On Saturday night, Texas volleyball’s history 1000th victory was overshadowed by the football game. Earlier in the week, the Horns were awarded a number two ranking after strolling through the Burnt Orange Classic. This weekend’s Time Warner Cable Texas Invitational featured much stronger competition with Florida A&M, #5 Illinois, and #23 Long Beach State travelling to Austin.
Texas moved to 4-0 after defeating the Florida A&M Rattlers, who have won the MEAC Conference nine consecutive times. Oddly enough, the core of their team was all Peruvian (in the same way that half of Oklahoma’s roster is Texans). Long story short, Texas effectively shut down any attacks at the net and recorded twenty blocks.
Texas volleyball losses are rare. Texas volleyball home losses pretty much don’t happen. On Friday night, Illinois had Texas’ number in three sets. The sweep abruptly ended the Gazelle’s twenty-five match home winning streak and was the first time home sweep since 2003. The Horns started slow and never were able to gain control of the tempo.
Fired up from the night before, the Longhorns fought their way through Long Beach State. Both veterans and rookies alike were able to contribute to the historic victory. Freshman Hannah Allison set her way to 48 assists and pulled Texas out of a hole with a seven-point service run. Upperclass(wo)men Rachel Adams and Juliann Faucette combined for twenty-five kills and three service aces. Coach Jerritt Elliott commented after the game, "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."
Texas faces #3 Stanford on Friday in the Nike Big Four Volleyball Classic. The Horns will then take on either #1 Penn State or Florida the next day (gulp).