Volleyball preview: NCAA First and Second Rounds
Dec. 2, 2008
MATCH #29-30: No. 3 TEXAS (25-3, 18-2 Big 12)
• The Longhorns won their ninth straight match, knocking off Colorado, 3-0 (11/29) to clinch a share of their second straight Big 12 Conference title ... the championship marks the first time in Big 12 history that UT has earned back-to-back championships.
• Texas claimed six Big 12 postseason honors in 2008, including Michelle Kocher winning UT's third straight Freshman of the Year award ... junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle, sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette, junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker and senior middle blocker Lauren Paolini all earned All-Big 12 First Team honors.
• In the most recent release of the NCAA Statistics (Dec. 1), the Longhorns rank second on the national charts in hitting with their .340 attack mark ... Texas ranks No. 10 in kills per-set (14.55) and No. 14 in blocks per-set (2.69) ... senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini ranks No. 2 nationally in hitting percentage with a .478 attack mark. ... junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker holds the No. 24 position with 4.13 kills per-set ... freshman setter Michelle Kocher ranks 21st nationally with 11.16 assists per-set.
• Senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini and freshman setter Michelle Kocher were named the Big 12 Conference Player and Rookie of the Week (12/1), respectively, after leading the Longhorns to a pair of wins over Mizzou and Colorado ... Paolini claimed her second career player of the week honor and first of the season, while Kocher earned her fifth rookie award of the year ... Paolini registered 3.57 kills per-set for the week, committed just two attack errors and hit at a .605 clip ... Kocher helped the Longhorns offense to a .357 team hitting percentage and averaged 12.71 assists per-set in Texas' two wins.
• Following its loss to Nebraska last season (Sept. 12, 2007), Texas ran off 23 straight victories en route to making its second straight NCAA Regional finals appearance ... in 2008, the Horns are 19-1 since falling to the No. 2 Huskers on Sept. 20 in Lincoln, Neb. ... the Longhorns added their second straight Big 12 title in 2008, sharing the crown with the Huskers for the second year in a row.