No. 6 Volleyball downs Purdue, advances to third-straight NCAA semifinal
Dec. 11, 2010
AUSTIN, Texas -- Juliann Faucette led Texas with 20 kills and Rachael Adams added 13 kills, as the ninth-seeded Longhorns (27-5) nailed down a third consecutive trip to the NCAA semifinals with a 3-1 (18-25, 25-16, 25-15, 27-25) victory over 16th-seeded Purdue (24-11) Saturday evening before a sellout crowd of 4,152 at Gregory Gymnasium.
Texas reaches the NCAA Final Four for the seventh time in school history and for the third time in the 10-year tenure of head coach Jerritt Elliott. The Longhorns were competing in their fifth consecutive NCAA regional final and their 16th all-time. Michelle Kocher added a match-leading 54 assists in the winning effort for Texas.
Texas is set to meet fourth-seeded Penn State (30-5), a three-time defending NCAA champion, in the NCAA semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 16 in Kansas City, Mo. The match will be held at either 6 p.m. Central or 8:30 p.m. Central and will be televised live on ESPN2 and on ESPN3.com. Texas and Penn State engaged in a memorable five-set match in the finals of the 2009 NCAA Championship in which the Nittany Lions prevailed.
Ariel Turner posted a match- leading 23 kills in the losing effort for the Boilermakers, and Rachel Davis handed out 35 assists. Purdue had reached its first ever NCAA regional final after upsetting top-seeded Florida by a 3-0 count in Friday's NCAA round of 16.
With Texas leading two sets to one, Purdue opened a considerable lead in the decisive fourth set before Texas chipped away and ultimately took the lead at the end of the set. Purdue held three set-point opportunities to force a fifth set but was unable to convert any of them. Trailing 24-22, Texas answered with kills from Amber Roberson and Faucette to even the set.
A dump from Rachel Davis set up another set point for the Boilermakers, but Faucette answered with consecutive kills to set up match point for the Longhorns at 26-25. Kocher and Adams teamed up to block Purdue's final attack to give the Longhorns the 27-25 fourth-set win and seal the match.
Purdue broke free for a sizable lead midway through the first set, in which it out-hit Texas, .438 to .269. Leading 19-16, the Boilermakers claimed four of the next five points behind two Turner kills, a service ace and an errant Texas attack. An Adams block cut the Texas deficit to 23-18, but Purdue took the next two points to claim the set, 25-18.
Texas and Purdue traded points early on in set two. Leading 11-9, Texas collected two kills from Adams and one from Faucette for a 14-10 lead. Leading 15-12, Texas took advantage of a Sha'Dare McNeal kill, two Purdue attack errors and an Amber Roberson kill to assume a 19-12 lead. At 21-14, UT picked up a kill from Doris followed by a Doris service ace and a Faucette kill for a 24-14 lead. Purdue claimed the next two points, but Texas claimed the set on an Adams kill, 25-16. Texas handily out-hit Purdue in set two, .500 to .138.
Texas came out on fire once again in set three and out-hit the Boilermakers, .400 to .080. Leading 5-3, UT picked up two kills from Roberson and one from Jennifer Doris to take an 8-3 lead. Leading 10-7, Texas took fourth of the next five points behind kills from Faucette and Adams and a pair of errant Purdue attacks. Leading 19-15, the Longhorns closed out the set on a 6-0 run that featured two Adams kills, a kill and a service ace from Doris and a block from Kocher and Adams.