No. 8 Texas Powers Past Texas Tech in Straight Sets
Miara Cave led Texas Tech with 10 kills Wednesday night.
Nov. 9, 2011
LUBBOCK, Texas - No. 8 Texas totaled only seven errors while hitting over .300 in all three sets Wednesday en route to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-18) sweep of Texas Tech in front of a season-high crowd of 1,413 at the United Spirit Arena.
Even with its top crowd of the season, Texas (17-4; 10-1) limited the Red Raiders opportunities early, taking early leads in the opening two sets thanks in part to a .396 overall hitting percentage, the highest for any Tech (15-12, 1-11) opponent this season.
"We just needed to find a way to slow them a little bit more or put a little bit more juice on our attack to put the ball away earlier," Tech head coach Don Flora said. "This was a good volleyball match, and that crowd and I enjoyed watching it tonight. We want to compete with any team in the country that comes to our house in the USA, so it was great to have such a nice crowd to kind of keep us in it at times."
The Longhorns put Tech in a hole early during the first two frames, notching a 9-2 lead in the first before keeping the pressure going in the second with a 9-1 advantage.
Tech eventually pulled to a 12-10 deficit in the second, but Texas would rally back with five of the next six points to keep the Red Raiders from poising much of a threat late in the frame.
The Red Raiders looked to make a run to extend the match in the third by winning the opening two points. Like they had done all night, though, the Longhorns made yet another rally with six-straight points to ease Tech's momentum.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start when you talk about putting the ball away," Flora said. "They had a big, powerful block, but we've got to get that start going. We found some rhythm later, but then offensively they were just tough to stop because they are really high on the attack. I think we can play with them, but we've got to play with them more point-to-point for an entire match."
Haley Eckerman dropped a career-high 23 kills to lead Texas as she finished with only one error off 37 attacks en route to a .595 hitting percentage, another career high.
Tech, meanwhile, was led throughout the night by Miara Cave's thunderous left arm. The junior joined Amanda Dowdy with a team-high 10 kills as she notched two errors off 17 attacks for a .471 hitting percentage, her highest in Big 12 play.
Despite being one of the top blocking teams in the country, Tech was held to only one in the match, a season low, as Dowdy and Dravon Rangel combined for a block assist in the third. Texas finished with eight blocks overall.
The Red Raiders return to the United Spirit Arena this Saturday to face the Kansas Jayhawks for a 5 p.m. first serve. Tech will wear special camouflage jerseys as part of the weekend's Wounded Warrior Project promotion.