Volleyball sweeps past Baylor
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Longhorns' senior All-Americans - Mira Topic (Kastela Kambelovac, Croatia) and Bethany Howden (Austin, Texas) - led the way as the 10th-ranked Texas Volleyball team defeated Baylor, 3-0 (30-23, 30-19, 30-12), on Saturday evening in front of 1,931 fans at Gregory Gym.
"Mira and Bethany showed everyone tonight why they are All-Americans," Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott said after the match. "They are the catalysts of our team and with them up front, we can have tremendous balance because teams have too many options to defend."
Topic recorded a match-high 20 kills and recorded a .405 attack percentage from the outside, and also added three aces and two blocks, while Howden had 15 kills and a .667 attack percentage in the middle.
With the victory, Texas improved to 19-2 overall and 11-2 in Big 12 matches, while Baylor fell to 10-13 overall and 3-10 in league contests with the loss.
Freshman Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) had a match-best 13 digs and helped the Horns' passing contribute to a team .373 hitting percentage marking the third-straight match UT topped .350. The Longhorns' defense limited Baylor to a .160 attack percentage and only 31 kills, including a sparse five in the final game.
"I thought Alyson had a tremendous match for us tonight. She was all over the court, and even though she only shows 13 digs on the stats sheet, she was far more active than that in this victory.
"Midway through the second game, I think everything finally clicked for us and we started going on all cylinders - both offensively and defensively. Overall, this was a great performance against a really solid Baylor team," Elliott said.
For Baylor, Stella Odion and Desiree Guillard-Young each recorded eight kills to pace the Bears' offense. Nicole LeBlanc had a team-high 10 digs, while Young also added five blocks (one solo, four block assists).
In the first game, Texas built a 10-3 lead only to see Baylor rally all the way back to a one point deficit at 19-18. UT then closed the match with an 11-5 run, spurred by kills from Topic, Howden, sophomore Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and freshman Jen Christian (Gilbert, Ariz.), as well as aces by Topic and sophomore Lauren Galler (Austin, Texas).
In the second game, Baylor jumped out early - 11-7 - before UT came back with an 8-0 run, including six-straight points on freshman Michelle Moriarty's (Houston, Texas) serve, to go ahead 15-11. From that point, UT controlled play and closed out the game with a 15-8 rally.
In the final game, Moriarty got UT out to an early 5-2 lead on her serve that was assisted by a four-point service run by Topic, a six-point run by freshman Sarah Holloway (Aurora, Colo.) and a six-point run by sophomore Jenny Andrew (Kingwood, Texas).
The Longhorns return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 3, when they travel to Colorado for an 8 p.m. (Central) match against the Buffalos. In the teams' last meeting (Sept. 18 at Gregory Gym), CU built a 2-0 lead but the Horns rallied back with three-straight games to win, 3-2.