Volleyball preview: No. 2 Nebraska
Sept. 18, 2008
MATCH #8: No. 3 TEXAS (6-1, 0-0 Big 12) vs. No. 2 Nebraska (9-0, 1-0 Big 12)
In the season's first release of NCAA Statistics, the Longhorns rank fourth on the national charts in blocking, averaging 3.06 blocks per-set in 14 sets this season ... the Longhorns rank No. 5 in team hitting percentage with their .316 team attack mark ... junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle holds the No. 33 position with 0.56 aces per-set.
Big 12 foes Texas and Nebraska are two of just four schools that have advanced to the NCAA Regional finals in each of the last two NCAA Championships ... the other two schools to advance to the 2006 and 2007 Regional finals are UCLA and Stanford ... Texas fell to Stanford in the `06 finals and was tripped up by USC in `07.
Last week, junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker helped Texas to a 3-0 record at the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational and claimed tourney MVP honors for the second straight year ... Hooker averaged 4.00 kills per-set and posted a .371 attack mark in the Longhorns' three wins ... the junior also tallied six service aces and 12 digs in 11 sets.
Freshman setter Michelle Kocher has not missed a beat making the transition from high school to college, assuming the Horns' helm vacated by three-time All-American Michelle Moriarty ... Kocher is averaging 9.68 assists per-set and 1.92 digs per-set in her first seven collegiate matches ... the freshman has recorded two assist-dig double doubles to date, accomplishing the feat against Stanford (8/31) and New Mexico State (9/6).
Senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini is following up her All-America campaign from a year ago with a stellar start to the 2008 season ... the Ann Arbor, Mich., native leads the UT squad with a team-best 29 total blocks and 1.16 blocks per-set ... offensively, Paolini is hitting at a .371 clip with 2.28 kills per-set ... in 2008 Paolini set the UT single-season record with a .418 hitting percentage.