No. 8 Volleyball ends regular season with 3-1 win at No. 16 Iowa State
Nov. 27, 2010
AMES, Iowa - The eighth-ranked Texas Volleyball team used a pair of 16-kill efforts by senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette and sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal to down No. 16 Iowa State, 3-1, Saturday night at Hilton Coliseum. The 22-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-19 victory extend the Longhorns winning streak to 15 matches and improved UT to 23-5 on the season and 18-2 in Big 12 play, while the Cyclones fell to 20-8 and 13-7 in league action.
McNeal connected for a career-high 16 kills in the win, hitting at a .353 clip and notching six digs and four blocks. Faucette hammered out 16 kills on .333 hitting and notched a career-best 22 digs. Junior middle blocker Rachael Adams added 13 kills and hit at a .435 clip, while senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris posted 10 kills and a .474 attack mark.
In the first, Texas dug itself a large hole after allowing Iowa State to jump out to a quick 11-2 edge courtesy of two blocks and a kill by Jamie Straube. The Horns used two kills by senior outside hitter Lauren Dickson to fuel a 3-0 run that trimmed the edge to 11-5, but the Cyclones answered and ballooned the lead to 17-8. Three straight points including two kills by Adams allowed the Longhorns to narrow the gap to 17-11. Late in the set, Texas put together a 6-2 rally headlined by two kills and a block by sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal to ward off four set points before falling, 25-22.
Texas came out strong in the second, using an 8-2 run keyed by a kill, a block and an ace by junior setter Michelle Kocher to claim a 10-6 advantage. The Longhorns pushed the margin to its widest at the 14-9 mark before the Cyclones exploded with a 9-2 run to erase the deficit and take an 18-16 lead. Faucette led the Horns back with two kills as part of a 4-1 rally that put UT back ahead, 20-19. Iowa State responded with a 4-1 run of its own that put the Cyclones in front 23-21, but the Horns closed the frame on a 4-0 run. Kills by Adams, Doris and Faucette forced set point and an ISU error ended the set, 25-23.
The Horns owned a 5-4 edge to start the third set prior to a 6-1 ISU rally highlighted by five kills from Tenisha Matlock that gave the Cyclones a 10-6 lead. Iowa State maintained a lead of three at the 17-14 mark before two blocks and a kill by Adams fueled a 6-1 UT run that moved the Horns in front 20-18. The Cyclones rallied for three-straight points to forge ahead 21-20 and the two-teams traded the next five points with UT moving ahead 24-23 on a double-block by Doris and McNeal. Iowa State fought off two set points, but each time McNeal had an answer, forcing two set points with kills and allowing UT to win the frame, 27-25.
Texas took control early in the fourth stanza, taking advantage of a 6-1 run capped by a kill from Faucette to take a 10-5 lead. Two more Faucette kills paced a 4-1 rally that allowed UT to stretch its lead to 14-7 and make ISU burn its final timeout. After the timeout, the Cyclones shrank the margin to four, but that was as close as they would get as the Horns pushed the edge back to 22-15 on a double-block by McNeal and Adams. A pair of late kills by junior outside hitter Amber Roberson clinched the 25-19 set victory for the Longhorns.
Texas now waits to hear its NCAA fate when the 64-team tournament field is announced on Sunday, Nov. 28. The show will air on ESPNNews at 2 p.m. Central.