Volleyball Almost Pulls Out Upset in 3-2 Loss|
Oct. 1, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - It was nothing short of an amazing match as the Texas Tech women's volleyball team almost upset the No.14 Texas A&M Aggies in front of 2,517 hostile fans at the G. Rollie White Coliseum in College Station, Texas. Tech (6-6, 2-4 Big 12) stunned the Aggies (8-4, 4-2 Big 12) at home with a game one 30-27 victory, before losing a close game five 15-10.
It was a story of double-doubles for the Tech who had three Red Raiders register the mark in the five-game thriller. Seniors Kelly Johnson and Laura Grote recorded their third-straight double-double performances, with Johnson topping the charts with 22 kills on 71 attack attempts. Johnson continued her consistent performance in the backcourt with 11 kills. Grote provided 52 assists in her double-digit effort, while picking up 13 digs and four kills. Joining the upper-classmen was sophomore Kiley Lyons rounding out the trio with 19 kills and 12 digs.
Tech also made a mark at the net behind the solid blocking of sophomore Nina Miller and junior Brianna Florus who totaled five blocks apiece. Approaching double-digit figures was freshman Amy Charlebois with eight kills, one ace, six digs and four blocks, while junior Desiree Batista remained Tech's defensive spark in the match leading all Red Raiders with 15 digs in the match.
The Red Raiders used a .318 attack efficiency to get the better of the Aggies in game one, stunning the home crowd with a 30-27 edge over their ranked foes. The Red Raiders fell from their explosive game-one start, allowing the Aggies to even the match in game two with a 30-22 victory. Tech regained their composure in game three to down the Aggies 30-26 in a defensive battle that saw both teams registering low hitting percentages. Texas A&M responded with a repeat of the game-two score, winning 30-22 in game four to set-up a fifth game, Tech's first of the season.
The Red Raiders started strong with a 3-0 lead in game five before the Aggies retaliated with a 3-0 run of their own to tie the score at 3-3. Tech traded points with A&M, as the game remained tight at 8-8. Tech then suffered two critical mental lapses, giving the Aggies the lead at 13-9 off two late-game aces. Tech made a surge to catch the Aggies behind a couple of kills from Johnson with Tech still trailing 14-10.
The final point of the match turned out to be comparable in caliber to a fourth-quarter comeback with Tech serving with the game on the line. A&M was denied in their first attack-attempt at net with a block, but would recover with a dig to set up a second try. Tech's Batista kept the Red Raider's hopes alive, digging the attack and setting up Johnson for Tech's chance to put the ball down. Texas A&M continued to build the tension with a dig of its own, setting up Laura Jones at net for a strong attack. Tech would just touch the ball on the dig to return it back to the hands of Jones at net, which in her second chance registered the kill. The Aggies edged out the Raiders 15-10 taking the match 3-2.
Jones, Texas A&M's offensive leader, led all hitters in the match with 28 kills, 16 digs and three blocks. A&M's Melissa Munsch gave the Aggies the edge they needed with her 20-kill, 21-dig performance. The Aggies had four hitters register double-digit kills in the winning effort, as Kendra Felder and Christi Hahn pounded down 11 kills apiece to round out their balanced-offensive attack.
Tech will return to the court against the No. 18 Texas Longhorns on Wed., Oct.6, at 7 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena.