No. 9 Volleyball sweeps past No. 14 Iowa State
Oct. 29, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The ninth-ranked Texas Volleyball team rode freshman middle blocker Khat Bell's second-straight error-free performance to a 3-0 victory over No. 14 Iowa State. The 25-14, 28-26, 25-21 victory gave the Longhorns sole possession of first place in the Big 12 and improved Texas to 17-4 overall and 8-1 in league action. The Cyclones' loss dropped ISU to 15-4 on the season and 8-2 in Big 12 play.
Bell hammered out 13 kills on 18 swings to hit .812 in the match, while notching six total blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Bailey Webster recorded 13 kills and hit .323 to bolster the offense and freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman joined them in double figures with 10 kills on .318 hitting.
After trailing early in the first, Texas put together a 14-3 run to claim an 18-10 lead. Three kills and a solo block by Webster down the stretch helped UT close out the frame, 25-14.
The Longhorns overcame an early deficit in the second set and went on a 5-1 run paced by two kills and an ace from Eckerman to grab a 21-17 edge. Texas forced set point at the 24-21 mark, but Iowa State fought back to tie the set three times before UT used a Bell kill and an Eckerman ace to win the stanza, 28-26.
Texas came out of the gate hot in the third to grab a lead that it would not relinquish. A 4-0 Horns' rally paced by two Webster kills gave UT a 22-18 advantage and it went on to close out the set 25-21.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 5 when it travels to Kansas. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
· Texas' win improved its all-time record against Iowa State to 31-3 and 18-0 in Austin.
· Khat Bell has recorded 24 kills on 28 error-free swings in her last two matches and hit .857.
· Texas out-hit Iowa State .390-to-.179 and out-blocked the Cyclones 9.0-to-4.0.
· The Longhorns have now won seven consecutive matches.
· Texas extended its home winning streak to 25 matches and its Big 12 home winning streak to 30 matches.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On how the team is different from their last win at Iowa State: We're a lot more efficient. We're not shooting ourselves in the foot as much. We're not making as many errors. We're a lot more efficient in a lot of different areas. We're only ten errors on 105 swings, under 12 percent. Moving Khat [Bell] to the middle helped a lot. She was putting up the same amount of kills, but having a lot of errors. Now you look at what her numbers are - 13 kills, zero errors, 16 attempts - very efficient. We've been getting better out-of-system too. Tonight I wasn't as pleased with that, but overall, our out-of-system game has gotten more efficient.
On how much they practice out-of-system: It's a big part of our practice. We're more on out-of-system training than we are in-system. It's been paying off. We could've done a better job tonight on that, but you're not going to be perfect every night. I like the mentality, the way that we finished that game.
Sophomore OH Bailey Webster
On the lineup changes this season: It's changed a bit, but in our heads it's nothing new. It's not a shocker. And we know if it does change, it's to benefit us and to help us win a National Championship, or get a step closer to winning a National Championship, or get a step closer to winning the Big 12. So we take it with open arms because we know in the end that it will help us.
On what it means to beat No. 14 Iowa State in three straight sets: Just that we're getting a lot better. We're a totally different team from the beginning of the season. And it's a good thing. Not that we weren't good in the beginning, but we were still trying to find ourselves, in the simplest terms. Now we're getting our groove, and we know what we want to do, and we can say, "We want to win this game. Let's go out and do the things that we want to do to win the game." We weren't able to execute that in the beginning of the season.
Freshman OH Haley Eckerman
On Texas's dominance in the first set: I think that's what [head coach] Jerritt [Elliott] talks about a lot - setting the tone early. We all knew that even though that was the first set, that Iowa State was going to come back tougher and that they weren't' going to give up. A lot of teams do that too, we kind of get the first set done quick to get over it. And then they're going to push harder because they don't want to be done in three [sets].