Todd shines on Volleyball senior night
AUSTIN, Texas -- The eighth-ranked Texas volleyball team used a 14-kill, .571 hitting performance by senior middle blocker Jennifer Todd to lead UT to a 3-0 (30-28, 30-25, 30-27) victory over Iowa State on senior night at Gregory Gym.
Texas (21-5, 16-3 Big 12) trailed for most of game one, falling behind 11-6 in the early going. The Horns rallied back with a 3-0 run, paced by two Destinee Hooker kills to move the tally to 11-9. A Hooker kill and block, along with two ISU errors, helped UT even the score at 20 apiece, but it was a solo block by Lauren Paolini that gave Texas its first lead of the game at the 22-21 mark.
Iowa State (19-9, 11-7 Big 12) rallied back to claim a 24-23 advantage on a Lauren Cummings kill. The Cyclones kept the tally close until the Horns put together a 4-1 run, highlighted by one of Todd's seven game-one kills, to take a 29-26 lead. After ISU registered a pair of points, Todd connected for her seventh kill of the game on game point to end the first stanza, 30-28.
"Tonight was definitely an emotional match," Todd commented. "It felt really good to play well tonight, especially on senior night."
"Jennifer Todd has continued to grow and develop her range as a player in every match," noted head coach Jerritt Elliott. "I'm proud of the way she's stepped up and performed very well for us this season."
The Longhorns fell behind early in the second game as well, but three Paolini kills and a 6-0 Texas run pushed Texas in front, 14-9. Paolini paced a second run, leading the Horns on a 4-2 rally, tallying two blocks and giving Texas an 18-11 edge. Iowa State narrowed the margin to three at the 23-20 mark on a block by Erin Boeve and Lauren Cummings, but that would be as close as the Cyclones would get. Texas stretched the lead back to five on a Paolini block and Todd again closed out the game with the Horns on top, 30-25.
After claiming a 2-1 lead in the third frame, Texas forged ahead 8-4 on three consecutive kills by Todd, Hooker and freshman outside hitter Ashley Engle. Texas added to its lead with a 5-0 run, capped by a Paolini kill at the 18-12 mark. The Cyclones answered immediately with a 7-1 run, knotting the score at 20-20, but the Horns refused to surrender the lead. Iowa State kept the score close down the stretch, moving within one on a UT error at the 28-27 mark. Texas responded with a kill by Todd and a solo block by Hooker to close out the third and final game, 30-27. "Our players are excited about finishing the regular season against a strong opponent and I feel like it will be great preparation for the NCAA tournament," Elliott said.
Todd's 14 kills equaled Hooker for a match-high, while Engle recorded her 14th kill/dig double-double of the season with 10 kills and 10 digs. Hooker posted a .312 attack mark on the night and Engle hit at a .308 clip to pace a UT squad that hit .300 in the match. Junior libero Alyson Jennings steadied the defense with a match-high 13 digs, and senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo added eight digs in the victory.
Texas returns to action Saturday, Nov. 25 when it travels to Lincoln, Neb. to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Horns' regular season finale. First serve is set for 7 p.m.