No. 8 Volleyball downs Kansas State, 3-1
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- Despite faltering in game three, the eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team downed Kansas State, 3-1 (30-26, 30-22, 23-30, 30-26), Wednesday night at the Ahearn Field House. Freshman outside hitter Ashley Engle tallied a match-high 20 kills on the night, while freshman Destinee Hooker and senior Jennifer Todd joined her in double figures with 13 and 12 kills, respectively.
Texas (20-5, 15-3 Big 12) fell behind 3-0 to start game one, but a 3-0 run capped by an Engle ace evened the score a four apiece. The Horns claimed their first lead of the match at the 8-7 mark, as part of a 4-0 run that ended with UT leading 10-7. Texas pushed its advantage to 13-9 on a Lauren Paolini kill, but three straight KSU points narrowed the margin to one. Back-to-back kills by Engle moved the tally to 15-12, but the Wildcats rallied, using a 3-0 run to knot the game at 21-21.
The Longhorns responded by pushing the lead to 25-22 on two Jennifer Todd kills and a kill from Engle. Kansas State (10-18, 2-16 Big 12) traded points with Texas until the 27-26 mark, when the Horns used two points by Hooker and a kill by Paolini to close out game one on a 3-0 run.
Game two was close in the early going, before Texas put together a 3-0 run, breaking a 5-5 tie and grabbing a lead it would hold for the duration of the game. At the 11-10 mark the Horns used one of Engle's seven game-two kills and a pair of KSU hitting errors to stretch their lead to 14-10. Texas moved the edge to six on another Engle kill that pushed the tally to 19-13, and then sealed the game with a 4-1 run that widened the UT advantage to 26-19. Down the stretch, freshman outside hitter Destinee Hooker and Engle each registered a kill to move the score to 28-21, but it was two Wildcats miscues that closed out the game, 30-22.
The Horns led at the 5-4 mark in game three, but a 3-0 Wildcats run gave Kansas State a lead that they would hold until a Paolini, Engle block assist gave UT a 17-16 lead. Paolini kept things close for Texas, tallying two kills and four total blocks up until that point. Kansas State answered the Horns rally with a 6-0 run that pushed the Cats lead to 22-17. Engle connected for a kill to narrow the gap to 22-19, but that would be as close as the Horns would get. Texas tallied back-to-back blocks at the 20-25 mark to narrow the margin once again, but KSU ran off the game's final four points to end the frame, 30-23.
Texas led from the start in game four claiming a 1-0 lead on an Engle, Paolini block and extending its lead to two on a Moriarty, Todd block at the 6-4 mark. The Longhorns then went on to rattle off five consecutive points, using two kills by Todd to claim an 11-6 lead, but the Wildcats answered with a 3-0 run of their own, narrowing the margin to 11-9. After Kansas State evened the score at 15-15, Texas put together a 3-0 run paced by a Moriarty kill and block assist that moved the tally to 18-15.
An Engle kill capped a 3-0 Texas run at the 21-19 mark, giving UT its largest lead of the game, 24-19. Kansas State narrowed the Horns edge to three, but two points by Todd and a pair of kills by Hooker down the stretch lifted Texas to a 30-26 game four victory.
Engle added eight digs and three total blocks to her match-high 20 kills, while Moriarty posted 55 assists, five kills, seven digs and five total blocks in the Texas win. Hooker recorded 13 kills and hit at .321 clip on the night, and Todd posted 12 kills on .458 hitting, while registering six blocks. Junior libero Alyson Jennings anchored the defense with a team-high 19 digs and senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo pitched in 12 digs and nine kills in the match.
Texas returns to action Saturday, Nov. 18 when they play host to Iowa State in the Horns' final home contest of the regular season. Texas' three seniors will be honored prior to the match, starting at 6:30 p.m.