Red Raider Volleyball to Begin 2014 Season With Titan Classic

Texas Tech volleyball will face Sacred Heart on Friday, and play a doubleheader on Saturday
LUBBOCK, Texas (Texas Tech Press Release) – The Texas Tech volleyball program will begin its 39th season of competition Friday at 6 p.m. CST, when it faces Sacred Heart, at the Titan Classic, in Fullerton, Calif. The Red Raiders will follow that up with a doubleheader on Saturday, facing Bucknell at noon CST and the host, Cal State Fullerton, at 9 p.m. CST.
 
starting it off right
Season openers have traditionally come easy for the Red Raiders, who are 29-13 all-time in such matches and 1-2 under fourth-year head coach Don Flora entering this weekend’s Titan Classic. Texas Tech fell to Seattle, 3-0, to begin the 2013 season, before rebounding to win its next three and a share of the Wildcat Invitational title.
       TEXAS TECH IN SEASON OPENERS UNDER DON FLORA
       Date      Opponent                                 Result                 Scores
       8/26/11   at TCU                                     L, 1-3                 22-25, 23-25, 25-18, 22-25
       8/24/12  vs. Fordham                           W, 3-1                 26-24, 25-12, 27-29, 25-11
       8/30/13 vs. Seattle                                 L, 0-3                 20-25, 19-25, 22-25
 
who’s got next?
The Red Raiders will travel to Edinburg, Texas, next weekend for the UTPA Invitational. Tech will begin the tournament with a doubleheader on Friday, Sept. 5, against Texas A&M--Corpus Christi and the host school, Texas-Pan American, before facing Lamar on Sept. 6.
 
non-con domination
Texas Tech will look to continue its dominance over non-conference foes this weekend as the Red Raiders are a combined 32-16 against out-of-league opponents under third-year head coach Don Flora. Tech went 14-2 against non-conference opponents in Flora’s first season before turning in an 11-5 mark in 2013, and going 7-9 a year ago. During that span, Tech has gone 9-2 when hosting non-conference action at the United Spirit Arena, and 14-5 when playing at a neutral site. Both of the home non-conference losses under Flora came during the injury-riddled 2013 season.
 
can you dig it?
In only one season, Rachel Brummitt went from a relatively unknown transfer to a school record holder and one of the top liberos in the Big 12. She only got better in 2013. She broke her own single-season record (604) and single-game record (36) for digs in 2013. She was tabbed as an AVCA honorable mention All-American for her exploits, and both her and Bree David played for the collegiate national team over the summer. She only needs 470 digs, a mark she has eclipsed in both seasons at Tech, to become the school’s all-time leader.
 
red raiders, extra seasoning
In 2014, The Red Raiders return 14 letterwinners from the injury-riddled 2013 season, 12 of those being upperclassmen, creating arguably the most experienced roster Flora has had at Tech. They aren’t just experienced, they’re talented. Rachel Brummitt and Bree David both played for the U.S. collegiate national team this summer, gaining valuable experience and leadership intangibles. Mixed with a talented crop of incoming freshmen, Tech will eye its first winning season since 2001, in 2014.
 
killer instinct
When the Red Raiders amassed more kills than their opponent, it usually meant a win. Tech was 9-2 in such games in 2013, and is 30-4 in such games under Flora. Despite battling through injuries for a good portion of 2013, Bree David totaled 282 kills, good for second-most on the team, but her eye-popping 3.4 kills per set was the best mark on the team. David was also accurate with her kills, finishing with a hitting percentage of .213, second-best on the team. Jenna Allen, who will be a junior in 2014, also didn’t play in as many games as she would like, but she was on David’s heels, amassing 182 kills in 56 sets, good enough for 3.25 kills/set.
 
THE DENVER CITY HAMMER
Not shy from coining nicknames, Texas Tech head coach Don Flora has long referred to senior outside hitter Breeann David as the “Denver City Hammer.” Named for both her hometown of nearby Denver City, Texas, as well as her hard-hitting ability, David enters her senior year as arguably Tech’s most important offensive weapon, after she led the team with a 3.4 kills per set average a year ago. David is fourth on the all-time Big 12 active list in both kills (757) and attacks (2,076). Her father, Stan David, was a standout football player for the Red Raiders and eventual 1984 NFL Draft selection by the Buffalo Bills. Her mother, Megan David (formerly McGuire), also starred on the volleyball team while at Tech where she still ranks in the top 10 in most career blocking categories. Her younger brother, Clancy David, was once a walk-on on the Tech football team.
 
national names
Red Raider seniors Rachel Brummitt and Breeann David each played for the U.S. collegiate national volleyball team in the summer of 2014. David was invited to compete in the European Tour that ran July 8-19 with visits to Italy, Slovenia and Croatia, and Brummitt competed in conjunction with the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships held June 22-July 1 in Minneapolis, Minn. Both players previously traveled to the U.S. Olympic Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for Team USA tryouts in February. They were two of 248 athletes to compete in the tryouts that were for both the U.S. Women’s National Team and the U.S. Collegiate National Team.
 
dishing it out
Junior setter Emily Ruetter, in just two years, has become one of Tech’s most prolific setters in school history.  She just fell short of entering Tech’s all-time top-10 for single-season assists, but she ranks ninth career-wise in school history, with 2,199 assists, and is second on the Big 12’s all-time active list, just six shy of being the leader. Even with the intense competition Tech has at setter in 2014, Ruetter will still find herself climbing the all-time lists.
 
preseason freshman phenom--take 2
Texas Tech’s Victoria Hinneburg was named the Big 12 Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year prior to the 2013 season, marking the first time a Red Raider had ever garnered the award. However, she was sidelined with an injury and redshirted for the 2013 campaign. Hinneburg, a native of Leipzig, Germany, was just the third Red Raider to earn a conference preseason award, joining Colleen Smith (1999) and Justine Young (2010) who were both named the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Hinneburg, at an intimidating 6-4, is another one of the pieces that was missing in 2013, which returns in 2014.
 
YOUTH MOVEMENT
Texas Tech welcomes five talented freshmen to its roster this fall, in Ashley Morgan, Alyssa Ybanez, Alexis Bell, Audrey Fragniere and Taylor Haskins. This group brings a slew of All-State and All-Conference honors, standout performances at the club level and national team appearances, making this incoming class one of the most talented in Don Flora’s tenure at Texas Tech.
       2014 texas tech volleyball newcomers
       Name                  POS      YEAR                             Hometown
       Ashley Morgan DS/LIB      FR                               Plano, Texas
       Alyssa Ybanez      OH         FR                               Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
       Alexis Bell           OH         FR                               Austin, Texas
       Audrey Fragniere OH/RS   FR                               Neuchatel, Switzerland
       Taylor Haskins     OH         FR                               Kennesaw, Ga.
 
international flavor
Tech’s coaching staff has done a great job of maintaining a foothold in Texas while expanding its reach to other regions of the country, but with the addition of Audrey Fragniere in 2014, Texas Tech now also has three players from foreign countries on the roster. Fragniere (Switzerland) joins Victoria Hinneburg (Germany) and Emily Ruetter (Canada) as international players donning the scarlet and black in 2014.
 
BIG 12 staying on top
The Big 12 will once again be one of the toughest volleyball conferences nationally this season as the league is boosted by preseason favorite and second-ranked Texas, while No. 20 Kansas is also ranked in the top-25 of the AVCA preseason poll. Both Oklahoma and Iowa State received votes in the poll as well. The Big 12 has earned four or more bids to the NCAA Tournament in each season of the conference’s existence.
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