Hawaii overpowers No. 7 Volleyball to advance in NCAA Tournament
AUSTIN, Texas -- Jamie Houston had a match-high 20 kills and hit .529 to lead seventh-ranked Hawaii to a 3-1 (19-30, 30-18, 30-21, 30-20) victory over the University of Texas volleyball team Saturday evening in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym. The Rainbow Wahine will travel to State College, Pa., for regional play next weekend where they will face 10th-ranked Missouri in the NCAA Round of 16, while the Longhorns' season comes to an end.
Hawaii (27-6) overpowered the Longhorns, hitting .389 as a team and registering 14 blocks. Texas compiled a .257 team hitting percentage but had no answer for the Hawaii trio of Houston, Sarah Mason (15 kills, .448) and Victoria Prince (10 kills, .474).
Acevedo and Alyson Jennings each had match highs with 14 digs, while Magee was part of three of UT's four blocks.
The Longhorns won game one 30-19 thanks to an early 15-5 spurt keyed by Magee and Leticia Armstrong. Texas trailed 8-5 before a pair of Magee kills and an Acevedo kill knotted the game at eight apiece. The Longhorns then went on an 11-4 run, capped by another Acevedo kill, to build a 19-12 lead. Hawaii would get no closer than six points as Texas hit .500 in the frame while limiting the Rainbow Wahine to a .182 hitting percentage.
The teams traded punches early in game two until Hawaii went on a 9-3 run and put the Longhorns away with a 30-18 win. Texas trailed 13-11 following a Magee kill, but there would be no Longhorns rally in this game. A pair of kills by Mason and another by Susie Boogaard helped the Rainbow Wahine build a 16-11 edge, and Hawaii closed the game on a 7-1 run. Hawaii hit .385 in game two while holding Texas to a -.028 clip. Game three was much the same as the Rainbow Wahine broke open a tight contest with a 9-4 run and held on for a 30-21 triumph. An Acevedo kill pulled Texas within two at 14-12, but a pair of Longhorns errors and a Houston kill pushed Hawaii back in front. The Rainbow Wahine made just two errors in the frame, compiling a .514 attack percentage to UT's .312 mark.
Game four was all Hawaii as the Rainbow Wahine built leads of 6-1 and 20-11 and were never threatened in a 30-20 win.
With the loss, Texas suffered its first defeat at home in Gregory Gym in 2005, closing the season with a 11-1 record. The loss also snapped the Longhorns' 17-match winning streak that dated back to the mid-point of the 2004 season.
Texas' 50 wins (26 in 2004, 24 in 2005) in the last two seasons is the most in a two-year span since 1997-98, when UT went 52-12.
Hawaii won its fifth straight against Texas, as the Rainbow Wahine are now 10-1 all-time against the Longhorns. UT's only win came in the 1988 when UT defeated Hawaii, 3-0, in the NCAA Championship match in Minneapolis, Minn., to win the program's first NCAA title and second national championship overall.
The Longhorns will be set to make more noise nationally in 2006 as they return 11 of 12 letterwinners and all six starters, as well as the team's libero. UT's lone senior - Heather Schreiber - was a one-year player who previously was an All-American basketball player at the 40 Acres. UT has already signed a pair of top-10 prep recruits that will join the team in 2006.
HAWAII POSTGAME QUOTES
"I thought our seniors played their best match of the year. Ashley (Wantanabe) was outstanding and passes extremely well. And I thought Susie (Boogaard) had her best match of the year. Her stats don't show it, but she hit solidly and blocked and passed very well. We needed that senior leadership, and for them to step up, and they certainly did tonight."
Senior Outside Hitter Sarah Boogaard
On stopping Texas' middle attack ... "I thought that our outsides and middles did a good job of blocking their slide, so it forced them to spread the floor. I thought we were focused, and we prepared so well for (Texas).
TEXAS POSTGAME QUOTES
On his team and its future... "(This loss) hurts, and I am upset that we lost, but I am also excited. Of all the teams I have coached, the team's chemistry and loyalty to one another is phenomenal. They push each other on a daily basis. If they are committed to continuing on the road they have been, we are going to get them to a Final Four. It hurts now, and I want them to remember that. But I am so proud of the type of women we have in our program and their commitment to our University and how they represent it. I couldn't ask for anything more at this point in time."
Sophomore Libero Alyson Jennings
Freshman Opposite Hitter Lauren Paolini