Red Raiders remain undefeated with victory over ACU
LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - It was an undefeated weekend at the Under Armour Classic for the Texas Tech Red Raiders after posting a four-set win over the Abilene Christian Wildcats (22-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20) on Sunday afternoon at the United Supermarkets Arena.
Sophomore Brynn Williams once again led the way as she collected 16 kills on 40 attacks and posted her third double-double by adding 11 digs. Junior Maddie Correa was all over the back court after collecting a team-best 23 digs and six assists. Senior Reese Rhodes put together her best outing of the year with a 43-assist performance, while tallying 14 digs, one solo block and three kills for her second double-double this season.
Graduate Caitlin Dugan posted a .259 hitting clip after collecting nine kills on 27 attacks, while graduate Emily Merrick also had an impressive offensive match after totaling nine kills and a .364 hitting percentage.
Freshman Kate Hansen recorded the best hitting percentage for Tech after putting together six kills on 11 attacks for a career-high .545 clip. Freshman Reagan Engler tied her career best of eight kills on the day while leading the team with four blocks. Freshman Abby Dickinson was also one of four players to reach double-digit digs with 12 of her own.
In a very close first set that saw nine ties, ACU was able to win it by a 25-22 score. The Red Raiders came back out in set two on fire, taking a 6-1 lead and never looking back to claim it, 25-17. In the third set, Tech once again started out on top, going on an 8-2 run to start. ACU clawed back to cut into the lead, but the Red Raiders won it, 25-21.
The Red Raiders came out in the final set with another big lead after holding a 6-2 advantage. ACU cut into the Tech lead to make it 15-14 on a kill from Hannah Knier, but the Red Raiders held on to remain undefeated in the tournament with a 25-20 set win.
Head coach Tony Graystone
“Really good weekend. We went into this wanting to go 4-0 and we did. It wasn’t always a straight line to get there but I was really happy with how we made adjustments throughout the weekend, fought through sloppy moments, and just got it done. We had a lot of growth for a really young team and a lot of players with brand-new roles this year, so it was pretty good to see how they all responded.”
On the team...
“There’s only one way to gain experience. We didn’t want to dodge anything, we wanted to throw them into every trial we could and see what they’re about. By the end of the match – our fourth in three days – and it was ACU’s second in three days. We were clearly a little tired through the end. I was happy seeing us grinding through it. We’re going to learn a lot about ourselves in the next couple of days, and next weekend will be a little more challenging for us. We get through these first two weekends and I’m going to feel good about ourselves.”
#4 Outside Hitter Brynn Williams
On her expanded role as a sophomore...
“Obviously it’s a big role to take on, but if you take it on headfirst, then the sky’s the limit. As for being in this outside role position, it could be nerve-wracking, but honestly I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
On the team’s resiliency throughout the tournament...
“This team does not like to lose. We’re very competitive. In practice, even if it’s just a fun little game and it has a scoreboard on it, whoever loses, they’re upset the rest of the day. So, I think it’s just that mentality of being like, ‘Hey, we’re not letting this slide.’”
On the freshmen...
“They are incredible. I made a little joke like, ‘Are you guys even freshmen?’ They just took on that role head on and they’re not afraid. They’re taking big swings. They’re just owning that position and being assertive and aggressive. Whoever is across the net, they don’t care who it is. They’re coming at you head on. I’m proud of them, they’re stepping up. I can see in their four years being here, how they can really grow, especially as seniors, and make a huge impact on the program.”
On moving forward after 4-0 start ...
“It gives us a lot of motivation and a lot of momentum because we not only have these four wins, but it’s like, ‘Who’s next?’ We’re taking things one day at a time, one game at a time. We want to be really present. That’s one thing I’ve tried to focus on this year – just being really present and not thinking about game five or game six – who’s across the net now, who are we taking on right now, and how are we going to win against that team now.”
The Red Raiders are back in action with the annual Red Raider Classic next week on Sept. 1-2 at the United Supermarkets Arena. Tech will face Wyoming first on Friday at 7 p.m., then have a doubleheader on Saturday against Texas A&M-Commerce and Louisiana at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
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