Texas Earns 1,000th Win in Program History
AUSTIN, Texas - It took five sets, but the second-ranked Texas Volleyball team downed No. 23 Long Beach State, 3-2, Saturday night to earn the 1,000th victory in UT history. The Longhorns took an early 2-0 edge in the 25-16, 25-20, 16-25, 20-25, 15-11 win before the 49ers battled back to force a fifth set. Texas' win improved the Horns to 5-1 on the season, while Long Beach State suffered its first loss and fell to 5-1.
Sophomore opposite hitter Sha'Dare McNeal headlined the Longhorns' attack with 14 kills and 13 digs to record the second kill/dig double-double of her career. Senior All-America outside hitter Juliann Faucette connected for 15 kills in the win, while junior Amber Roberson chipped in 12 and junior middle blocker added 10 kills on .571 hitting.
In the first, Texas fell behind 4-1 before a 7-0 service run by freshman setter Hannah Allison pushed UT ahead, 8-4. The Longhorns widened the lead to six on a kill by Faucette that moved the tally to 17-11. Kills by Adams and McNeal late in the set forced set point at the 24-15 mark and a 49ers service error sealed the set, 25-16.
Texas leapt out to a 7-3 lead in the second frame and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. The Horns widened the margin to 15-10 on a kill by Allison and stretched the lead to 21-14 on Adams' third kill of the set. Texas turned up the heat down the stretch and senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris closed out the set, 25-20 with a solo block.
The Longhorns were sluggish to start the third set, but managed to battle back and tied the game at 11 all, but failed to claim the lead. A 9-1 run fueled by two kills from Janisa Johnson stretched the 49ers lead to 22-13 and a set-ending kill by Caitlin Ledoux handed LBSU a 25-16 set victory.
In the fourth, Texas took a 9-5 lead on a kill by McNeal and led as late as the 15-14 mark, but a Long Beach State timeout changed the landscape of the set. The 49ers used a 5-1 run out of the timeout to take a 19-16 lead and two kills by Ledoux late in the set allowed Long Beach to force set point at the 24-20 mark. A service ace by Johnson sealed the set 25-20 and forced a fifth and decisive set.
Texas struggled early in the fifth, falling behind 3-1, but it righted the ship quickly when a Faucette kill capped a 4-0 run and put UT ahead, 5-3. The Horns widened their lead to four when an errant attack by Johnson hit the pin at the 10-6 mark and UT pushed the margin to 13-8 on a kill by Faucette. Adams connected for a kill to force set point (14-9) and after a pair of Texas errors a Long Beach service error ended the stanza, 15-11.
Texas returns to action on Friday, Sept. 10 when it meets No. 3 Stanford at the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic in Gainesville, Fla. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. Central.
Michelle Bartsch, Illinois - Most Outstanding Player
Jennifer Bonilla, Illinois - Most Outstanding Libero
Laura DeBruler, Illinois
Colleen Ward, Illinois
Caitlin Ledoux, Long Beach State
Rachael Adams, Texas
Juliann Faucette, Texas
Sha'Dare McNeal, Texas
- Texas' victory against Long Beach improved its record to 2-3 all-time against the 49ers and extended its win streak against LBSU to two matches.
- Sha'Dare McNeal recorded her second career kill/dig double-double with her 14-kill, 13-dig effort.
- Freshman libero Sarah Palmer registered a career-best 15 digs in her first career start.
- Hannah Allison posted her first career assist/dig double-double in the win, recording 48 assists and 11 digs.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott
On the game: I am very pleased with the win tonight. We thought our players gutted it out and got the win. We were able to make a lot of the adjustments in game five to allow ourselves to come out with a win. It wasn't as smooth as it was last weekend. We've got some work to do as far as our passing tempos, setting tempos and hitting rhythms. It's something we can fix and we know that. We're excited about next week we have a great tournament coming up at Florida with Stanford, Penn State and Florida. We've got to get back in the gym and get some quality contacts.
On the 1,000th win: It's a nice honor for the program. I have been here for 10 years already. There are a lot of people that were responsible for those victories. With Jody Conradt being the first volleyball coach and to Mick Haley and now it is my opportunity. There have been a lot of All-Americans and players that have been a part of that. It's nice to see this program be an elite program based on the number of wins and we will try to relay that with an email to the alumni. We're honored. It's an honor to be a coach here, it's an honor to be a player here and we recognize that and it's because of the rich tradition of having 1,000 wins.