Volleyball preview: NCAA Semifinals
Dec. 15, 2008
MATCH #33-34: No. 3 TEXAS (29-3, 18-2 Big 12)
• The Longhorns won their 13th and 14th straight matches, knocking off No. 9 UCLA and Iowa State in the NCAA Austin Regional to advance to the National Semifinals for the fifth time in UT history and the first time since 1995 ... the win improved Texas' all-time NCAA postseason mark to 53-22.
• Texas is 6-2 in 2008 against ranked opponents, defeating No. 3 USC, 3-0 (8/29), No. 3 Nebraska, 3-1 (11/19), No. 9 UCLA (12/12), No. 13 Wichita State, 3-0 (12/6) and twice defeating No. 17/14 Kansas State, 3-0 on 10/4 and 3-2 on 11/15 ... Texas is 13-2 this year against teams that qualified for the NCAA field, including its wins over Lamar, WSU, UCLA and Iowa State.
• UT won its first NCAA Regional final match after making the final for three straight years ... UT lost to Stanford, 3-1 in 2006 and lost USC, 3-0 in 2007.
• The Horns' win over Iowa State improved UT to 29-3 in 2008, marking the program's highest win total since 1993.
• The Longhorns victory against Wichita State clinched the 2008 senior class (Lauren Paolini and Kiley Hall) its 102nd career victory, a mark that made them the winningest class in the Jerritt Elliott era ... the class has now notched 104 career wins.
• Texas landed junior opposite hitter Ashley Engle, junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker and senior middle blocker Lauren Paolini on the first-team, while sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette earned an honorable mention nod ... the honor was the third first-team honor of Hooker's career and the second for Engle (2006) and Paolini (2007).
• Four Big 12 teams (Texas, Nebraska, Kansas State and Iowa State) were selected to play in the tournament, and seven of UT's regular season opponents earned NCAA bids ... three Big 12 teams advanced to the NCAA Regional finals for the first time in league history.
• The Horns are participating in their 25th NCAA Tournament, the eighth-most appearances in the nation ... beginning in 1982 - the team's first NCAA Tournament - Texas advanced to 18 straight tournaments (1982-2000)
• Texas is making its fifth trip to the National Semifinals and its first since 1995.
• The Longhorns are one of just three teams located east of California to win an NCAA Championship (1988), joining Nebraska (1995, 2000, 2006) and Penn State (1999, 2007).