Quartet of Horns leads No. 5 Volleyball past Colorado, 3-0
BOULDER, Colo. -- The fifth-ranked Texas Volleyball team used four double-digit kill performances to sweep Big 12 Conference foe Colorado, Saturday afternoon at the Coors Events Center. Freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette highlighted the Longhorns' attack with 17 kills in UT's 30-27, 30-19, 30-28 victory.
Texas (16-3, 12-1 Big 12) out-hit Colorado (5-16, 0-12 Big 12) on the afternoon .348-to.194 and recorded 13 blocks, while CU only managed six. Junior middle blocker Lauren Paolini added 10 kills on .667 hitting in the win and recorded zero attack errors. Sophomore opposite hitter Ashley Engle posted 11 kills and 10 digs in the match and sophomore outside hitter Destinee Hooker added 10 kills of her own. Faucette and Engle each posted a kill/dig double-doubles against CU, tallying 11 and 10 digs respectively.
Colorado jumped out to a quick lead in the first game, taking advantage of three Texas errors and claiming an 8-2 edge. Faucette helped Texas narrow the lead to 11-9 with a pair of kills, but the Longhorns trailed until the 17-17 mark, when two kills and a block by Paolini evened the tally. Texas clinched its first lead at the 19-18 mark on a CU error, however, the Buffaloes responded and knotted the game at 24. Paolini quickly answered the Buffs rally with a kill and two straight blocks that gave UT a 27-24 lead. Colorado closed the margin to one down the stretch, but a pair of Faucette kills lifted Texas to a 30-27 game-one victory.
After a slow start in the second frame, Paolini headlined a 6-0 Texas run with two kills and a block to give UT an 11-5 edge. Faucette widened the margin with three straight kills as part of a 5-0 run that moved the Horns' advantage to 23-13. Colorado failed to narrow the Texas lead and the Longhorns closed out the second stanza with a service ace by Engle that moved the final tally to 30-19.
The Buffaloes grabbed an early lead in game three, using three kills by freshman middle blocker Schylur Edelman to take a 13-8 advantage. Four kills by Hooker and a pair of kills by Faucette helped Texas battle back and knot the game at 16. The Longhorns claimed their first lead of the game at the 18-17 mark and pushed their lead to 25-23 on a kill by senior middle blocker Brandy Magee. Colorado responded, regaining the lead at the 27-26 mark, but two straight Engle kills gave UT a 28-27 edge. The Buffs tied the game at 28, but Hooker connected for her 10th kill and Magee notched a service ace to seal the game, 30-28.
Senior setter Michelle Moriarty paced the Texas offense in the victory, recording 47 assists, while sophomore defensive specialist Heather Kisner steadied the defense with 10 digs. Paolini added seven total blocks to her performance, while Magee posted four total blocks and five kills on .556 hitting. Engle's double-double was the 19th of her career and Faucette's effort marked her fifth career double-double.
Texas returns to action at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31 when it plays host to No. 21 Oklahoma at Gregory Gymnasium.
On the play of Lauren Paolini: Lauren played very well for us tonight and really held down our middle. When she was in rhythm she was swinging very well and she was very effective. In game two she had a couple of key blocks that really helped us regain control of the game.
On Texas' success in the service game: Colorado's middle blocker Lauren Schaefer had been getting a lot of swings in all of their other matches and we wanted to serve short to try to dictate what they could do offensively. The way we served allowed our blockers to set up in a way that gave us a chance to slow down their offense.