Team Effort Sparks Tech Volleyball to a Pair of Wins
Aug. 25, 2007
Las Vegas - Balanced hitting and strong defense were the keys for Texas Tech Saturday, as it finished up the final day of the UNLV tournament with a 3-1 win over the host UNLV Rebels and a 3-0 victory over Arizona State 3-0 at Cox Pavilion. With the two wins, TTU improved to 2-1 on the young season.
Four Red Raiders had double-digit kills to spark Tech past UNLV 30-27, 21-30, 30-26 and 30-12 in the first match. A strong defense led the Red Raiders to a sweep over ASU 30-24, 30-22 and 30-26.
"We played great during these two games," Tech coach Nancy Todd said. "We had a very good team effort all the way around. We had great attacking from everyone."
Caroline Courtney and Amy Gandy tied for team-high honors with 12 kills apiece for TTU in the first match, as it hit .262 as a team and held UNLV to just .117 hitting. Michelle Flores came away with 11 kills on the match, and Alicia Ostmeyer added 10 on .562 hitting. Setter Emily Ziegler helped spark the attack with 44 assists, while Jenn Harrell and Jackie Vincent were solid in court for the Red Raiders. Harrell led the way with 19 digs, while Vincent chipped in 10. Ziegler added eight digs of her own in addition to eight kills.
After dropping three straight games to Virginia Friday night, Courtney, a true freshman, and Gandy made sure that streak was halted in the first game. Courtney nailed down six kills, while Gandy added five to spark TTU in Saturday's early going. Tech took advantage of early Rebel hitting woes to take an 18-13 lead. UNLV came back with a few mini runs of its own throughout the game, but Tech held strong to finish with the 30-27 win in the first game.
The Rebels returned the favor in the second game by taking advantage of suspect hitting from TTU to race out to a 13-6 advantage to start. Tech would manage a couple mini runs of its own, but they were never enough to challenge UNLV. The Rebels claimed the second game 21-30.
After TTU's struggles in game two, game three was almost a complete opposite. The Red Raiders got hot and hit .469 over the game to come away with the 30-26 win. It did not look that way in the early goings, however. The game was a back-and-forth battle before Tech took a 9-7 advantage. UNLV stormed right back with a run of its own over the next couple minutes to go up 14-13. TTU knotted the game at 15 apiece a short time later and surged ahead from there to finish with the game-three win.
The Red Raider roll continued through the fourth game, as Tech took advantage of costly Rebel mistakes and poor hitting to jump out to a 13-5 lead. Michelle Flores and Alicia Ostmeyer helped fuel the Tech flames as TTU ran all over UNLV and finished off the match with a 30-12 win in game four.
The second match of the day started on a good note for the Red Raiders. Behind six kills from Flores and five from Ostmeyer, Tech hit .375 and took the first game from TTU coach Nancy Todd's almamater, ASU, 30-24.
Game two started off close, before the Red Raiders pulled away to a 16-10 lead after a service ace from Flores about mid way through the game. Key kills from Brandi Hood, Gandy and Ostmeyer kept the Sun Devils from mounting any big runs, as TTU comfortably took game two 30-22.
ASU would not roll over for Tech in the third game. The two teams matched each other almost point for point and kill for kill until the Sun Devils went up 26-25 and appeared to have the game in hand. A kill and key block from Courtney, followed by an ace from Ziegler, however, put TTU up by a point. The Red Raiders got the last two points to finish the three-game sweep of ASU.
Official stats from the match with the Sun Devils, as well as final tournament results and announcement of the all-tournament team were not available at the time of release.
Tech will return home for the Red Raider Roundup presented by Bergman's next weekend. Its first match will be Friday against Villanova at 7:30 p.m. Saturday the Red Raiders will face Lamar and SMU.
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