PULLMAN, Wash. – Breeann David continued her onslaught of opposing teams Friday afternoon as the junior went for 16 kills while Courtney Ensch added 14 in Texas Tech’s 3-1 victory (26-24, 25-21, 23-25, 25-14) over Montana to open the Cougar Challenge at Bohler Gym.
The victory marked Tech’s fifth-straight heading into this evening’s nightcap against tournament host Washington State where the Red Raiders (5-1) will be facing their first Pac-12 school since 2008.
In the first of two meetings between Tech and Montana (2-3) this year, the Red Raiders used large runs to gain the early advantage on the Grizzlies, scoring five-straight points midway through the opening frame before going on an 8-0 in the second set.
Despite losing the third set, the Red Raiders rallied to put the Grizzlies away in the fourth, positing their largest margin of victory in a set this year. Tech ended the match on a 4-0 run after already posting a 5-0 run earlier in the frame.
David and Ensch combined for the majority of the Red Raider offense as the pair recorded 30 of Tech’s 58 kills. Montana, meanwhile, struggled to connect on just 39 kills as a team.
It was the sixth-straight match to start the year where David has both led the Red Raiders in kills and finished in double figures for the category. No Tech player had previously started a season by posting double digits in kills for six-straight matches since Kelly Johnson did so over the first seven contests of the 2004 season.
David took a season-high 46 attempts, the most by a Red Raider this year, while adding four digs, four aces and a team-high five blocks. She totaled 12 of her 16 kills in the first two sets alone.
For Ensch, though, it was yet another memorable performance to her already successful freshman campaign as her 14 kills marked a season high. She also hit over .300 for the third time this year thanks to a .440 hitting percentage that led all players.
Even with Ensch’s accuracy, Tech struggled with hitting errors as the Red Raiders totaled 28 miscues in the match en route to a .200 hitting percentage. Montana gave Tech problems with its blocking as the Grizzlies totaled 16 stuffs at the net.
Montana, likewise, struggled with errors as well, totaling 23 in the match on its way to a .130 hitting percentage. Kayla Reno led the Grizzlies with 13 kills while also adding 14 digs on the back row.
Part of Montana’s struggles stemmed from the play of Rachel Brummitt, who totaled 20 digs for her 10th career match to reach the 20-dig mark. She was followed by Carlie Foust and Emily Ruetter with eight digs and Ellen Sorrells with seven. Ruetter also had 43 assists to boost the Tech offense.
The Red Raiders are set to close the first day of the Cougar Challenge at 10 p.m. CT this evening when they take on Washington State.
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