Texas Tech volleyball sets program record attendance in loss to No. 1 Texas

In front of a program record crowd of 6,037 fans, the Texas Tech Red Raider volleyball team put...
In front of a program record crowd of 6,037 fans, the Texas Tech Red Raider volleyball team put up a fight against the No. 1 Texas Longhorns...(Texas Tech Athletics)
Published: Oct. 2, 2022 at 4:54 PM CDT
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Provided by Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – In front of a program record crowd of 6,037 fans, the Texas Tech Red Raider volleyball team (13-3, 2-1 Big 12) put up a fight against the No. 1 Texas Longhorns, falling in three sets, 25-17, 25-19, 26-24, on Sunday afternoon at the United Supermarkets Arena.

In the match, Kenna Sauer recorded her team-leading ninth double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .286 on the day. Senior Reagan Cooper was right behind, posting double-digit kills with 10 (.261 hitting) and adding four digs and a block.

Karrington Jones led the team with four blocks against Texas, pushing her career total to 298. She also collected five kills and a dig. Junior Maddie O’Brien tallied four kills and didn’t record a single attack error in the match, while junior setter Reese Rhodes totaled 29 assists and eight digs.

Graduate KJ Adams collected 11 digs, making it her fifth game with double-digit digs. As a team, Tech posted a hitting clip of .250 and tallied 36 kills, 36 assists, 45 digs and 4.0 blocks.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Set One

Texas Tech started the first set with a kill from Sauer, but Texas was able to win 11 of the next 13 points to take an 11-3 lead. A service error and a slam from O’Brien stopped the UT run, then the Red Raiders were able to win four-straight points to cut into the Longhorns’ lead, 18-14. But, UT won four-consecutive points to go up 23-15, before taking the first set, 25-17.

Set Two

The second set started back-and-forth as both teams tied at 4-4 before the Red Raiders won two-straight points on a UT attack error and a Sauer kill. UT would win three more points to retake the lead at 7-6. Back-to-back slams from Cooper gave Tech the 8-7 advantage, before the two teams traded points. The Longhorns would win three more in a row, then held the lead for the remainder of the set to win it, 25-19.

Set Three

UT began the third set wining the first two points before Tech was able to cut the lead in half at 2-1. The Red Raiders tied it at 6-6 on a service ace from O’Brien. After that, Texas Tech won eight of the next 10 points, highlighted by blocks from Cooper and Jones and kills from Cooper and Sauer, to hold a 14-9 advantage. UT would go on a run of their own, eventually tying the match at 17-17. Both teams traded points back-and-forth, until Sauer put down a kill to bring the set to 24-24. However, UT would get back-to-back kills from Madisen Skinner to close out the match, 26-24.

Notables

Texas Tech totaled a program record of 6,037 fans at the United Supermarkets Arena.

Maddie O’Brien notched her 100th kill of the season.

O’Brien also got her 31st service ace of the season propelling her into eighth in the country and first in the Big 12.

Kenna Sauer recorded her fourth-straight game with double-digit digs putting her over 150 digs on the year.

Sauer was also able to record her team-leading ninth double-double of the season.

Reese Rhodes posted a .500 hitting clip, making it the third time this season she hit .500 or better in a match.

Quotables

Head Coach Tony Graystone

Opening statement…

“Solid effort tonight. I was really happy with our attendance. We had over 6,000 [fans], which might be a program record for volleyball matches here in the arena. I’m pleased with the turnout; hopefully, we’ll get that type of support moving forward. This team deserves this, and I’m happy with how they performed and came out to see us. We had a slow start in the first set, and I take the hit on that one. Then, we started progressively playing better every set. In the third set, we played clean. The difference was serving. Their attacker would come right at us, and we didn’t always have a dig for them. They’re a physical team and can do a lot of different things. They’re good at what they do, but I did feel like as a match-up went on, we played closer and closer in that third set. We were up 14-9, and I would’ve really wanted to see us finish that one off.”

On getting ahead in the third set…

“In the third set, we put some things together. We hit almost 400, and we were marking up our block much, much better. We were digging balls and getting better at transitions and opportunities. So, my takeaway was you could see our side out, our attack numbers, our errors, and everything improved set by set. You could see where we were getting much more comfortable as we went on.”

On playing against the No. 1 team in the nation…

“The first set was really about their ability to turn defense and offense. Their transition offense was really good – So it wasn’t that we were running the bad offense, they were defending our first attack and then burning us in transition. So, that was the part where we needed to battle… To fight and extend those rallied a little bit more. Honestly, I believe we did a great job with that. So, at the end of the third set, it got back to where they were scoring in transition a little bit too easy, but that was the fight we wanted to win, and I felt like we did a much better job.”

#18 Outside Hitter, Maddie O’Brien

On the slow start then late-game comeback…

“I’d say that we kind of came out flat at first, just because we’re not used to playing in front of that big of a crowd at all, but we knew that it was coming. We were preparing during practice for that, but nothing truly prepares you for it until you step into it. I just think that once we figured out our game and what was going to work for us, we started to use that energy to help us move forward.”

On overcoming team errors…

“I would say that a service error is definitely hard after we kind of go on a run, but I think more than anything, that we have to come together in those instances and lean more on each other instead of allowing the game to get to us.”

Up Next

The Red Raiders head to Fort Worth for another Big 12 matchup, this time against TCU on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.