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Oct. 1, 1997

Texas Tech to host nationally ranked Texas and Texas A&M

Texas Tech volleyball to host nationally ranked Texas and Texas A&M Red Raiders carry 15-1 record into toughest competition weekend of year

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech volleyball team will host two nationally ranked Big 12 Conference rivals in No. 13 Texas and No. 14 Texas A&M this weekend at Lubbock's Municipal Coliseum. The Red Raiders will host Texas (2-0, 7-3) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Texas A&M (1-1, 8-3) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The first 300 fans through the door receive a free Texas Tech volleyball poster.

"You're not going to play a tougher weekend," Texas Tech head coach Jeff Nelson said. "Win or lose, it's a great measuring stick for us. If we can get in there against both Texas and Texas A&M, we'll have a little bit better idea of where we can go."

Texas Tech enters one of its toughest weekends of the season with a 2-0 Big 12 Conference and 15-1 overall record. The Red Raiders have won their last six matches along with their last 18 games including two sweeping 3-0 victories against Big 12 competition Missouri and Iowa State last weekend. The weekend also saw junior setter Lisa Hilgers set the all-time Texas Tech school record for career assists as she surpassed Ginger Carter's 3,598 assists amassed from 1991-94 with a year-and-a-half to build on that total.

Texas enters the weekend riding a two-match winning streak including a conference victory against Texas A&M. With new head coach Jim Moore, the Longhorns are led by junior All-America outside hitter Demetria Sance who has 136 kills in 358 attempts (.229 pct.). Texas A&M, coached by Laurie Corbelli, is led by junior outside hitter Stacy Sykora (165 kills, .293 pct.), senior middle blocker Cindy Lothspeich (124 kills, .405 pct.) and senior outside hitter Kristie Smedsrud (138 kills, .260 pct.).

"Texas has had some great wins are playing very well right now," Nelson said of the Longhorns. "They're incredibly big with a starting lineup ranging from 6-5 to 5-10 but we're excited to play them at home. Texas A&M was my pick to win the conference this year. They start four seniors, a junior and a sophomore and I think they're an outstanding team. I think they can be a team that can go all the way this year." Weekend Match Times

No. 13 Texas (2-0, 7-3) at Texas Tech (2-0, 15-1), Friday, 7 p.m., Lubbock Municipal Coliseum

No. 14 Texas A&M (1-1, 8-3) at Texas Tech, Saturday, 7 p.m., Lubbock Municipal Coliseum

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