Rotating image

Sept. 9, 1997

Weekly Release

Four Points-Sheraton/Red Raider Classic- Sept. 12-13

USA Today/AVCA
Coaches Top 25 Poll

Poll No. 2 - Sept. 9, 1997
Rnk School               Points  Record  Prev.
1.  Penn State (59)       1499    3-0      2
2.  Florida               1430    6-0      2
3.  Long Beach State (1)  1353    6-0      4
4.  Stanford              1332    4-2      3
5.  Nebraska              1262    5-1      5
6.  Washington State      1180    7-0      6
7.  UC-Santa Barbara      1088    5-0      9
8.  Pacific               1085    5-1      7
9.  Southern California   1017    5-0     10
10. BYU                    888    4-3     13
11. Michigan State         839    5-1     11
12. Texas                  837    3-1      8
13. Hawai'i                774    5-1     12
14. Wisconsin              750    4-0     14
15. Loyola Marymount       646    5-1     15
16. Texas A&M              569    3-2     16
17. Ohio State             505    5-1     17
18. Arizona                493    4-0     19
19. UCLA                   463    3-0     21
20. Washington             355    4-2     18
21. Notre Dame             314    4-2     20
22. Colorado               225    2-1     22
23. Maryland               211    5-0     23
24. Arkansas               127    4-2     25
25. Colorado State         113    4-1     24

Others receiving more than 24 points: Minnesota (67), Texas Tech (24).

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 seven straight victories, along with its sixth consecutive tournament title under its belt to open the new season, the No. 27 Texas Tech volleyball team will now focus its attention on the 18th annual Four Points-Sheraton/Red Raider Classic this weekend at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum.

The tournament will feature three games against Louisiana Tech, Southwestern Louisiana and South Carolina. Tech will first face Southwestern Louisiana Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET, then will play Louisiana Tech in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday, Tech will play South Carolina at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Tech is 2-0 all-time in matches against Louisiana Tech even though head coach Jeff Nelson has never faced the Lady Techsters. Nelson and Texas Tech have never played Southwestern Louisiana or Louisiana Tech.

Upcoming Weekend

Southwestern Louisiana (3-4)
The Ragin' Cajuns enter the weekend on a two-match winning streak with victories at the LadyKat Invitational against Alabama-Birmingham and Lamar. A member of the Sun Belt Conference and coached by Laura Leaton (second year), Southwestern Louisiana (3-4) is led by a host of individuals including senior Jen Swalley along with juniors Heather Wehmeyer, Jean Herron and Gina Calegari. Wehmeyer leads the team in kills (94) and kills per game (3.48) over the team's first seven matches, Herron owns the team's best hitting percentage (.303), while Calegari is the Ragin' Cajuns' blocks (27) and digs leader (127). Sophomore setter Lisa Bordes (296 assists) averages 10.96 assists per game. Last season, Southwestern Louisiana finished 16-19 and returned four letterwinners from that team.

Louisiana Tech (2-3)
Louisiana Tech enters weekend competition following a 3-2 Monday victory against Alabama. Coached by third year head coach Chris Rutiger, the Lady Techsters are young with four starters either at the freshman or sophomore level. Eight of the 10 players are either freshmen or sophomores. Tech is led by senior outside hitter Courtney Ziegenbein-Goodman (63 kills in 146 attacks, .247 pct.), freshman outside hitter Allison Walker (33 kills, .278 pct.), sophomore setter Kelly Jefferson (146 assists) and junior outside hitter Lindsey Sheppard (35 kills, 41 digs). Four of Louisiana Tech's starters and nine of its players are native Texans. Tech was picked by coaches to finish fourth in the 12-team Sun Belt Conference.

South Carolina (3-1)
South Carolina is coached by 1982 Texas Tech graduate and Amarillo, Texas native Kim Hudson. Hudson and the Gamecocks are coming off two 3-0 victories against Western Michigan and North Carolina State along with a championship in their own tournament, the Gamecock Invitational. South Carolina (3-1), which was ranked 37th in the USA Today/AVCA preseason coaches' poll, is led by senior middle blocker Shani Abshier, senior middle blocker Lori Drost, junior setter Ashley Edlund, senior middle blocker Heather Larkin, sophomore outside hitter Fernanda Laires and junior outside hitter Cindy Robarge. Last season, the Gamecocks earned an NCAA tournament bid and finished 22-8 overall and third (12-3) in the Southeastern Conference.

