No. 2 Volleyball wins outright Big 12 Championship, sweeps Oklahoma
Nov. 25, 2009
NORMAN, Okla. -- The second-ranked Texas Volleyball earned its third straight Big 12 Championship and its first outright title since 1997 with its 3-0 win over Oklahoma on Wednesday night. The 25-19, 25-14, 25-19 victory improved the Longhorns to 23-1 on the year and 18-1 in Big 12 play, while the Sooners fell to 18-10 and 11-8 in conference action.
Senior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker headlined the Texas attack with 18 kills on .486 hitting and added seven digs and three blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Rachael Adams connected for 10 kills and hit .615 against the Sooners, while junior middle blocker Jennifer Doris held down the net with four solo blocks and four block assists.
Texas broke a six-all tie in the first with a kill by junior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette and added a 5-0 run fueled by a kill and a block from Hooker to push the UT lead to 13-8. Another kill from Faucette widened the margin to 18-12 and her fifth kill of the set paced a 4-1 rally and moved the score to 23-18. A kill by Doris and an OU attack error finished out the frame 25-19.
In the second, Oklahoma jumped out to an early 4-0 edge, but Texas battled back behind two Hooker kills and a 5-0 run to take an 8-5 lead. A double-block by Hooker and Adams widened the margin to 14-9 before a Doris solo block moved the tally to 16-10. Down the stretch, Texas went on a 7-1 set-ending run headlined by three kills and two blocks by Adams to close0 the set 25-14.
The Longhorns leapt out to a 5-1 lead to start the third on a kill by senior All-America setter/opposite Ashley Engle. Back-to-back kills by Adams moved the tally to 9-5 and a 5-1 run headlined by two kills each from Faucette and Hooker widened the gap to 15-8. The Sooners battled back with a 5-1 run to close the lead to 18-15, but Hooker was too much late in the stanza, connecting for four kills to lift UT to a 25-19 win.
Texas returns home for its final regular season match on Saturday, Nov. 28 when it hosts Kansas at Gregory Gymnasium. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Come early to salute the 2009 senior class.
On not sharing the title: It is sweeter to win the title outright. It is never fun when you have to share something, unless you are sharing with your kids or your family. As competitors you don not want to share. I'm very happy for our senior class and this team for believing in this staff and what we do.
On Texas' continued blocking progress: For the last three to four weeks blocking has been a staple of our practice. We have been spending time on it and we have made it a focal point. A block is an immediate point and if we are able to get points off the block and add that to our kill production, we become a very good team.
On offensive balance: Against good teams you have to have good balance. As we advance in the NCAA tournament we want to have balance because it is very difficult to stop. When we are getting that kind of balance and production it puts pressure on our opponents. We have gone through a lot of different lineups and we have a lot of different personnel that we can use as a staff.