AUSTIN, TX - AUGUST 28, 2015- University of Texas Longhorns player Molly McCage (5) during the home opener for the University of Texas Longhorns against the Rice Owls in the TexasAmerican Campus Classic. (Erich Schlegel/Special Contributor)

Soccer

Texas sports notebook: Volleyball’s McCage soars up career blocking charts

Posted November 4th, 2015

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Molly McCage doesn’t like to pay attention to records, but she hasn’t had much of a choice lately.

Last week, Texas’ senior middle blocker set the volleyball program’s career record for assist blocks, and she continues to scale the chart for total blocks (eighth).

And to hear McCage talk about it, she couldn’t care less.

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“I don’t care about the individual accolades,” McCage said. “Every single game I put a priority on blocking. Hopefully, I can contribute that to my team this year because I know we need that defensively.”

In Texas’ surprise three-set loss at TCU on Oct. 28, McCage had four assists to surpass the 414 posted by Errica Hibben (1989-92). McCage’s record stands at 419 entering Thursday’s home match against West Virginia, which has yet to win a Big 12 match (5-16, 0-8).

The 6 feet, 3-inch McCage is currently eighth in total blocks with 452, and has at least six more matches to catch up. Jane Winkel (1994-97) is seventh with 467. Hibben’s record, 531, is probably out of reach.

Had McCage not spent the early part of the year at right-side hitter and not in the middle, her blocking totals would be higher. She’s headed for career-lows in blocks (66) and blocks per set (0.94).

So what’s the key to blocking? Aside from length and athleticism, of course.

“Patience,” McCage said. “Just being patient at the net and trusting your speed. Everyone here is fast and athletic. It’s just a matter of being patient and seeing the block and being over the net.”

Loss to TCU: Texas dropped three spots to No. 5 with the TCU loss, which was completely unexpected.

What happened? McCage chalked it up to a letdown after the team’s three-set win over previously-unbeaten Kansas five days earlier.

Texas and Kansas are now tied atop the Big 12 at 9-1.

“I don’t think we did it consciously, but we were confident and we knew it worked and we rested on that,” McCage said. “TCU played well. Their defense was on. Usually our offense can put it down. Having a ball come back to our side of the net kind of frazzled us.”

Alexa Adams, second from left, goes through stretches with the University of Texas women's soccer team at practice on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. Adams currently leads the team with five goals and 11 points. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Alexa Adams, second from left, goes through stretches with the University of Texas women’s soccer team at practice on Wednesday, October 21, 2015. Adams currently leads the team with five goals and 11 points. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Adams’ streak continues: In last Friday’s 3-0 win over Montana, freshman soccer player Alexa Adams extended her scoring streak to six matches, which is tied for second in program annals with four others.

Adams recorded five goals and four assists in those six matches, including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over Iowa State on Oct. 9.

Kelly Wilson (2001) holds the program record with points scored in nine straight matches.

Kelly nearing milestone: On Wednesday, soccer coach Angela Kelly was seeking her 200th coaching win in the Big 12 quarterfinal at Kansas. In 16 seasons, including the past four at Texas, Kelly had posted a mark of 199-113-32.

Runners qualify for Olympic trials: Former Texas runners Mark Pinales (2015) and Rory Tunningley (2013) turned in Olympic Marathon qualifying times at a half-marathon in Philadelphia last weekend.

Pinales finished 20th, crossing the finish line in 1:04.45. Tunningley (1:04.51) was 22nd. A time of 1:05.00 was needed to qualify.

The trials are Feb. 13 in Los Angeles.

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