Dec. 13, 2008

Courtesy of Iowa State

AUSTIN, Texas- No. 3 Texas took advantage of big runs in all three of its set victories en route to a 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 17-25, 25-12) win over Iowa State in the NCAA Austin Regional final Saturday night in Austin, Texas. The loss ends ISU’s magical season at 22-13, as the Cyclones fell one win shy of earning a Final Four berth, the farthest ISU has advanced in the history of its program.

The Cyclones fought hard against the tough Longhorns, but could not overcome their .062 hitting percentage for the match. UT finished the match with a .273 hitting percentage. ISU was led by Victoria Henson and Rachel Hockaday, who registered 14 and 12 kills, respectively. It was Henson’s fifth-straight double-digit kill effort and 30th of the season.

UT took the first set, 25-19, thanks to a key 6-0 run that erased a 16-13 Cyclone advantage into a 19-16 Longhorn lead. ISU had three-straight attack errors and two service errors in the decisive Longhorn run. ISU hit .121 in the opening set, led by four kills from Henson. Destinee Hooker hit .500, drilling four kills with no errors in eight attempts to help UT hit .379 in the opening frame.

ISU again held an early led in the second set, sprinting out to a 7-3 advantage. UT, however, answered with another big run, outscoring the Cyclones 12-3 to move ahead 15-10 while taking control of the set. ISU cut the deficit to three points at 22-19 after freshman Debbie Stadick registered a solo block on Hooker, but the Longhorns tallied the final three points to win set two, 25-19. UT hit .375, while ISU struggled by recording a .000 hitting percentage.

The Cyclones were the aggressor in third set, hitting .357 percent en route to a 25-17 victory. Henson had four kills and Kaylee Manns had 10 assists in the set. The Cyclones also tallied four blocks, holding the Longhorns to a .143 hitting percentage. ISU was up 17-14, but ended the set on an 8-3 run to secure the win. A service ace by Amy Vos and a big double block by Manns and Jen Malcom on a Hooker swing helped the Cyclones thwart a Longhorn comeback.

ISU raced out to an 8-5 lead in the fourth set until the Longhorns went on an impressive 19-2 run to seal the match with a 25-12 win in set four. ISU managed to hit just -.200, while UT tallied a .242 hitting percentage in the the final frame.

Henson and Manns were both named to the Austin Regional All-Tournament team for the Cyclones. Manns finished the match with 35 assists and five kills. Ashley Mass tallied a team-high 15 digs and Malcom rejected five attempts to pace ISU on defense. Juliann Faucette and Hooker each recorded 13 kills to lead the Longhorns.