Reflecting on Volleyball's triumph over Hawaii
Sept. 6, 2009
The No. 2 Texas Volleyball team’s convincing victory over No. 4 Hawaii on Saturday night was no small feat as the Horns traveled into one of the best volleyball environments in the nation. The Horns notched their 25-11, 25-22, 22-25, 25-11 win in front of a raucous crowd of 8,657 that showed their support not only for the Rainbow Wahine, but for outstanding volleyball.
Hawaii owns a 144-21 mark since 2001 when playing in the Stan Sheriff Center and maintains a decided home court advantage. The Wahine only travel for eight to 10 matches a season, making their home mark that much more impressive.
The Longhorns victory snapped UH’s 14-match home winning streak at home and the Horns’ effort in the first and fourth sets proved extraordinary. Texas held Hawaii to just 11 points in the first and fourth sets, marking the fewest points scored by Hawaii in a set since Stanford held the Wahine to 10 points in the first set on Sept. 9, 2006.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On Texas’ performance: We did some really nice things in the first game. I think the one area that you win championships with is out of system swings. We weren’t very good out of the backcourt so we started eliminating that because we were hitting so well on the left. We would like to get great dynamic swings out of system. If we can get those we can be a very good team. We are starting to find more balance with our middles and we know we need to continue to build that confidence. Ashley (Engle) is really doing a nice job of keeping teams off-balance with her setting and her dumping.
On Hawaii forcing a fourth set: I felt like we were still in control of the match after dropping the third set. I felt like we missed a lot of serves in the third and we didn’t capitalize on opportunities we had. I thought that if we could get back into our groove of siding-out that we could close out the match.
Senior setter Ashley Engle
On Texas’ offensive success: Our offense was very committed tonight. Rachael Adams had an unbelievable night in the middle and she is a great example of continuing to drive hard. When I’m in the front row dumping and hitting that helps open up opportunities for our other hitters and helps us get some one-on-one matchups. Everyone contributed tonight and our offense was really on.
On Hawaii’s tough defense: It’s frustrating playing against Hawaii because they get so many balls up. Even when you get a great block it seems like someone is always in there getting a hand on it. Over time you just have to stay patient and that is what we were able to do. We had some longer rallies and that was something we were not used to. We stayed strong and it was very nice to get the win.
Sophomore defensive specialist/libero Sydney Yogi
On Texas’ performance: I know we definitely have things that we can improve upon. We need to do a better job of staying with our assignments and taking care of the little things. They are all things that we can go back to the practice gym and improve on.
On playing at Hawaii: It has been really fun to play here. It has been a challenge to stay focused with practice, study hall every day and venturing out for free time. This trip has been very beneficial to our team because we may end up on a long road trip like this in the NCAA Tournament in December. It has been great playing away from home and playing such high-caliber teams.