No. 9 Volleyball sweeps past Baylor
Nov. 16, 2011
AUSTIN, Texas - The ninth-ranked Texas Volleyball notched its 27th-straight home victory Wednesday night, tying the UT home streak record with its 3-0 sweep of Baylor. The 25-23, 25-19, 25-16 victory extended the Longhorns current winning streak to 11 matches and improved Texas to 19-4 on the year and 12-1 in Big 12 action, while Baylor dropped to 18-12 and 5-9 in league play.
Freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman led all players with 10 kills in the win and junior opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal posted nine kills, two service aces, two blocks and hit .727. Senior All-America middle blocker Rachael Adams pitched in eight kills and hit at a .500 clip.
In the first, Texas fell behind 14-12 midway through the set before a 4-1 rally capped by a Webster kill gave UT a 16-15 edge. Baylor reclaimed the lead and led 23-21 late in the frame, but a 4-0 Texas rally paced by two Eckerman kills propelled the Horns to a 25-23 set victory.
The Longhorns took control early in the second, using a 7-1 run fueled by a block and a kill by freshman middle blocker Madelyn Hutson to claim a 9-4 lead. Texas extended the margin to six on an ace by McNeal at the 17-11 mark and went on to close out the stanza, 25-19.
Texas came out strong in the third, capitalizing on a 10-2 run headlined by a kill and a pair of blocks from Hutson that gave UT a 16-10 lead. Texas kept the heat on down the stretch as two kills by senior outside hitter Amber Roberson headlined a 6-2 set-closing run to lift the Horns to a 25-16 set win.
Texas returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 19 when it travels to Missouri. First serve is set for 7 p.m. Central.
Opening Statement: Obviously, I'm very pleased with the win. I thought Bailey [Webster] did a nice job coming out and playing at a high level. We weren't as smooth as I would like to be. Our goal is to keep our errors low and we had too many errors in game one and therefore were in a battle. I liked our composure down 23-21 and we went on a four point run to be able to win that. After that we were very, very efficient. We had zero hitting errors in game two and one in game three. Therein lies the results of playing well. It was good to see. I thought we did a nice job with our middles and our rights. Baylor had different approaches and different arm swings and it can be a little bit more difficult to defend that sometimes, coming from our gym. Overall, I was pleased with the performance
On what was said in the timeout at the end of the first set: I was a little bit more stern with them than normal. I just told them that they needed to be a lot more coherent. They were kind of questioning themselves and their commitment to doing the things we train for every single day. We had different people missing assignments and if we could get on the same page and do the things the way we do it, then we're going to be able to be successful. I was pleased. Sometimes you don't know what you're going to get when you're a little bit more stern. But this group is responding in these situations that I've been able to do that.
Senior MB Rachael Adams
On how the team can improve: I think that as a whole we made a lot of errors and sometimes serving just comes with it. But we need to learn that the person that comes next needs to not miss that serve so that we can kind of change that whole feeling of, "Okay, well I just need to get it in." We just need to let our team go on runs. Because when we go on runs, like Sha'Dare [McNeal], that's when we're really good.
On winning the first set in a comeback: That was really important because, obviously, we were coming from behind. It gave us that confidence to go into the second set and be able to turn it around. They didn't have that confidence. It was a big win for us.
Freshman MB Madelyn Hutson
On her play today: It was great. It's just conveying what we do in practice on the court in the games. We work hard every day, so it's great to be able to show it.
On her connection with Michelle [Kocher]: We had a really good connection, so it flowed smoothly.