Top 10 Roundup
No. 6 Texas completes improbable run in Big Four Classic
No. 6 Texas 3, No. 2 Stanford 1
AUSTIN, Texas -- One day removed from taking down top-ranked Penn State, No. 6 Texas Volleyball came back for a 3-1 (29-27, 18-25, 25-16, 27-25) win against No. 2 Stanford to conclude the Nike Volleyball Big Four Classic at Gregory Gym. The back-to-back victories mark the first time the Longhorns have defeated a No. 1 and 2 opponent in the same season since 1995.
The nation's premier collegiate volleyball tournament drew 8,629 fans and notched the first back-to-back sellouts in Texas Volleyball history.
The Longhorns (4-1) were led offensively by All-Americans Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster with 15 and 13 kills, respectively. Setters Hannah Allison (20 assists, 12 digs) and Chloe Collins (20 assists, 13 digs) recorded double-doubles in the win. It was Collins' second consecutive double-double in her freshman season.
Texas jumped out of the gate with a pair of service aces and four kills for an 8-4 lead in game one. After pulling ahead to a 17-12 advantage, the Cardinal crept back with five straight points to tie the game. The two teams traded points until the score was 20-all, and Texas built a 24-21 lead and set its eyes on closing out the game until Stanford again tied it up. Tied at 27-all, the Longhorns finally put the Cardinal away on an attack error and subsequent block by sophomore middle blocker Molly McCage.
With roles reversed in the second set, Stanford built an 8-4 lead before Texas notched five of its 10 kills in the game for a 12-all score. With the two teams battling back-and-forth and Texas trailing 15-17, the Cardinal capitalized on a 5-0 run for a 22-15 cushion to put set two out of reach for the Longhorns.
Finding its offensive rhythm following the break between sets, Texas led the entirety of game three behind four kills by Webster. Ahead by seven and the score at 13-6, the Longhorns never let the Cardinal within more than a six-point reach en route to taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
Texas sustained its momentum from game three early in the fourth set and broke away from a 3-all tie with a 6-1 run to go up 9-5. Using a 6-2 rally to make up ground, Stanford pulled within two at 18-16. Following a Texas timeout, the Cardinal took advantage of a pair of Longhorn hitting errors and tied the game at 20 points apiece. The teams matched one another point-for-point before Eckerman delivered her fourth ace of the day to set up match point and Webster added a block to clinch the match on a 27-25 finale.
Four players recorded double-figure kills for the Cardinal (2-2), with Brittany Howard leading the quartet with 14.
No. 1 Penn State 3, No. 8 Florida 0
AUSTIN, Texas -- No. 1 Penn State (3-1) defeated No. 8 Florida (5-1) in the final match of the Nike Big Four Classic in Austin, Texas Sunday afternoon, improving to 8-3 all-time against the Gators and 2-0 in the event.
Sophomore Megan Courtney led the Nittany Lions offense with her first double-double of the season, notching 11 kills and a team-best 12 digs. Redshirt freshman Paulina Preito Cerame followed close behind with nine kills, while junior Nia Grant recorded eight kills.
Junior Micha Hancock registered a squad-best performance from the service line with five aces, while posting five kills on six errorless swings for a .833 hitting clip.
After trailing early in the opening set, Hancock broke open a tie game, 7-7, with a pair of back-to-back service aces. Courtney and McClendon followed with kills to give the Nittany Lions a three-point advantage, 11-8. Holding on to the lead, PSU used a 9-4 streak to construct a 19-12 advantage, forcing the Gators to call two timeouts to in an effort to halt the momentum.
Following the break, UF used three consecutive kills and a service ace to attempt a comeback at 23-18 but was unable to mount a run as a Gator service error put Dominque Gonzalez at the line for set-point, 24-18. Gonzalez connected on an ace to seal the set, 25-18 in favor of the Nittany Lions.
Tied at 8-all in the second frame, Penn State used an 11-1 stretch to construct a double-digit advantage, 19-9. Hancock highlighted the streak with three consecutive aces, while Preito Cerame added two kills. Looking for set-point, 24-13, Florida remained alive, following three PSU attacking errors, 24-17. The Gators couldn't spark any momentum though, as a service error from Ziva Recek gave the Lions set two, 25-17.
Down by three, 6-3, in the third frame, Penn State rallied from behind with a 5-1 run, capped off by an ace from Grant, to claim the advantage, 8-7. Florida answered back with two kills to knot the game again, 9-9. As both teams continued to trade the lead throughout the remainder of the set, Recek smacked a kill to put the Gators up by one, 20-19.
Penn State then used a 5-0 run to close out the third set, as Grant, Courtney and Hancock all pounded kills to secure the victory.
No. 9 Hawaii 3, No. 10 UCLA 0
HONOLULU - In front of a sold-out crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center, the No. 9 University of Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine volleyball team had every answer for 10th-ranked UCLA in a 25-18, 25-17, 25-18 sweep on Saturday night in the championship match of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic.
Emily Hartong had a match-high 15 kills for UH (5-1) with Jade Vorster and Kalei Adolpho each contributing seven kills. Ali Longo had a match-high 11 digs with Adolpho also putting down five blocks.
Longo and Mita Uiato were named to the all-tournament team with Hartong voted Most Outstanding Player.
For the Bruins (5-1), Kelly Reeves had a team-high eight kills with Mariana Aquino adding five blocks.