Lawrence gave No. 2 Volleyball a kick start
Dec. 14, 2009
AUSTIN, Texas -- Hunter Lawrence was actually in the Texas Volleyball team's locker room last weekend in Omaha's Qwest Center. At least, his jersey was.
And his clutch winner's spirit.
Prior to Lawrence kicking the game-winning 46-yard field goal at the Big 12 Championship against Nebraska, Texas Volleyball head coach Jerritt Elliott sent text messages to all his captains. All season, the Longhorns have been motivated by a theme of "defining moments," so Elliott wrote, "This will be a defining moment for him. This is the moment we want to be in."
Once the Longhorns were preparing for the NCAA Volleyball Omaha Regional, Elliott wanted the theme to continue. Football coach Mack Brown shared a Lawrence jersey that Elliott placed in the locker room before the Longhorns took on Nebraska in the regional final.
"Sometimes adversity will face you, and you have to figure out what to do to be successful. The jersey was a reminder of what (Hunter) was able to do for our school," senior setter Ashley Engle said.
Then the Longhorns pulled off something similar.
The Cornhuskers -- buoyed by almost 10,000 home-state fans -- promptly took the first set, and held a lead in the second. Elliott all but predicted this during his locker room speech, when he presented the jersey to the team.
"You're going to be pushed," Elliott told the Longhorns. "Look adversity straight in the eye and go after it being a winner."
After dropping the first set, UT won the next three and never allowed the Cornhuskers more than 18 points in any of those sets.
"You want a challenge, you want to be down and find a way to win," Engle said. "And then we were, and then we did.
"Mack Brown and the whole team have been really supportive during the entire journey. It's really cool to have all these teams at Texas highly ranked and doing well, but it's also cool how much we support each other."