LUBBOCK, Texas – The Texas Tech volleyball team suffered its first home loss of the season to unranked team as Oklahoma scrapped its way to a 3-1 victory over the Red Raiders Wednesday night at United Supermarkets Arena.
Tech (14-11, 3-9) held set point in the first set and dominated the third set, but Oklahoma (7-18, 4-8) tallied a 17-dig advantage in the match and junior Alyssa Enneking recorded 26 kills on 70 swings as the Sooners claimed a 27-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-15 victory.
"We knew going in that OU's truest strength is that they scrap really well, they dig a lot of balls, and they get the ball to the right people," head coach Tony Graystone said. "The main thing is they have a really elite hitter and they found a way to give her 70 balls tonight. No matter how much trouble they're in, they know they're going to give her that ball, and she's going to bail them out more times than not.
"You just saw a much different team on our side when we would get in trouble on that first touch. We weren't organized enough. That's the big difference, and we saw that up in Norman. OU's real strength is they are a pin dominant team, and they will find a way for those girls to get the ball when they get in trouble, and they usually take care of it."
Freshman Allison White led the Red Raiders with 13 kills at a .458 clip and four blocks. Sophomores Chandler Atwood and Emily Hill also finished in double figures in kills with 13 and 10, respectively. Junior Katy Keenan set a career-high with seven blocks in the middle to go with three kills.
Junior Reyn Akiu was back at libero for the first time in 14 matches, compiling 18 digs, an ace, and her first kill of the season. Setter Missy Owens had a double-double with 42 assists and 11 digs for the Red Raiders, who hit .217 for the match.
Enneking was one of three Sooners in double figures, joined by Madison Drescher's 15 and Paige Anderson's 12. Setter Audrey Alford had 51 assists as OU hit .239 for the match. Four Sooners registered double-digit digs, including 20 each from Emma Kelly and Rachel Manriquez.
Tech dropped the opening set despite outhitting the Sooners .297-.214 and outblocking them 4.0-1.0. Behind five kills from White and three from Atwood, Hill and junior Sarah Redding, Tech was able to establish a 24-23 advantage. On set point, the Sooners dialed up a kill from Enneking and then three put downs by Drescher down the stretch helped the Sooners steal the set.
Tech trailed 17-15 in the second set, but following an OU timeout it was Drescher again who scored back-to-back kills, extending the Sooner lead and allowing Oklahoma to take a 2-0 lead.
The Red Raiders battled back in the third set, using a 7-0 run with sophomore Kylie Rittimann on serve to turn a 5-3 deficit into a 10-5 lead. Tech led by as many as nine in the set, hitting .304 as a team and limiting Oklahoma to a .156 clip behind several diving plays from Akiu.
The Sooners jumped out to an 8-2 to start in the fourth and ran away with the set as Tech mustered only six kills in the frame while OU hit .333.
The Red Raiders head to Morgantown Saturday looking for the season sweep of West Virginia, who they defeated, 3-1, in Lubbock back in September. The Mountaineers (15-11, 3-9) and Red Raiders are tied for sixth in the league standings.
Junior Tita Akiu was the team's libero for the first time in 14 matches.
The seven blocks from Allison White matched her career high and her 13 kills were one off her career best.
The Red Raiders remain one win away from earning its most Big 12 wins in a season since 2006.
The 26 kills from Oklahoma's Alyssa Enneking marked the most tallied in a match against the Red Raiders this season.