Buffaloes Too Much For Red Raiders as they Defeat Tech 3-1|
Sept. 29, 2004
Wolfforth, Texas - - The Colorado Buffaloes would get the best of the Texas Tech women's volleyball team, downing the Red Raiders 3-1 tonight at Frenship High School in Wolfforth, Texas. Tech (6-5, 2-3 Big 12) started off sluggish against Colorado (8-4, 3-2 Big 12) and could not overcome CU's intensity that propelled the Buffaloes to the win.
Tech found its strength in Kelly Johnson who posted her third double-double on the season with 16 kills and 11 digs. Senior Laura Grote contributed 31 assists and 15 digs to record her second-straight double double performance. Junior Desiree Batista pounded down 12 kills, while serving-up three of Tech's seven aces on the night to wrap-up Tech's offensive leaders.
On paper the match should have been in Tech's favor with the Red and Black out-hitting the Buffaloes, 56-50, while posting the better of the two in digs with 57 to CU's 54. The Red Raiders aced there way past the Colorado with seven on the night to the Buffaloes' one. Yet paper did not win the game for the Red Raiders as the Buffaloes used two quick runs in games two and four to halt Tech's chances of taking the match to five.
The Red Raiders were out of the gates tough against the ranked Buffaloes, staying with CU for most of the game until 8-8. Tech and Colorado were neck-to-neck at 10-10 when all went wrong for Tech. Tech struggled from the back row missing the mark on its passes five-consecutive times, leading to quick attack-errors. Colorado broke the game open with a 6-1 run taking the lead at 16-11. Johnson tried to ignite the Red Raider offense behind two crucial kills at 19-12 and 24-15. Colorado would prove to be too solid, taking the game 30-16.
Game two seemed a total turn around for the Red Raiders who came out firing with an ignited offense. Unfortunately the Buffaloes had an answer for the Red Raider surge, taking a quick 8-3 lead. The Buffaloes again put pressure on the Raiders with a strong frontline that would deny the Red Raiders with two-consecutive blocks, leading the Red and Black 20-11. It would then be Colorado's turn to show a defensive lag to let the Red Raiders back into the game at 27-19. The game would be decided at the net, as Tech's hitting errors would be its weakness. Tech ended game two with 29 errors to just 25 kills as a team. The errors combined with the eight-point cushion the Buffaloes had was too great for Tech overcome in the end. CU took game two 30-21 and a 2-0 lead in the match.
With game one and two under their belts, the Red Raiders came out with something to prove in game three. That being they can play with the best in the Big 12. Going into the third game the Red Raiders trailed the Buffaloes in every statistic but one, home court advantage. The Red Raiders, behind a quick start brought the home crowd back into the match at 10-6, Tech. Tech clicked on all aspects of the game, with Johnson and Kiley Lyons leading the way at net. When Colorado would make a charge for the lead, Johnson would record another kill with an assist from Grote. Tech held the lead for the rest of the game to take the third 30-24. Tech's game-three win marked the first time Tech has taken a game from a ranked opponent this season.
Tech then returned to form in game four to prove why it's the third-ranked team in the Big 12 in digs. Tech would deny the Buffaloes any easy-points off the net behind a stellar defensive effort. Tech traded points with CU in long rallies with the ball crossing the net an average of five times before one team earned the point. Tech remained close, but trailed early 11-9. Tech's Batista then sparked the Tech comeback behind an ace at 16-13. The game would get tight with Colorado in the lead and with the serve at 23-17. Tech would regain control of the ball after a Colorado hitting error. Tech's Emily Ziegler stepped back to the service line to serve her first ace of the match with Tech in need of points as it trailed 26-22. Colorado would rely on the arm of its leading outside hitter Maragda Santillana who would take the Buffaloes to 29-24 behind a late-game kill. Colorado served for the match, sealing the deal with a block assist from Lara Bossow and Allie Griffin. CU took the game and match 30-24, 3-1 respectively.
The Red Raiders will return to action against the 14th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies in College Station, Texas, on Fri., Oct.1. First serve is set for 6 p.m.