Weekend Recap

Texas Tech volleyball wins South Florida Tournament as Brande Brown, Lisa Hilgers and Angela Cooper earn all-tournament honors

The No. 31 ranked Texas Tech (7-0) volleyball team completed the season's second weekend with three more victories and a second tournament title at the South Florida Tournament Sept. 5-6 in Tampa, Fla. Three Red Raiders also were selected on the all-tournament team including unanimous selection senior middle blocker Brande Brown, junior setter Lisa Hilgers and junior outside hitter Angela Cooper.

The key match of the tournament was Tech's matchup with No. 26 ranked South Florida. Coach Jeff Nelson called it the first test of the season for his Red Raiders. Despite an all-time best match kill performance from South Florida's Paula Araujo (31 kills), the Red Raiders pulled out a thrilling 14-16, 15-9, 15-13, 12-15, 16-14 victory.

Game five was a thriller as the Raiders jumped out to a 12-8 lead. But South Florida stormed back to tie the match at 14-14. But Cooper scored on consecutive kills to put the match away.

Tech used key performances from Cooper and Brown who combined for 48 kills, 36 digs and 10 blocks to lead the Raiders to victory. Sophomore outside hitter Courtney Putnam also notched 18 kills as setter Lisa Hilgers contributed 67 assists in the five-game match.

Tech also put together two three-game victories against Tennessee-Chattanooga (15-9, 15-7, 15-6) and Georgia Southern (15-1, 15-2, 15-4). The Raiders also set an all-time Texas Tech match high with a .492 hitting percentage (39-8-63) against Georgia Southern.

Team Notes

  • Tech established a new team match hitting percentage record with its .492 performance against Georgia Southern. The Red Raiders finished the match with 39 kills and eight attack errors in 63 total attempts.

  • South Florida's Paula Araujo established a new Texas Tech opponent match kills record with 31.

  • The seven consecutive victories marked the second year in a row that Tech has started off its season undefeated at 7-0. Last year, the Red Raiders went 15-0 before their first loss.

  • Head coach Jeff Nelson won his seventh tournament title in his three-year career.

  • 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.

  • The South Florida Tournament was sixth consecutive invitational tournament championship won by the Red Raiders dating back to 1996.

  • The South Florida Tournament championship with the 35th all-time tournament victory by the Texas Tech volleyball program.

  • Junior setter Lisa Hilgers surpassed the 3,000-career mark for assists. She registered 281 total assists over the last two weekends and now has 3,271 career assists. She needs 36 more assists to tie second place Sheila Solomon (1987-90) on the all-time list. She will complete that this weekend.

  • Starting Lineups

    Following is the starting lineup totals for the Red Raiders: Courtney Putnam 7, Heather Hughes 7, Lisa Hilgers 7, Kristen Holmes 7, Brande Brown 6, Angela Cooper 7, Sonia Moric 1.

    Player Notes

    Courtney Putnam
    1997: Registered career high in attack attempts (44) and tied career-high in kills (18) vs. South Florida ... 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 seven matches of her career in Sheraton Shootout and South Florida Tournament ... totaled 20 digs in her first career invitational, the Sheraton Shootout.

    Lisa Hilgers
    1997: Earned her sixth all-tournament individual honors at South Florida Tournament ... registered 67 assists and 21 digs vs. South Florida ... 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 seven matches ... totaled career-high 20 digs vs. South Florida ... started all four games of Sheraton Shootout tournament and registered 10 digs vs. Portland ... hit .400 (6-2-10) against Texas-San Antonio.

    Brande Brown
    1997: Earned unanimous all-tournament honors at South Florida Tournament (her sixth all-tournament selection of her career) with 34 kills and six errors in 73 total attempts to go along with 20 total digs and nine total blocks (one solo) ... set career records for total attacks (60) and digs (18) vs. South Florida ... finished with seven kills in eight attempts (.875) vs. UT-Chattanooga ... 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: Registered seven kills in a career-high 25 attempts and four blocks vs. South Florida ... Finished her first collegiate tournament with 20 kills in 40 attempts (.325 percentage) in reserve roll at Sheraton Shootout.

    Angela Cooper
    1997: Earned second all-tournament honors of her career at South Florida Tournament ... registered career highs in kills (25), attack attempts (58) and digs (18) vs. South Florida ... 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.

    Sonia Moric
    1997: Started first game of her career vs. UT-Chattanooga and had eight kills in a career-high 15 attempts ... Finished with career highs in kills (nine) and attack percentage (.571) vs. Georgia Southern.

    Official Gear of the
    Texas Tech Red Raiders