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Yogi happy with Texas' effort


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POSTED: Sunday, December 20, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. » In some ways it was a rerun of how Texas' volleyball season ended last year.

Penn State came back from a two-set hole to beat the Longhorns for the national title last night at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Last year, Texas also lost its last match despite being ahead 2-0 in sets. That time it was in the national semifinals, to Stanford. The score was the same in the fifth set both times, the wrong end of 15-13. This time it had to be worse, since it was for the championship, right?

Not necessarily, said defensive specialist Sydney Yogi a few minutes after last night's loss.

“;The difference was we fought tonight. Of course we're upset because we lost. But it was just a couple of points here and there,”; said Yogi, a sophomore from Hawaii Kai and Punahou.

It didn't take Yogi and her teammates long to occasionally regain their smiles through reddened and moist eyes, as the all-tournament team was announced and Longhorns Ashley Engle, Juliann Faucette and Destinee Hooker (most outstanding) were named. It was a reminder of how well they'd played against Penn State, which has now won 102 consecutive matches and the last three NCAA titles.

“;I'm sure (the pain) will go away at some point, but we definitely want to carry it for next year and have a chip on our shoulders. We know we were right there,”; Yogi said.

Yogi, who served first each set for the Longhorns and rotated in and out of the back row, finished the match with modest stats of six digs, three assists and one service error. But she said she played better as an individual than in Thursday's semifinal win against Minnesota.

“;Definitely. I really wanted it tonight and was ready for it,”; she said.

Yogi didn't care to speculate if Texas might have won if the rules dictated the fifth set be played to 25 points like the first four.

“;Twenty-five, 15, either way you race for the finish and it starts 0-0. Fifteen is the way the game is. And the first 15 points are always the most important anyway,”; she said.

It will be a long flight thinking about what was so close and what might have been, but Yogi said she's excited to finally be headed home for Hawaii.

“;Ahh, yes. I was only there for two days in the summer. That was part of our commitment. Last spring we all decided to stay (in Austin) all summer, train and go to summer school. We worked very hard to get here, and I have no regrets.”;