Volleyball preview: Texas Tech
MATCH #8: No. 5 Texas vs. Texas Tech (7-2)
· Texas is 7-3 all-time in Big 12 Conference openers, winning its last three conference openers ... In last season's conference opener the Longhorns knocked off Colorado, 3-1 (30-16, 27-30, 30-22, 30-19) on Sept. 14 in Austin ... Under sixth-year Head Coach Jerritt Elliott Texas stands 4-1 in conference openers.
· Texas moved up to No. 5 in the latest CSTV/AVCA poll, released Monday, Sept. 11 ... The Longhorns began the 2006 campaign ranked 8th in the preseason poll, marking the team's highest preseason ranking since 1998 (No. 9).
· The Longhorns started the year with one of the toughest schedules nationally, as five of its first seven opponents were nationally ranked ... To date, UT is 4-1 against Top 25 opponents (defeating No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 3 Washington, No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 4 Santa Clara), only losing to No. 2 Penn State, 3-2 ... Last year, Texas compiled a 7-3 mark against top 25 foes (including a 1-2 mark vs. top 10 teams)
· Texas Tech stands 7-2 and is currently riding a five-game winning streak after winning the UT-Pan American and University of South Florida tournaments ... The Red Raiders are led by senior outside hitter Philister Sang ... the senior leads the team with 108 kills (4.70 k/pg) and is hitting at a .301 clip in nine matches.
· Senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo is the only Texas player to post double-digit kill totals in each of the Longhorns seven matches ... last week Acevedo recorded 15 kills against No. 4 Santa Clara and totaled 21 kills in the Horns loss to No. 2 Penn State ... Acevedo opened the season with a 16-kill outing against Wisconsin and a 19-kill tally against Washington ... she followed that outing with 23 and 22 kills against No. 19 Pepperdine and Cal Poly at the Asics Classic ... Acevedo was the lone Longhorn in double figures against Long Island, with 10 kills.
· Three true freshman are playing significant roles for the Longhorns' with outside hitter Ashley Engle and defensive specialist Heather Kisner starting all seven matches and outside hitter Destinee Hooker logging time in 26 of the Horns 28 games this season ... Engle (88) and Hooker (84) rank second and third in kills on the squad respectively, while Hooker's 3.23 k/pg average ranks second and Engle's 3.13 k/pg average ranks third ... Engle also ranks second on the team in digs (83) and digs per-game (2.96) ... Kisner leads the squad with eight service aces and has posted a 2.32 digs per-game average through seven matches.
· Last weekend UT defeated No. 4 Santa Clara, 3-0 (30-20, 30-25, 30-17) in its first game of the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational ... Freshman Ashley Engle and junior Dariam Acevedo anchored the Texas attack against Santa Clara with 15 kills apiece, with Engle hitting at a .545 clip for the match ... Texas fell in a tough 3-2 decision to No. 2 Penn State in its second match of the tourney ... after winning games one and two, 30-27 and 30-28, UT dropped the final three games (28-30, 34-36, 13-15) ... Engle headlined the Horns again against PSU with a career-high 26 kills and 15 digs ... Destinee Hooker and Acevedo added a pair of 21-kill performances and Lauren Paolini came off the bench to post 10 kills on .643 hitting ... Michelle Moriarty posted a career best 78 assists to go along with 13 digs in the match, while Alyson Jennings paced the UT defense with 20 digs.
· In Texas' two nationally televised games this season against No. 3 Washington and No. 2 Penn State, freshman outside hitter Destinee Hooker has shined in front of the cameras ... Hooker has recorded 44 kills in two televised matches, including a 4.40 kill per-game average ... in the two matches Hooker has swung 109 times and has posted a .266 attack mark..
· Junior setter Michelle Moriarty, junior libero Alyson Jennings and freshmen outside hitters Ashley Engle and Destinee Hooker were named to the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational last week (Sept. 7-8) ... The honor marked the third All-Tournament Team this season for Moriarty and was the first award for Jennings, Engle and Hooker.
· The Horns spent the first two weekends of the 2006 campaign on the road, winning the AVCA Volleyball Showcase at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Aug. 25-26) and tallying a pair of victories at the Asics Classic at Pepperdine University (Sept. 1-2) ... The then ranked No. 8 Longhorns opened the season by defeating No. 9 Wisconsin - by a 3-0 count, before knocking off defending NCAA champion No. 3 Washington in an epic five-game battle ... The following weekend Texas knocked off then 19th ranked Pepperdine, 3-1 and Long Island, 3-0 at the Asics Classic.
· In other early season tourneys junior setter Michelle Moriarty and senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo earned spots on their second all-tournament team of the season at the Asics Classic ... Moriarty recorded 161 assists over the weekend, while Acevedo recorded a team best 55 kills (4.58 pg) on 134 attacks over the weekend ... Moriarty, Acevedo and Leticia Armstrong were all named to the AVCA Volleyball Showcase All-Tournament Team (Aug. 25-26), with Moriarty earning tournament MVP honors ... Armstrong posted a team-high .524 attack mark and nine total blocks for the tournament, while Acevedo tied for best on the squad with 35 kills for the tournament and Moriarty totaled 108 assists, 20 digs and six blocks ... For her efforts Moriarty was also selected the AVCA National Player of the Week and Big 12 Player of the Week.
· Next up: Texas takes its first Big 12 road trip Saturday, Sept. 16, when they travel to Lawrence, Kansas to take on the Jayhawks at 7 p.m.