Volleyball preview: No. 14 Iowa State
Oct. 27, 2011
Match 19: No. 9/9 TEXAS (14-4, 7-1 Big 12) vs. No. 14/14 Iowa State (17-3, 8-1 Big 12)
The Longhorns are ranked No. 9 in the current AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll (Oct. 24) ... Texas has now been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for 120 consecutive weeks, dating back to 2004 ... UT opponents in the poll include No. 8 Penn State, No. 13 Florida, No. 14 Iowa State, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 18 Pepperdine and No. 21 Oklahoma.
Texas holds the No. 10 spot in the most recent Volleyball Magazine Poll (Oct. 25) ... Texas’ lone Big 12 foe in the poll is No. 14 Iowa State ... four of UT’s non-conference opponents are ranked (No. 8 Penn State, No. 11 Florida, No. 15 Minnesota, No. 17 Pepperdine).
Texas improved to 7-1 in the Big 12 with its 3-0 victory at Baylor and its 3-1 win over Missouri last week ... at Baylor, senior Rachael Adams connected for 13 kills on .500 hitting and freshman Haley Eckerman posted 15 kills and hit .387 ... sophomore Hannah Allison posted a double-double with 43 assists and 10 digs against the Bears before leading to a .431 attack mark in its win over the Tigers ... Allison was named Big 12 Player of the Week for her efforts.
Through Texas’ first 18 matches senior middle blocker Rachael Adams is leading the way for the Longhorns ... the All-American ranks No. 1 in the Big 12 with her .378 hitting percentage and fourth in the Big 12 with 1.23 blocks per-set ... she averaged 1.80 blocks per-set at the elite Nike Big Four Classic (Sept. 9-10) and went on to win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors ... Adams currently ranks 23rd in the NCAA in hitting percentage.
In the initial release of the NCAA RPI (Oct. 23), Texas is ranked No. 5 ... the Horns trail No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Iowa State and No. 4 Northern Iowa.
The Horns are currently riding a 29-match home winning streak against Big 12 foes, which dates back to Nov. 1, 2008.
Texas is currently riding a 24-match home winning streak at Gregory Gym ... the Horns’ winning streak dates back to Sept. 4, 2010 ... UT’s streak is the third-best in the NCAA, only trailing Cincinnati (45) and Nebraska (32).
Sophomore setter Hannah Allison has been named the Big 12 Player of the Week (Oct. 24) after leading the Longhorns to victories over Baylor and Missouri ... she set the Big 12’s leading offense to a .354 team attack mark and averaged 10.43 assists, 1.71 digs and 1.00 blocks per-set in UT’s two wins last week.
After a slow start to her sophomore campaign, opposite hitter Bailey Webster has come on strong for the Horns ... Webster hit .210 and averaged 1.74 kills in UT’s first eight matches, but has shined in her last 10 outings, hitting .420 with 3.06 kills per-set.
After running a 6-2 offense in its first nine matches of the season, Texas has switched to a 5-1 system in its last nine matches ... in the first nine matches, Texas hit .212 as a team and posted a 6-3 record ... since switching to the 5-1 system, UT is hitting .320 as a unit and owns an 8-1 record.
Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams has benefitted greatly from the return of Sha’Dare McNeal who was missing from the Horns front row in 13 matches after injuring her knee in the season opener ... McNeal’s return has allowed Adams to have more one-on-one opportunities and boost her hitting percentage 100 points ... Adams has hit .462 in the four matches since McNeal’s return after hitting .362 in the first 14 matches ... since McNeal returned all of Texas’ starting hitters are hitting .300 or better.