No. 3 Volleyball downs Texas A&M, 3-1
Oct. 15, 2008
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker hammered out 20 kills to lift No. 3 Texas to a 3-1 victory over Texas A&M, Wednesday night in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. The Longhorns' victory earned UT a half-point in the showdown and gave Texas a one-to-one half point advantage in the standings. The win moved the Horns to 13-2 on the year and 7-1 in the Big 12, while the Aggies fell to 9-9 and 4-4 in league play.
The Longhorns jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead to start the first set behind three straight kills by junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle. Texas A&M fought back to take the lead at the 10-9 mark, but Engle's strong serve paced an 11-0 Texas run that put the Horns ahead, 23-12. A service error ended the run, but UT responded with two straight points to close out the set, 25-13. Texas hit .619 in the frame, tallying 13 kills on 21 swings, while committing zero attack errors.
Texas A&M opened the second set on a 5-1 run paced by three Texas miscues. The Longhorns were able to even the game at 14 on a kill by Engle, but the Aggies responded with a 4-0 run that pushed the lead to 18-14. Texas came storming back down the stretch, piecing together a 4-0 run that shrank the margin to one (24-23). After an Aggies' timeout a kill by Darla Donaldson closed out the frame and lifted A&M to a 25-23 win.
Texas grabbed an early 9-4 lead in the third set on a kill by junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker. The Longhorns pushed the margin to seven (19-12) when junior libero Heather Kisner made a pair of outstanding digs to setup a block by Engle and sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Doris. A 5-0 run capped by a Kisner ace closed out the set, with the Horns winning the stanza, 25-16.
The Horns used a 4-0 run in the fourth set to push their lead to 10-4 and added a 5-1 run capped by an Engle/Doris block to widen the margin to 15-7. The Aggies battled back to narrow the score to 19-15, but Hooker and the Horns were too strong late in the frame, closing out the set, 25-18 on a 4-1 run.
Texas returns to action Friday, Oct. 17 when it plays host to Missouri. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m.
On falling behind early in the second set: Getting out to an early lead is everything. We got down 5-1 in the second set on two serve-receive errors and two hitting errors. We have stats that we want to be consistent with and we just made too many errors in that game. We made some poor swings in transition where we hit low and didn't do the things that we have been training to do. Anytime you miss opportunities you put yourself at risk and in the game of volleyball the other team gets rewarded when you make an error.
On getting out to early leads in the sets UT won: We blocked well and did some nice things to put ourselves in a position to be successful. Coming out of the locker room we wanted to make sure we took care of business and in sets one and three we made zero hitting errors and that is huge. We were pretty smooth in those two games and we were able to put together a few good runs and that was the difference.
On the play of Ashley Engle: She has been really steady for us. She had some matchups at both pins and we had success attacking there setter a lot. By making the setter play some balls we were able to make A&M get out of system. Even though she had 28 swings offensively, it was her serving that really helped us be successful tonight.
On Texas' defensive play: Offensively we are very solid, but for us to win championships we have to continue to improve defensively. I am usually not a cheerleader, but today I was just trying to give our team a bit of energy and encourage the team not to lose focus. I think we stayed focus and were able to avoid giving up any big runs. Sydney Yogi came in to the game late for us and she made a huge pass that enabled us to side-out to end an A&M run.