LUBBOCK, Texas – Sophomore Emily Hill posted a double-double with 18 kills and 17 digs, powering Texas Tech volleyball to a 3-1 win over TCU Saturday afternoon at United Supermarkets Arena.
The Red Raiders (13-6, 2-4) used an 8-0 run to close the first set and got into a rhythm in sets three and four to pull away from the Horned Frogs (9-9, 1-5) for the 25-21, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 win.
The double-double is Hill's seventh of the season and fourth in Big 12 play. Her 17 digs is a season-high and came one shy of matching her career high. The Denton, Texas, native entered the match as Tech's kill leader at 3.40 kills per set, and has now tallied double-digit kills in each Big 12 contest.
"Probably her most complete match of the year," Graystone said of Hill. "The defense was really solid today. And serve-receive was good. We did some things with her serve-receive, real late in the week, and asked her to do a little bit more in that area. And she really stepped up."
Joining Hill in double figures was junior Sarah Redding, who posted 12 kills at a .400 clip, and middle blocker Katy Keenan, who finished with 11 kills on .435 hitting. Tech outhit TCU .285 to .194 for the match, its best differential in a Big 12 match since 2015 at home against West Virginia and its highest Big 12 clip since a 2015 sweep at West Virginia.
TCU was paced by middle blocker Anna Walsh, who compiled 18 kills and seven blocks. Outside hitter Allye Beth Deaton added 16 kills and 12 digs for the Horned Frogs.
"They ran a tough offense because they ran inside-out on us," Graystone said of TCU. "They did a really nice job of when they were in system, feeding the middle and working angles around us. And then they'd go quicks on the outsides and create some splits. Really tough offense to defend. But, as our serve got better, that really was the trick. When we were serving tough, we were able to score."
Trailing 21-17 in the opening frame, a kill from Hill spearheaded an 8-0 run that included a pair of Redding kills to give Tech set point. Tech forced four Horned Frog errors in the stretch, including one on set point that would give Tech the 1-0 advantage.
After outblocking TCU 5-1 in the opening frame, TCU rebounded in the second set as Walsh connected on seven kills and the Horned Frogs hit .268 to even the match at one set apiece.
A strong defensive effort in the third set allowed the Red Raiders to hold TCU to .091 hitting for the frame and find some distance in the midway point of the set. A 3-0 run helped Tech extend its small lead to 18-13, and then another 3-0 run made it 23-17 as Tech finished out the set to take a 2-1 lead.
The Red Raiders pulled away in the fourth set thanks to its .343 hitting percentage in the frame. Leading 22-20, Tech got a kill from Keenan before an attack error by TCU gave Tech set point. After a service error, the Red Raiders earned the win as Owens set up Hill for the clincher.
"How we've been playing at home has been very encouraging," Graystone said of closing out matches. "And, I just felt way different on the bench compared to West Virginia, for example, or the fifth set against (Kansas) State or Iowa State. Today, we looked like a group that knew they were going to close it out. And they did."
Junior Missy Owens flirted with a triple-double, finishing with a game-high 50 assists and adding eight kills and seven digs. Senior Kate Klepetka, who was the team's libero for the seventh-straight match, recorded a game-high 20 digs. Junior Reyn Akiu added 12 digs in her second start coming back from a knee injury. Freshman Allison White led the team with five blocks.
No. 5 Texas comes to town on Wednesday, Oct. 18, for a 6 p.m. first serve at United Supermarkets Arena. Last season, the Red Raiders pushed the 2016 National Champions to five sets in Lubbock.
Tickets for Wednesday's match are available for purchase online, at the door one hour before first serve, or by calling 806-742-TECH. For the latest on all things Texas Tech volleyball, follow the team on Twitter and Instagram, like its Facebook page and stay tuned to www.TexasTech.com.
Tech's 13 wins has already surpassed its 2016 total of 10 and is one away from matching its 2015 total. Tech's 46 sets won is more than it had in all of 2016 or 2015.
Tech improves to 6-1 at home this season, including 2-1 in Big 12 play.
Both of Tech's Big 12 wins came in four sets.
The Red Raiders are now 6-2 on Saturdays this season.
Sophomore Emily Hill has been in double figures with kills in 13 of 19 matches.
The win snaps a five-game skid to TCU as Tech improves to 5-4 against the Frogs in Lubbock and 7-9 against TCU overall.
Junior Missy Owens has had 50+ assists in four of the last five matches.
Senior Kate Klepetka has recorded 20+ digs in four of the last five matches.