Engle Paces No. 4 Texas Past No. 14 Kansas State, 3-2


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MANHATTAN, Kan. - Texas junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle records a season-best 24 kills on .488 hitting to lead the No. 4 Longhorns past No. 14 Kansas State, 3-2, Saturday night. The Longhorns' 30-28, 25-21, 22-25, 22-25, 15-9 victory improved UT to 21-3 on the year and 14-2 in the Big 12, while the Wildcats dropped to 22-6 overall and 12-5 in league play.

Junior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker notched three kills and helped the Longhorns jump out to a quick 7-3 lead in the fifth set. The Wildcats narrowed the margin to two (7-5), but a 6-1 run highlighted by a pair of block assists from sophomore All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette gave UT a 13-6 lead. The Longhorns moved the tally to 14-7 on a kill by senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini and closed out the match, 15-9 on a second kill by Paolini.

Texas fought off four Kansas State set points in the first set before finally stringing together three points to earn a 30-28 win. The Longhorns led early in the frame, but a 5-1 run by the Wildcats gave Kansas State its first lead at the 16-15 mark. Back-to-back kills by Engle and Faucette helped the Horns even the tally at 23. The Wildcats forced a set point at 25-23, but the Horns fought off KSU until a three-point run paced by a kill from junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle and a pair of KSU service errors lifted UT to victory.

A 5-0 run paced by three kills from Hooker helped the Horns grab an early 9-6 edge in the second frame. Texas extended its lead to 14-10, but a 6-1 K-State rally erased the margin and put the Wildcats ahead, 16-15.  The Longhorns responded immediately with a 3-0 run capped by a Hooker kill to regain the lead at the 18-16 mark. Texas then closed out the set, 25-21 with a 3-1 run highlighted by kills from Engle and Paolini.

In the third set, Texas fell behind early, but three Engle kills fueled a 5-1 Horns' run and put UT ahead, 5-4. Kansas State's Natalya Korobkova answered with four straight points to give the Wildcats an 8-5 edge. The Longhorns kept the tally tight, not trailing by more than three points throughout the frame with Engle pacing Texas with eight kills. A solo block and a kill by Hooker on consecutive points narrowed the margin to one (22-21), but a Korobkova kill and a UT attack error allowed Kansas State to close out the set, 25-22.

Texas led early in the fourth set until a 5-1 Kansas State run moved the Wildcats in front, 9-7. Engle paced a 5-1 run to put the Horns back ahead, 14-12, but a 5-1 KSU run capped by a Korobkova kill put the Wildcats ahead 23-20. Engle connected for a pair of kills to narrow the margin to two (24-22), but a kill by Kelsey Chipman closed out the set for K-State, 25-22.

Texas' returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 19 when it plays host to No. 3 Nebraska. The match is slated for an 8 p.m. start on ESPNU.

Article courtesy of Texas athletics.

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