19-19. She would later give her team the lead for good in set two with a kill to put it at 21-20. Bell and Hannah Allison used two blocks to send the Longhorns into the intermission with a 2-0 match lead.
The Jayhawks looked to take a set from the Longhorns after taking the 20-17 lead in the third. After Carmichael's kill made it a 23-20 score, Eckerman terminated from the back row as UT scored four straight to earn match point on a Bell/Webster block. Carmichael's kill tied it at 24-24, but a KU service error gave another match point to Texas as one final block by the Longhorns cemented the victory.
Texas resumes Big 12 play on Wednesday (Oct. 17) against Iowa State with a 7 p.m. match (presented by H-E-B). The match will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Net. An audio webcast and Gametracker live stats will be available on TexasSports.com with live Twitter updates @TexasVolleyball.
Notes: Haley Eckerman did not record a service ace for the first time this season, snapping her streak of 17 straight matches with at least one ace...eight of Texas' nine wins in the current streak have been 3-0 sweeps...Khat Bell bested her previous season high of seven blocks, set on Monday at Louisville...her previous career high for blocks (eight) came last year at Baylor (Oct. 19)...Texas is now 6-3 this season against ranked opponents...Texas has now won 35 consecutive Big 12 matches in Gregory Gym (last loss vs. Oklahoma in 2008).
KU 14-22-24 TEXAS 25-25-26
Head Coach Jerritt Elliott On beating the No. 2 team in the Big 12 and gaining separation from the rest of the conference: I thought (Kansas) played extremely well in games two and three. I thought our passing was really good for the most part. We broke down a little in game three, but overall we were passing very efficiently and our defense was good. We held them to almost below 100 which was great. We made some of the games a little more competitive in game two with so many errors on our side, but we did a much better job in game three--a little bit more patient. We did a good job and getting more balance. It's getting closer to what we want it to look like in terms of the stats at the end of the match.
On his team's blocking tonight: I think that our players are being more patient. They're in better basic positions in terms of their starting position and they're making better reads. They're letting themselves be more of an athlete instead of biting on so many situations. Both Molly [McCage] and Khat [Bell] are doing a much better job in terms of making better moves and following the game plan and doing a good job. Late in the game, we were committing in the middle and Khat [Bell] jumped to the middle and worked hard to get up to the next ball. She kind of got lucky but it showed a lot in terms of her work ethic and drive. Sometimes you need a few breaks and that's what it takes to be great.
On his how his players are coping with Big 12 and Top 25 opponents: This is always a tough time for all teams. The beginning of the year is kind of warm-up. The NCAA tournament is kind of getting closer, but it's also midterms and players get a little bit more exhausted. We're going to do a really good job of getting our players rest this weekend. We're telling them to take a nap, do some homework and get themselves to de-stress. It doesn't get any easier in this conference with Iowa State on Wednesday. It's a big match for us.
On his team executing their offensive strategies: Early on, that was really good. We struggled a little bit in game two on that. They were stepping out hard on Sha'Dare [McNeal] and so we decided to kind of switch our middle blockers so Khat [Bell] could hit more two balls and we could try to take advantage of that. Our players did a nice job, but our middles are getting better at transitions and making themselves available. Hannah [Allison] is going a good job of getting more comfortable setting them. I like what I'm seeing. We'll get there. Tonight was not a great offensive night, but overall we kept some more balance and we'll continue to work on that.
Sophomore MB/OH Khat Bell On her chemistry with substitutes who enter the game late: I think it's about us working together. We do block together in the middle as far as practicing and hitting. [We rely on] our communication with each other.
Sophomore OH Haley Eckerman On responding to challenging opponents like Louisville and Kansas: I think it helps us to have to come in and work on things in practice and let it show in the games. That's what we did. We worked on the things that we struggled with at Louisville and came back and tried to work on those in the game here against Kansas.
On keeping her composure when her team trails in a set: We just knew that we had to fight. The game wasn't over. We work on games like that in practice, [where we are] 17-19 and we're down. We just have to stay calm, side out and do the right things. We fought back and won.