No. 4 Texas Sweeps Past New Mexico State
LAS CRUCES, N.M - The fourth-ranked Texas Volleyball team recorded their second straight sweep at the New Mexico State Tournament, knocking off the host Aggies, 3-0, Saturday night at the Pan American Center. The 25-17, 25-19, 25-17 victory improved the Longhorns to 3-1 on the year, while the Aggies fell to 4-3.
The Longhorns built a large lead early in the first set, going on a 13-3 run fueled by a pair of block assists by freshman middle blocker Rachael Adams. Texas pushed the lead to 13 on junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker's third kill of the frame at the 24-13 mark, but a 6-0 New Mexico State run narrowed the Texas lead to 24-17. After a UT timeout sophomore All-American Juliann Faucette put down her fourth kill of the set and lifted the Longhorns to a 25-17 set win.
In the second set, Texas pieced together three separate 4-0 runs to build a 17-8 advantage, but on the heels of the third run the Aggies went on a 6-0 run and narrowed the Horns' edge to 17-14. Senior middle blocker Lauren Paolini and the Longhorns responded quickly with Paolini pacing a fourth 4-0 Texas run to move the tally to 22-15. New Mexico State trimmed the lead to 22-19, but three straight Texas points and a kill by Adams sealed the set and gave the Horns a 25-19 victory.
Texas leapt out to an early 4-0 edge in the third set, taking advantage of three NMSU errors and one Paolini kill. The Longhorns added a 5-0 run on a kill and a solo block by Hooker to push the advantage to 16-7, but the Aggies shrank the UT lead to five at 21-16. The Horns bounced back quickly, using a Hooker kill and two New Mexico State errors down the stretch to clinch the set, 25-17.
The Longhorns return to action at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 11 when it kicks off its home calendar against Texas State in the Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational.
- Texas' victory improve the Longhorns to 4-0 all-time against New Mexico State.
- The Longhorns' match against the Aggies will air via tape-delay on FSN Arizona at 6 p.m. Central on Sunday, Sept. 7.
- Freshman setter Michelle Kocher recorded her second career double-double against the Aggies, notching 21 assists and 10 digs in the victory.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On the victory: I thought we did some good things at times. We went on some really good runs, but at the same time we gave up several runs. Our blocking was excellent and blocking five balls per-set is a very huge stat. Tonight we made some uncharacteristic hitting errors that led to some of their runs, but I feel like we stayed steady throughout the match. When you are able to win in three games against a quality team like New Mexico State you have to be happy. We weren't quite as fluid as we were against Utah, but we did some good things and have other things that we can work on.
On Texas' strong blocking effort: Our blocking tonight was huge. Rachael Adams came in and did a great job for us and when we go to the 6-2 it allows us to get a little bit bigger up front. The 6-2 allows us to really put the pressure on a team and if we can continue to improve it will be really good for our defense.
On what Texas takes away from the weekend's games: I think our passing this weekend was a lot better than it was in our first weekend of play. I also thought that our side-out game was a lot better here in New Mexico. Tonight we had a few rotations that we struggled in, but I think overall our defense was significantly better and as the team gets more comfortable with one another they will continue to improve.
Article courtesy of Texas athletics.