SAN MARCOS, TX - The Texas Tech volleyball team earned a 3-0 sweep at Texas State Friday night at Strahan Coliseum in the second round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship.
With wins over SMU and Texas State in the NIVC San Marcos regional, the Red Raiders (17-14, 4-12) advance to the Quarterfinals, where they’ll take on UC Irvine (24-7, 10-6 Big West) Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 4 p.m. at the TCU Rec Center in Fort Worth.
Tech outhit the Bobcats .306 to .183 and outblocked them by five on its way to a 25-18, 25-10, 26-24 victory. The Red Raiders checked off another milestone as they move past the second round of a postseason tournament for the first time in program history.
“It’s so much fun to watch our girls grow so fast now that we’re in these playoff matches,” head coach Tony Graystone said. “You see what they’ve been learning all year. I’m really happy with the last three or four points of the match where we fought back. We’re going to celebrate, enjoy what we’ve done and appreciate how we’ve gotten here. We know UC Irvine is a well-rounded group, so we’re going to have to be ready for them.”
After combining for 37 kills Thursday, sophomore outside hitters Chandler Atwood and Emily Hill led the team in kills again Friday with 14 and 12, respectively. Junior middle Katy Keenan was the team’s most efficient weapon, recording nine kills and just one error on 14 swings to finish with a .571 clip. Atwood’s .414 hitting percentage marked a season high as she led the team in kills for the 12th time in 2017.
Freshman Allison White led the team with four blocks while Keenan and Hill chipped in three each. Senior libero Kate Klepetka posted a team-high 13 kills and two aces, and junior setter Missy Owens distributed 33 assists.
Texas State (21-10) was led by senior Jaliyah Bolden’s 12 kills. Sophomore Micah Dinwiddie tallied 21 digs while setter Erin Hoppe finished with 25 assists.
Tech used a 6-2 run late in the first set to help turn its 16-15 edge into a 22-17 advantage. The Red Raiders got four kills from Atwood in the frame while holding Texas State to .189 hitting.
The momentum carried over into the second, where Tech jumped out to a 14-5 lead and never looked back. The Red Raiders recaptured their firepower from Thursday’s sweep of SMU, hitting at a .406 clip to earn their biggest set win of the season at 25-10.
The Red Raiders led by as many as three at four separate instances during the third set, but Texas State mounted a 6-1 run late in the frame to take a 23-21 lead. Owens would dial up two kills from Keenan and one from Atwood to retake the lead at 24-23. After the Bobcats saved match point, Tech forced a pair of errors to finish out the match.
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- Tech moves past the second round of a postseason tournament for the first time in program history.
- Tech improves to 20-5 all-time against Texas State and 6-3 against the Bobcats in San Marcos.
- The 25-10 win in set two marked Tech’s largest of the season.
- Hill has been in double figures for 23 matches this season, Atwood 20.
- Tech is now 12-0 in 2017 when holding its opponent under .200 hitting and 6-0 when hitting .300 or better.
- Tech is now 13-2 this season against out-of-conference foes.
(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)
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