Volleyball preview: Texas A&M (State Farm Lone Star Showdown)
Oct. 30, 2008
MATCH #20: No. 3 TEXAS (16-3, 9-2 Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (10-12, 5-7 Big 12)
Texas dropped its second Big 12 match of the year on Wednesday (Oct. 29), falling to Oklahoma, 3-2 ... the Longhorns loss temporarily dropped the Horns further behind first place Nebraska, but the Huskers, 3-1 loss to Colorado narrowed the NU lead back to one match ... the Huskers are 11-1 league play, while UT is 9-2 ... losses on the same night by UT and NU was only the third occurrence in Big 12 history with the two previous times coming on Oct. 11 and 15, 2003 when both schools lost to Kansas State and Missouri.
The Longhorns lead the State Farm Lone Star Showdown standings one-point to one half-point. the volleyball team is looking to pick up their second half-point of the year when the Horns take on the Aggies on Saturday.
Texas is hitting a conference-best .358 in league play, holding a large .088 edge on second-place Nebraska which is hitting .270 in the Big 12 ... senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini is leading the way for UT in league play, hitting a Big 12-best .564, registering 103 kills on 172 swings, while committing just six attack errors in 11 matches ... Paolini has recorded six error-free matches so far in Big 12 action ... junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker ranks ninth in the league with a .329 attack mark, while leading the Big 12 with 5.44 points and 4.50 kills per-set.
The 2008 Longhorns have been putting up robust team hitting numbers en route to leading the league with a .342 attack mark on the year and a .358 hitting clip in Big 12 play ... UT has hit .350 or better in 10 matches this season, while hitting at a .400 clip or better in six matches ... the Longhorns have held opponents under .200, 12 times this season and under .150 10 times.
Since head coach Jerritt Elliott arrived in Austin, the Longhorns have emerged as the dominant volleyball program in the state of Texas ... the Longhorns have posted a 59-7 (.894) record against in-state opponents during the Elliott era, including a 15-0 mark against Texas Tech and a 14-1 mark against Baylor ... Texas has won its last 33 matches versus in-state foes, last dropping a match on Oct. 16, 2004 to Texas A&M.