Tech Wins Big 12 Opener
Sept. 15, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - After a grueling court battle between the Texas Tech volleyball team and the Oklahoma Sooners, Tech would emerge victorious at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas, 3-1. Tech's win ends an eight-game winning streak for the Sooners who were off to their best start in program history and longest winning streak since 1996.
Junior Desiree Batista and senior Kelly Johnson would record double-doubles in the winning effort, while two other Red Raiders would register double-digit kills.
Batista tallied 11 kills and 19 digs, while Johnson would accent Batista's performance with 14 kills and 15 digs. This is Johnson's first double-double on the year.
True freshman Amy Charlebois would make her mark on the Big 12 scene, as she made her first conference start with 13 kills and a team-high .345 hitting percentage. Sophomore Kiley Lyons would be the final Red Raider to reach double-digit kills with 12.
Game one and two would belong to Tech, as the Red Raiders had two hitters approaching double-digit kills after two games.
Both Tech and Oklahoma would trade the lead for most of the early-goings of game one. No team would take a commanding lead in the game, as both the Sooners and Tech would find themselves tied seven times between the beginning of the game and 12-12. Game one would remain tight until the end when Tech would go on consecutive runs of four and three to take the game 30-27.
Game Two would be another battle for both teams, as they would trade points until 10-10. It would be the service errors by Tech that would keep the Sooners in the game at 21-21. Tech would accumulate 10 service-errors in two games to keep the Sooners hopes alive until the last few points of game two. Where Tech was faltering on the service line, it made up in kills and digs. In the last 10 points of the second game, Tech would take control of the game behind consecutive kills by Johnson and Batista. Tech's back row, highlighted by two key digs from senior libero Daneen Grisham, would also help to lift the Red Raiders to the victory in game two 30-26. Tech would head into the locker room up 2-0 over the Sooners.
Even though the Sooners would enter the locker room down, they came out fighting in the third game to stun the Red Raider offense. The Sooners would shut down the Red Raider hitters accumulating six of the team's 12 total blocks in game three. It would also be the play of the Sooners top returnee Joanna Schmitt who would lift the Sooners to a 25-20 edge. Tech would again struggle at the service line having three straight Red Raiders record service errors. The Red Raiders would be unable to recover from the late-game deficit to lose game three 30-21.
The Sooners would use their game-three momentum to come out strong against the Red Raiders, taking five of the first seven points of the game to lead 5-2. It would be a grueling game for fans, players and both teams, as the game would stay close at 11-11. A Tech surge at 14-14 would lead to four-straight Tech points. Tech would take the lead after a quick side out at 22-17. The Sooners would make a late-game charge to bring the game within two at 22-20 before a Tech timeout.vTech would remain in charge at 26-24, Tech's Emily Ziegler serving. Oklahoma's would side out with an Oklahoma kill, 26-25. Tech would give the Sooners only one more point before a Johnson kill would give Tech game point at 29-26. Johnson's kill would send the senior back to serve for the game. Johnson's serve was mishandled by Oklahoma resulting in an easy ball for Tech to put away. Johnson finished off the match with her team-leading 14th kill.
The Red Raiders move to 5-2, 1-0 Big 12, and will face No. 8 Nebraska this Sat., Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.
For tickets to Texas Tech volleyball, please contact (888) GO-BIG-12 or (806) 742-TECH or stop by the Texas Tech Athletic Ticket Office in the north end of Jones SBC Stadium. Tickets also can be purchased through the Texas Tech athletic website at www.texastech.com and at area United Supermarket and Select-a-Seat locations.
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