No. 3 Volleyball sweeps past Baylor, 3-0
WACO, Texas -- The No. 3 Texas Volleyball team used a pair of 14-kill performances by sophomore outside hitter Destinee Hooker and freshman outside hitter Juliann Faucette to knock off Baylor, 3-0 Saturday afternoon at the Ferrell Center. The Longhorns' 30-21, 30-20, 30-25 sweep marked their 18th straight victory and their 15th sweep in Big 12 Conference play.
Texas victory improved the Longhorns to 22-3 on the year and 17-1 in the Big 12, while the Bears fell to 14-15 overall and 6-12 in league play. The Longhorns posted their lowest attack mark in a victory this season, but out-hit the Bears .276-to-.093 and out-killed Baylor 54-to-34.
Hooker and Faucette paced the Horns with 14 kills apiece and Faucette added 14 digs, notching her sixth kill/dig double-double of her career. Junior middle blocker Lauren Paolini added 12 kills on .550 hitting and sophomore opposite hitter Ashley Engle posted 12 kills, a .357 attack mark, nine digs and two service aces in the win.
Baylor kept the score tight early in game one and took its first lead of the game at the 9-8 mark on a kill by Anna Breyfogle. Paolini helped the Horns answer the BU rally, pacing a 3-0 run with a pair of kills that gave UT a 13-11 advantage. Texas widened the margin at the 14-13 mark, using a 5-1 run highlighted by two Faucette kills to push the lead to 19-14. The Bears rallied and closed the gap to two, however, the Longhorns put together a 9-2 run down the stretch, taking advantage of five Baylor errors and a pair of Faucette kills to take a 30-21 victory.
The Bears used four straight Longhorns' hitting errors to grab a quick 4-0 lead in the second frame. Texas responded with a 10-1 run, using three kills and a solo block by Hooker to take a five-point lead at the 12-7 mark. Baylor narrowed the gap to one, but an 8-2 run by Texas staved off the Bears rally and gave UT a 25-17 edge. The Longhorns stretched the lead to as many as 10 on Engle's five game-two kills and closed out the game, 30-20 on a solo block by freshman middle blocker Jennifer Doris.
After trailing early in the third stanza, Texas used three straight kills by Faucette to knot the game at 11. The Longhorns then put together a 4-0 run paced by two block assists and a kill by Doris to grab a 15-12 lead. Baylor battled back to take a 21-20 lead, putting together a 6-0 run fueled by two Kelsey Smith kills. Engle answered the Bears run with a kill that gave the Longhorns a 24-23 and the sophomore added two more kills late in the game to lift Texas to a 30-25 win.
Senior setter Michelle Moriarty steadied the Longhorns on the afternoon with 44 assists and 15 digs, collecting the 36th assist/dig double-double of her career. Senior libero Alyson Jennings paced the defense with a team-best 17 digs, while Hooker added seven digs and four block assists.
Texas returns to action at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 when it travels to Ames, Iowa to take on Iowa State in Big 12 Conference action.
On his team's low hitting percentage: Offensively our timing in terms of hitting the ball at its peak and letting the ball lead to the middle was not as successful as it usually is. Our hitters out of system were attacking below the tape and not hitting into corners. Baylor had a lot of stuff blocks, but I thought we really fought through it well.
On Ashley Engle's play: Ashley has gotten better in every match that we have played. She has gotten back into her rhythm and she is showing that she is one of the best players in the country. The rate that she is improving at bodes well for the future of this program.