No. 2 Volleyball dominates Lone Star State
Dec. 3, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Maybe the term "Point, Texas" is more appropriate than originally thought.
The second-ranked Texas Longhorns swept past Texas State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night at Gregory Gym, further proving that UT has become the most dominant volleyball program in the Lone Star State.
Since Jerritt Elliott arrived nine years ago, the Longhorns have posted 70 victories to just seven losses against in-state opponents. UT is perfect against Texas Tech, has lost only once to Baylor and has won its past 43 matches against in-state foes.
The Longhorns have now won eight-straight matches against the Bobcats, and moved to 3-0 against them in NCAA play.
Streaks and all, nothing really came easy for UT. Texas State entered the match on a 13-match winning streak to surge into the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in school history.
But that's where UT used its power -- and edge. The Longhorns are a perfect 23-0 in first-round play.
"We've learned the composure that it takes," UT senior Ashley Engle says.
And they'll need more of it in the second round on Friday. The Longhorns match up against a sizzling TCU squad, determined to fight on in the Horned Frogs' first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. TCU swept past Rice in the first match on Thursday night, and has now won 13 of its past 14 matches. One of those victories came against ranked Long Beach State on Nov. 26.
"It's fantastic to get a win the first time. We're extremely ecstatic, but we also know we've got another match to play," TCU coach Prentice Lewis said. "There's celebration for about 15 minutes, then we have to scout and take care of what we can possibly do versus Texas."
The Longhorns could only prepare for Texas State by watching the Bobcats' most recent match. When they finally got to the court on Thursday, Texas State added a few new wrinkles, unveiling some plays that didn't appear to UT on the video screen.
But that's where all the victories, all the matches, all the experiences paid off. Between the second and third sets, the Longhorns calmly adjusted. They started serving shorter, and generally eliminated some attackers from the Bobcats' flow.
"We used our size to wear them down a little bit," UT coach Jerritt Elliott said.
As a result, the Longhorns remain virtually unblemished against in-state opponents. TCU now awaits.