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Sept. 4, 1997

Weekly Release

South Florida Tournament- Sept. 5-6

USA Today/AVCA
Coaches Top 25 Poll

Poll No. 2 - Sept. 2, 1997
Rnk School           Points  Record   Prev.
1.  Penn State (59)     1499    3-0       2
2.  Florida             1409    3-0       4
3.  Stanford (1)        1390    1-1       1
4.  Long Beach State    1304    2-0       5
5.  Nebraska            1285    2-1       3
6.  Washington State    1134    4-0       7
7.  Pacific             1059    0-0      10
8.  Texas               1029    0-0       9
9.  UC-Santa Barbara     999    2-0      12
10. USC                  936    3-0      15
11. Hawai'i              849    3-0      11
12. Michigan State       836    2-1       6
13. BYU                  732    1-3       8
14. Wisconsin            699    3-0      18
15. Loyola Marymount     667    3-0      16
16. Texas A&M            640    3-2      13
17. Ohio State           510    3-1      14
18. Washington           491    3-0      19
19. Arizona              417    2-0      20
20. Notre Dame           378    2-1      17
21. UCLA                 317    0-0      21
22. Colorado             217    1-0      23
23. Maryland             191    4-0     N/R
24. Colorado State       171    3-0      24
25. Arkansas             106    3-0      25

Others Receiving Points: South Florida (76), Kansas State (38), Minnesota (37), George Mason (18), Northern Illinois (14), Texas Tech (12), Georgia Tech (9), Pepperdine (9), San Diego (7), Arizona State (4), Duke (3), Louisville (3), Georgia (1), Clemson (1).

The USA Today/AVCA volleyball coaches poll is voted upon by coaches around the nation. To receive a listing of the coaches voting, look at www.avca.org for more information.

With four straight victories, along with its fifth straight tournament title under its belt to open the new season, the Texas Tech volleyball team will now focus its attention on the South Florida Tournament next weekend in Tampa, Fla.

Hosted by the University of South Florida, the tournament will feature three games against No. 22 South Florida, Tennesee-Chattanooga and Georgia Southern. Tech will first face UT-Chattanooga Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET, then will play South Florida in the nightcap at 8:00 p.m. ET. On Saturday, Tech will play Georgia Southern at 2:00 p.m. ET.

For Tech, ranked No. 36 in the preseason coaches' poll, the South Florida match will be its first against a nationally ranked team. South Florida finished 27-5 last season and ended with a 13-1 Conference USA record last year. They earned an NCAA tournament berth last year and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. The Bulls return five starters and their head coach, Perri Hankins is a 1979 graduate of Ball State University, which is also Tech head coach Jeff Nelson's alma mater.

Tech is 2-0 all-time in matches against South Florida even though head coach Jeff Nelson has never faced the Bulls. Nelson and Texas Tech have never played Georgia Southern or Tennessee-Chattanooga. Following the Friday-Saturday tournament the Red Raiders will drive to Orlando early Sunday morning to visit Walt Disney World before flying back to Lubbock on Monday.

South Florida Tournament Schedule
Friday, September 5
UT-Chattanooga vs. Texas Tech - 2:30 p.m.
Ga. Southern vs. UT-Chattanooga - 4:30 p.m.
Texas Tech vs. South Florida - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 6
South Florida vs. Ga. Southern - 9:00 a.m.
South Florida vs. UT-Chattanooga - 11:00 a.m.
Texas Tech vs. Ga. Southern - 1:00 p.m.

All times on ohis chart are central time.
Tech games on eastern time are at 3:30 P.M., 8 P.M. and 2 P.M.
Four teams; South Florida is ranked No. 22 in nation; Texas Tech is No. 36.

Weekend Recap

Texas Tech volleyball wins own Sheraton Shootout as Raiders finish 4-0; Brande Brown earns MVP award while three others are selected to all-tournament team

The Texas Tech volleyball team started its season with a bang as it won four matches en route to the Sheraton Shootout championship Friday and Saturday in Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

Tech senior middle blocker Brande Brown was named the tournament Most Valuable Player by the coaches. The Red Raiders also dominated the all-tournament team as they had three athletes earn awards including junior setter Lisa Hilgers, sophomore outside hitter Courtney Putnam and junior outside hitter Angela Cooper.

Tech followed its two victories on Friday against Texas-San Antonio and Portland with two more wins against SMU and Ohio on Saturday.

The Raiders began Saturday by sweeping SMU 15-5, 15-0, 16-14 in its noon matchup. Tech finished the match with 53 kills and a .366 hitting percentage and held the Mustangs to only 26 kills and a low .133 hitting percentage. Coming off its 15-5 victory in the first game, the Raiders rattled off 15 straight points to win the second game in convincing fashion, 15-0. The Raiders were led by Brown's 15 kills (.481 hitting percentage) and Cooper's 10 kills. Putnam finished the match with eight kills and a .429 hitting percentage.

Tech finished off a perfect four-win tournament with a 15-10, 15-7, 15-9 finale' against Ohio. Cooper led the Raiders in both kills (eight) and digs (14). Her 14 digs were a career-high. Putnam tallied eight kills and Brown along with redshirt freshman Janelle Jones contributed seven kills apiece as the Raiders held Ohio (2-2) to .078 hitting percentage.

"It was a good first tournament for us being such a young team," Tech head coach Jeff Nelson said. "It gave us an idea of what we need to do to improve and get better but overall, it was a good learning experience for our younger players and gave us a chance to see some competition other than ourselves."

