No. 3 Volleyball sweeps past BYU, 3-0
Oct. 24, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team used a 13-kill performance by junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker to knock off BYU, Wednesday night in non-conference action. The 25-11, 25-16, 25-19 victory extended UT's home winning streak to 23 matches and improved the Horns to 16-2 on the season, while BYU fell to 10-9.
Texas jumped out to an early 7-1 lead, using a pair of service errors by Hooker to grab the advantage. The Longhorns added to their lead later in the frame, putting together a 4-0 run capped by a kill from junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle to take a 15-7 edge. Sophomore All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette helped the Horns shut the door on the Cougars when she hammered out two kills as part of a 7-0 run to push the lead to 23-9. Texas closed out the frame 25-11 on Hooker's fourth kill of the set.
In the second set, the Longhorns grabbed a quick 4-0 lead behind the strong serve of senior defensive specialist Kiley Hall. Brigham Young narrowed the tally to two (12-10), but UT responded with a 5-1 run fueled by a pair of Hooker kills that moved the score to 17-11. Texas widened its advantage to nine down the stretch and closed out the set, 25-16 on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Elizabeth Graham.
The Longhorns trailed early in the third stanza, claiming its first lead of the set on a block by Engle and sophomore middle blocker Jennifer Doris at the 9-8 mark. A 4-0 Horns' run pushed the score to 14-10, but BYU rallied with a run of its own to close the gap to 19-16. UT widened the lead back to six and closed out the set, 25-19 on a kill by Graham.
Texas returns to action when it hosts Oklahoma on Wednesday, Oct. 29. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. The match is the Longhorns' Volley for the Cure match which promotes breast cancer awareness.
On the key to tonight's sweep: They struggled a little bit in serve-receive. I thought our block did a really nice job of shutting them down and they were able to get some transition swings. But any time that we're good at the service line and getting teams out of system, it's a huge advantage for us.
On what they have been working on in practice: We're getting better. A lot of it is reading and making the right decisions. Obviously the most important thing is mentality, but we're controlling the ball better and getting better swings, getting better at transition sets and better transition footwork. But I think reading is a big thing for us. We've got a lot of talented players, but not a lot of people that have played a lot of volleyball over the years. So they are continuously learning because the angles are always changing based on where the set is, where the hitter is and a lot of different reads that take a lot of experience.
On the strong offensive performance: I think the majority of the time that you win the hitting percentage, you win matches. We made more errors than we're accustomed to tonight. But in game one, we came out pretty strong and hit .480. We've got to be able to put those back to back. But our offense was pretty good. We were throwing a lot of different people in there tonight, probably the most I've (substituted all year long), so that's always hard with the chemistry and relationships and staying in rhythm. But people have been working hard in practice and they deserve some opportunities.
On playing Sydney Yogi at libero in the third set: She's been working hard. She's been producing in practice. She's not at the point yet to take Heather's [Kisner] spot, but we need her to be challenging Heather to make this team better. She's getting better defensively for us and getting an opportunity to be in there. You never know what happens. In game three, we flipped our outside hitters so that in a match, if one is struggling, we'll be prepared to make that change and look at some different things. We just tried to throw some different things out that we may have to do in the second half of the Big 12 or in the NCAA tournament.
On surveying the first half of conference play and looking forward to the second half: The first half, we go 9-1 but we played pretty inconsistently at times. We put some really good sets together and struggled in a couple others. And as the conference kind of continued, we got better and better. I like what we're seeing from our team. I think we're continually getting better. I think the demeanor of focusing day in and day out is important, one match at a time. They've got the right mind-set. I think we are getting better. We're getting closer to being at our best, which is important. We've got some really tough matches this second half and some very tough road trips that we've got to be mentally prepared for.
SOPHOMORE OUTSIDE HITTER Juliann Faucette
The saying "defense wins games" is true, especially in volleyball. We can have a great, talented offensive team, but there are a lot of other teams that do too. I think that blocking, the first line of defense is really important, and those behind us are really important as well to get the balls up, and be able to transition and score.
It's a mentality, definitely. You have to want to get the ball up and never let it hit the floor. I think that a lot of teams lack that and that's why there is only one champion in the end, because the team that has that mentality of being the best defensive team in the NCAA will win it.
On a match that she is particularly looking forward to: I think having Nebraska number one in our conference and us being second, that's obviously going to be a pretty good match. However, we're looking forward to this next match coming up against OU to support breast cancer awareness. We will take it one game at a time.
JUNIOR OUTSIDE HITTER Destinee Hooker
On getting motivated for a non-conference game: After you play a game, after it's done with, it's done with; you move forward. It's a new game, a new day. You never know what could happen, you just want to play your A game.