Mcneal out to get that elu­sive ti­tle

Horns’ only se­nior was on the side­lines when UT was stunned by Penn State 3 years ago.

Austin American-Statesman - - C SPORTS - By Suzanne Hal­libur­ton shal­libur­ton@states­man.com UT vol­ley­ball

LOUiSViLLE, Ky. — Sha’Dare McNeal was a fresh­man re­serve the last time Texas played for a vol­ley­ball na­tional cham­pi­onship.

That was in 2009, when the Longhorns lost in five sets to Penn State af­ter lead­ing 2-0 ear­lier in the match.

“That cham­pi­onship, I didn’t play,” McNeal said Fri­day, as Texas pre­pared to face Ore­gon in to­day’s na­tional cham­pi­onship match. “I was on the side­lines. But I was there.” coach Jer­ritt El­liott.

“Sha’Dare is the glue to our team,” El­liott said. “I felt like she got robbed of be­ing an Al­lAmer­i­can. Sha’Dare doesn’t al­ways re­ceive credit with this team, but within our staff, we know how valu­able she is.”

Teams con­cen­trate on tak­ing out Web­ster or Eck­er­man, Texas’ pow­er­ful left­side hit­ters who have won the past two Big 12 player of the year hon­ors. And they will play at­ten­tion to mid­dle blocker Khat Bell. Yet they’ll then leave McNeal un­cov­ered for a shot on the right.

“Know­ing that al­most ev­ery sin­gle time she hits the ball that it is go­ing to be put away, that is a great feel­ing,” Web­ster said. “I think the whole

JOSH RAS­MUSSEN / FOR AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

Sha’Dare McNeal ‘is the glue to our team,’ Texas coach Jer­ritt El­liott says.

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