Longhorns Snap The Streak
Sept. 27, 2009
LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 2 Texas Volleyball team snapped No. 6 Nebraska's 82-match winning streak at the NU Coliseum with its 3-1 win over the Huskers Saturday afternoon. The 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 25-17 victory was the Longhorns first win in Lincoln since 1988 and improved UT to 9-0 on the year and 4-0 in Big 12 play. The Cornhuskers loss dropped NU to 9-4 overall and 2-2 in league action.
Texas rallied early in the first with a 5-1 run capped by a kill from sophomore middle blocker Rachael Adams to take a 7-5 edge. The Huskers answered immediately with 7-1 run fueled by three kills from Hannah Werth that put NU in front, 12-8. Texas kept the tally close before tying the set at 15 and eventually taking an 18-17 lead on a Husker hitting error. Senior All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker tallied a kill and a solo block late in the set and UT took advantage of three straight Nebraska miscues to close out the set 25-22.
Nebraska jumped out to a quick 8-4 lead in the second, using a pair of kills and a service ace from Tara Mueller. The Horns battled back behind a 5-1 run capped by a double-block from Adams and senior All-America setter Ashley Engle that knotted the set at 11. The Cornhuskers responded with a 7-1 run highlighted by three kills and a block by Lindsey Licht that put NU on top, 18-12. Nebraska maintained the advantage down the stretch and closed out the frame, 25-18 on a pair of kills by Mueller.
In the third, Nebraska led out of the gate, but Texas rallied behind the serve of senior libero Heather Kisner to take an 11-8 edge. A kill by Adams and pair of double-blocks allowed the Longhorns to widen their lead to 18-12. Nebraska narrowed the lead to two later in the set before Texas fought back with a 6-2 run highlighted by three Hooker kills that lifted UT to a 25-17 win.
After falling behind 2-0 to start the fourth frame, Texas went on an 8-1 run capped by a Hooker kill to take an 8-3 lead. The Huskers pulled within two at the 12-10 mark on a Kori Cooper kill, but the Longhorns answered with a 7-0 run headlined by two kills from junior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette, pushing the tally to 20-11. Nebraska's 15th service error of the match sealed the set for the Horns, 25-17.
Hooker paced the Texas attack on the night with 15 kills on .308 hitting. Faucette added eight kills and five block assists, while Adams connected for seven kills and four total blocks.
Texas returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 30 when it hosts Texas A&M in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. Central.
POST-MATCH NOTES The Longhorns win snapped Nebraska's 82-match winning streak in the NU Coliseum and broke its 56-match streak against Big 12 opponents in Lincoln. After hitting .000 in the second set Texas bounced back to hit .481 in the third, while committing just one attack error. Texas is now 9-0 on the season with eight of its victories coming against ranked opponents. Destinee Hooker's 15-kill, 12-dig effort was her fourth kill/dig double-double of the season and the 17th of her career. Texas out-blocked Nebraska 11.0-to-8.0 on the night. Texas out-hit the Huskers .239-to-.132. The Cornhuskers committed 15 service errors in the loss.
POST-MATCH QUOTES Head coach Jerritt Elliott General statement: This is such a tough place to play. I thought we struggled for most of the match just trying to find our rhythm. We found ways to be successful and to be patient. I was very pleased with the way we were able to change our mentality after the break. We kept fighting and trying to earn this victory. It wasn't easy. Nebraska does things the right way and their fan support is unparalleled. It has been a long time since we have been able to win here and it feels good for our players. Overall it was a big win and a very important win for the Big 12 race.
On the victory: This win was very important for us with the way that the Big 12 has already started. There are a lot of teams that have two losses already. We are going to take every match one match at a time after getting this important victory here. A win like this builds confidence. There is a chance we could play in a regional here in Nebraska. I challenged the team at the break to look adversity in the eye and deal with the atmosphere.
On the difference for his team after the break: I think we were very efficient in the third and fourth sets. Our side-out game in the third set was very good. Nebraska had a lot of unforced errors tonight with serving and attacking errors and when that happens it is difficult to win. We did some nice things with our block tonight as well. Last year (Lindsey) Licht was one of the reasons they beat us here and today she didn't have that same match. Juliann (Faucette) did a really nice job on her with her block.
Senior setter Ashley Engle On the significance of the victory: It has definitely been one of our goals as a team to beat Nebraska at Nebraska. We have not won here since 1988 and I was born that year. It has been a really long time and that is because they have a great program, great fans and a team that always battles. The Big 12 Conference is very difficult and this is a very important win for helping us achieve our goal of winning the Big 12.
On Texas' rhythm: I think we struggled the whole match to find our rhythm. We didn't have a passing rhythm and I never really found my setting rhythm the entire match. This was probably my worst match of the season, but that is the great thing about having wonderful hitters around you. We started clicking in the third and our passing started to straighten out and we were getting kills with our middles and our outsides. When Nebraska was getting two blockers up it was difficult to hit around the block, so it was nice to have options. In the second set we completely unraveled and lost our composure, but I was proud of the way we bounced back.
Senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker On the significance of the win: Every time we come to Nebraska it is going to be a battle. They are a great team and this is a very difficult place to play. I'm glad we were able to come out with a win.
On the latter part of the first set: I think at that point we were focused on staying composed and taking care of our side of the net. The crowd was in it, but us staying focused on our side really helped us come out successful in the first set.