Other All-Tournament team members included two players from SMU, freshman outside hitter Kelly Klecka and sophomore outside hitter Leslie Olson along with Portland freshman middle blocker Cathy Cook and Ohio junior middle hitter Traci Nation.

Sheraton Shootout All-Tournament Team
MVP: Brande Brown, SR, middle blocker, Texas Tech
All-Tournament Team: Lisa Hilgers, JR, setter, Texas Tech; Courtney Putnam, SO, outside hitter, Texas Tech; Angela Cooper, JR, outside hitter, Texas Tech; Cathy Cook, FR, middle blocker, Portland; Kelly Klecka, FR, outside hitter, SMU; Leslie Olson, SO, outside hitter, SMU; Traci Nation, JR, middle hitter, Ohio

Sheraton Shootout Rankings

Rnk School      W-L     G/W-L    Pct.
1   Texas Tech  4-0      12-1   1.000
2   Portland    2-2       9-7    .500
3   Ohio        2-2       6-7    .500
4.  SMU         2-2       7-8    .500
5.  UTSA        0-4      1-12    .000

Saturday's Results
Portland defeated UTSA 9-15, 15-9, 15-9, 17-15
TEXAS TECH defeated SMU 15-5, 15-0, 16-14
Portland defeated Ohio 15-9, 15-11, 15-12
SMU defeated Texas-San Antonio 15-7, 15-11, 16-14
TEXAS TECH defeated Ohio 15-10, 15-7, 15-9

Friday's Results
Ohio defeated SMU 7-15, 15-6, 15-10, 15-11
TEXAS TECH defeated UTSA 15-5, 15-0, 15-11
SMU defeated Portland 10-15, 15-9, 7-15, 15-3, 15-13
Ohio defeated UTSA 15-8, 15-6, 15-2
TEXAS TECH defeated Portland 7-15, 15-3, 15-3, 15-8

Weekend Notes

  • The four consecutive victories marked the second year in a row that Tech has started off its season undefeated at 4-0. Last year, the Red Raiders went 15-0 before their first loss.
  • The four consecutive home wins to start off the season was the second straight year that the Raiders have won their first four games at home. Last year, the Raiders won their first eight home matches before losing to Colorado on Oct. 25.
  • Head coach Jeff Nelson surpassed the 50-win total for his career with a victory against SMU.
  • Tech needed only 13 games to win the Sheraton Shootout. The lowest total Tech could have possibly had was 12 for a sweep, but the Tech lost its first game to Portland.
  • The Sheraton Shootout was fifth consecutive invitational tournament championship won by the Red Raiders dating back to 1996.
  • The Sheraton Shootout championship with the 34th all-time tournament victory by the Texas Tech volleyball program.
  • Junior setter Lisa Hilgers surpassed the 3,000-career mark for assists. She registered 151 total assists on the weekend and now has 3,141 career assists. She needs 166 assists to tie second place Sheila Solomon (1987-90) on the all-time list.
  • Head coach Jeff Nelson went with the same starting six in all four matches; Courtney Putnam, Heather Hughes, Lisa Hilgers, Kristen Holmes, Brande Brown and Angela Cooper. Hughes, a freshman, started the first four games of her career at Tech.

Cristine Martin and the NCAA
Senior outside hitter Cristine Martin and the team are still awaiting a decision from the NCAA which would allow her to compete with a fifth year of eligibility. She underwent two arthroscopic surgeries during her redshirt season. As a freshman, Martin played in only seven matches and 16 games.

The Big XII Conference is supporting Martin 100 percent in her attempt at a fifth year. Martin, who currently holds Red Raider all-time records for season and career service aces, can build upon those records if granted an extra year of eligibility. She will practice with the team until a decision is made.

Player Notes

Courtney Putnam
1997: Selected by coaches to Sheraton Shootout all-tournament team after totaling 42 kills, 13 blocks and a .305 attack percentage over four matches ... registered career-highs in kills (18), total attacks (37) and hitting percentage (18-2-37-.432) vs. Portland.

Heather Hughes
1997: Started first four matches of her career in Sheraton Shootout ... totaled 20 digs on the weekend.

Lisa Hilgers
1997: Named to Sheraton Shootout all-tournament team after finishing with 151 assists and 15 kills on four weekend matches ... was her fifth all-tournament honor in her career ... finished with 11.62 asssists per game average in tournament ... surpassed 3,000-career assist mark in first game of season vs. Texas-San Antonio.

Kristen Holmes
1997: Started all four games of Sheraton Shootout tournament and registered 10 digs vs. Portland and hit .400 (6-2-10) against Texas-San Antonio.

Brande Brown
1997: Selected Most Valuable Player of the Sheraton Shootout after totaling 41 kills in 84 attempts over the four games ... hit .462 (7-1-13) vs. Texas-San Antonio and .481 (15-2-27) vs. SMU ... led tournament in blocks per game (1.46) ... registered 15 kills vs. SMU.

Janelle Jones
1997: Finished her first collegiate tournament with 20 kills in 40 attempts (.325 percentage) in reserve roll at Sheraton Shootout.

Angela Cooper
1997: Named to Sheraton Shootout all-tournament team, her first all-tournament honor of her collegiate career ... finished with a total of 31 kills in 76 attempts in those four matches ... totaled career-high 26 attack attempts vs. Portland and career-high 14 digs vs. Ohio.

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