No. 3 Texas Advances to NCAA National Semifinals with Win Over Iowa State
AUSTIN, Texas - The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team downed Iowa State, 3-1, Saturday night to advance to the NCAA National semifinals for the first time since 1995. All-America outside hitter Destinee Hooker and Juliann Faucette hammered out 13 kills each to lift the Horns to victory in the NCAA Austin Regional. Texas' 25-19, 25-19, 17-25, 25-12 win improved UT to 29-3 on the year and dropped Iowa State to 22-13. The Longhorns will take on Stanford in the first semifinal on Thursday, Dec. 18 in Omaha, Neb.
Texas and Iowa State battled back and forth to start the first set before a 3-0 ISU run put the Cyclones ahead, 16-13. The Horns immediately answered with an 11-2 run fueled by two kills from Hooker and seven Iowa State miscues that moved the tally to 24-18. After an ISU point, junior All-America opposite hitter Ashley Engle connected for a kill to close out the frame, 25-19.
In the second set, Texas trailed early and did not claim its first lead until a solo block by Jennifer Doris put UT ahead, 10-9. Doris followed with two more blocks to pace a 5-0 Horns run that widened the margin to 16-10. Iowa State whittled the lead down to 22-19, but three straight points, including a Doris solo block and two Hooker kills closed out the set, 25-19.
The Longhorns struggled out the gate in the third frame, forcing six ties, but never capturing the lead. A 5-1 Cyclones run widened the gap to 12-8 and ISU eventually stretched the lead to 16-10. Texas ran off three straight points on kills from Hooker and senior All-America middle blocker Lauren Paolini to trim the edge to three (16-13), but the Cyclones were too strong down the stretch, earning a 25-17 set win.
Texas struggled to start the fourth set, falling behind 4-0, but bounced back with a quick 4-0 run of its own that evened the tally. Iowa State responded, reclaiming the lead briefly at the 8-5 mark, but Texas answered with a 19-2 run that set up match point at the 24-10 mark. During Texas' run, Faucette connected for four kills and Paolini added a kill and a solo block. Iowa State posted two points to move the score to 24-12, but a thunderous kill by Faucette closed the set and the match, 25-12.
The Longhorns out-hit the Cyclones .273-to-.062 on the night, while ISU out-blocked UT, 11.5-to-7.0.
NCAA Austin Regional All-Tournament Team
Victoria Henson, Iowa State
Kaylee Manns, Iowa State
Heather Meyers, Oregon
Destinee Hooker, Texas
Michelle Kocher, Texas
Lauren Paolini, Texas - Most Outstanding Player
Ali Daley, UCLA
Article courtesy of Texas athletics.