Volleyball Opens Season in Houston

LUBBOCK, TX - The Texas Tech volleyball team kicks off its 2017 season this weekend as it travels to Houston for the two-day Barcelona HBU Classic at Sharp Gym on the campus of Houston Baptist Friday-Saturday, Aug. 25-26.

The Red Raiders begin the season Friday with a 1:30 p.m., meeting against Northern Kentucky, followed by a 7 p.m., showdown with host Houston Baptist. Tech continues play Saturday against Texas Southern at 10 a.m., and South Alabama at 4:30 p.m.

“I feel like we have put our work in and we are more than ready,” head coach Tony Graystone said Wednesday. “Any time we’re playing, it doesn’t matter who we are playing, we want to win, we expect to win and we are going down there with that intention. [Starting] 4-0 is definitely on our mind. That’s what we want. If we play well and do our thing, those are realistic things to talk about.”

Tech’s match against HBU will be streamed on the Southland Digital Network, which is available at SouthlandDigitalNetwork.com, through their smart phone apps for Apple and Android and through their smart TV apps for Apple TV, Android, Amazon Fire and Roku. Live stats are hosted at HBUHuskies.com.

The Norse of Northern Kentucky return eight letterwinners off a squad that went 18-11 last season and 11-5 in the Horizon league. HBU, meanwhile, returns nine players from a club that went 18-15 overall and 9-7 in the Southland in 2016. Texas Southern returns nine letterwinners off last year’s team that finished 22-11 and 16-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. South Alabama has 12 players returning off a 16-14 club that went 7-9 in the Sun Belt in 2016. 

Texas Tech returns nine student-athletes off last year’s squad with a trio of juniors leading the way. 2017 Preseason All-Big 12 selection Reyn Akiu leads the way from the libero spot, while middle blocker Katy Keenan and outside hitter Sarah Redding provide plenty of power at the net.

Several newcomers will be playing their first games in a Red Raider uniform. Transfers Missy Owens, a setter from Long Beach State, Emily Hill, an outside hitter from Mississippi State and Kate Klepetka, a defensive specialist from Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, will factor in heavily. Freshmen Allison White, Emerson Solano and Haley Harman could also see major playing time.

(Courtesy: Texas Tech Sports Communications Department)

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