McNeal leads Longhorns to win

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After an injury prevented her from playing much of the first half of the season, junior Sha’Dare McNeal hit her stride.

She led the No. 9 Longhorns (20-4, 13-1 Big 12) to their 13th consecutive win on Saturday night, defeating Missouri on the road, 3-1.

McNeal had 15 kills and .750 hitting percentage. She was also vital on defense, with four total blocks and 11 digs.

In the first set, Texas allowed the Tigers to take a 14-12 lead. But sophomore Bailey Webster’s two kills and a block aided Texas in a 10-3 run, giving the Longhorns the lead. A kill by Webster ended the set, 25-19. She had 14 kills in the match The Longhorns let the Tigers back into the match in the second set. Texas was up 24-21, but three errors by the team were costly and Missouri won the set, 28-26.

The Longhorns were on a mission in the third set. They took a 10-2 lead after five blocks and never looked back, winning the set 25-9. Freshman Madelyn Hutson had a career-high total with seven total blocks, and the team had a total of six blocks in the third set.

The momentum from the third-set win transferred into the third when the Longhorns took a 18-7 lead, aided by two kills and two blocks by senior Rachael Adams. As the set came to a close, Texas refused to let down, and two kills by Webster and two blocks by Adams finished the set 25-9.

The Longhorns out-hit Missouri .323 to .137 and out-blocked them 15.0 to 7.0.

Head coach Jerritt Elliott said at this point in the season, it is sometimes difficult to keep the team motivated. But the Longhorns are still on top of the Big 12 standings with two games left in conference play.

Printed on Monday, November 21, 2011 as: McNeal leads Longhorns to road victory