Horns extend unbeaten streak

Shabab Siddiqui

Senior outside hitter Juliann Faucette continued her hot streak Wednesday with a 30-kill performance as the seventh-ranked Longhorns beat Baylor 23-25, 25-19, 27-25, 25-17 to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

The team dropped the first set before fighting back to capture the next three and extended its current streak against the Bears to 18.

“I was really pleased with our team tonight,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott. “Baylor came out and played really well in the first set. They were steady and sided out at a high percentage. I have had so much fun with this group. They fight in the crunch time.”

Playing without junior Amber Roberson, Texas relied more heavily on its captain to provide the offensive firepower, and Faucette delivered a career-high performance to go along with 15 digs and two blocks assisted. The San Diego native had tied her previous career-high of 28 over the weekend against Oklahoma.

“I’m proud of her,” Elliott said. “She has been through some tough times, but she has always stuck with it and continued to build. We told her you are going to find your rhythm at some point during the season and when you do, we are going to be scary. She continues to work hard and her work ethic is a tribute to where she is now. When she plays like this, we are a great team.”

It was a night of career-highs as junior setter Michelle Kocher notched a personal best 59 assists and freshman libero Sarah Palmer tallied 26 digs. The team also got double-digit kills from its regulars, including sophomore utility player Sha’Dare McNeal, junior middle blocker Rachael Adams and senior middle blocker Jennifer Doris. Senior Lauren Dickson, who has made appearances mostly as a serving specialist, started in the place of Roberson and put together a four-kill, 15-dig performance.

After splitting the first two sets, Texas fell behind early against Baylor 2-8 and 10-19 and fought off four set points before taking the game itself.

“They keep finding ways to win,” Elliott said. “That shows you the kind of character this team has. It was a great team effort.”

The Longhorns hit the road again on Saturday, as they face Texas Tech in Lubbock.