West Virginia Edges Texas Tech in Five Sets

Red Raiders fall Saturday afternoon in five sets for the second time this week
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Texas Tech pushed West Virginia to a fifth set Saturday afternoon but, for the second time this week, could not score the victory as the Mountaineers escaped with a 3-2 win (25-13, 19-25, 26-24, 23-25, 16-14) at the WVU Coliseum.
 
It was the second five-set loss for the Red Raiders (8-18; 1-9) in the past four days as Tech also fell at Iowa State on Wednesday evening after mounting a comeback from a two-set deficit. Tech is now 2-3 in five-set matches this year.
 
The Red Raiders had a chance at match point in the fifth and decisive set but responded with one of their 13 service errors on the day en route to allowing West Virginia (17-8; 3-6) to tie the frame and eventually win the next two points.
 
“After an atrocious first set, I thought we refocused and competed well the rest of the way,” Tech head coach Don Flora said. “It was good to see our team do that. Having a match point and letting it get away from you hurts. But as a team you have to want to make plays to win in the Big 12.”
 
West Virginia hit .333 in the final frame alone with just one attacking error while siding out in 10-of-15 opportunities. It was the final sideout opportunity that was the difference for Tech as the Red Raiders were 9-for-15 in such situations during the final frame.
 
Similarly to its match against the Cyclones earlier this week, Tech had to come from behind to force the fifth set after West Virginia claimed a decisive first-set victory and then edged the Red Raiders in the third as well.
 
Both teams featured balanced attacks throughout the match with four West Virginia players finishing in double figures for kills, led by Jordan Anderson with 15, while three Red Raiders also reached double digits.
 
The Mountaineers totaled two more kills than Tech overall as Hannah Sackett recorded 14 while Nikki Attea and Caleah Wells added 13 each as well. Attea and Anderson both had double-doubles after posting 12 and 21 digs each.
 
Aubree Piper led the Tech attack with one of her best matches of the season from the middle as she connected on 16 kills on 31 attempts for a .419 hitting percentage. Her 16 kills marked her most during Big 12 play so far this season.
 
She was assisted on the attack by Meghan Stacy and Jenna Allen on the outside who both totaled 15 kills apiece. Stacy finished with a .324 hitting percentage after taking 37 swings with just three errors.
 
Allen, meanwhile, recorded one of two double-doubles in the match for the Red Raiders as she totaled 12 digs along the back row. It was her fourth double-double already this season in just 10 matches played.
 
Emily Ruetter came off the bench to distribute a balanced attack with 50 assists to go along with 10 digs for her team-leading ninth double-double of the year. Nicole Hragyil also totaled 14 digs for the Red Raiders.
 
Even with the loss, the match should be memorable for libero Rachel Brummitt as she reached the 1,000 dig mark for her career after totaling 19 in the match, seven of which that came in the final set. She enters Wednesday night’s match with Kansas State needing 11 more digs to tie her own single-season school record from a year ago.
 
Tech led the Mountaineers, 75-71, in digs and 11-7 in blocks as well. Mikia Mills powered Tech’s presence at the net with a season-high seven blocks to go along with her eight kills. Brianna Grant also recorded three blocks and seven kills.
 
The Red Raiders and K-State are scheduled for a 6 p.m. first serve Wednesday night at the United Spirit Arena. The match will air live regionally on FOX Sports Southwest.
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