Red Raider Volleyball Upset No. 20 Kansas State
Nov. 21, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech volleyball team upset No. 20 Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Saturday night in front of 1,724 fans at the Ahearn Field House; Tech's first win on the Wildcats' home court. The Red Raiders (10-14, 6-12 Big 12) fell behind after losing the first two games, but rallied to stun the Wildcats (18-9, 12-6 Big 12) in the final three games to pull off the upset. The win gave Tech its first season win over a ranked opponent and its first since another five-game victory over then-No.21 Missouri in 2002.
Senior Kelly Johnson shouldered the offensive load for the Red and Black with a season-high 33 kills. She tied Mira Topic of Texas for the most kills by a Big 12 player this season during conference play. It was the fourth-straight match that the senior outside hitter finished with 15 or more kills. Junior Brianna Florus and sophomore Kiley Lyons both tallied double-digit kills with 10 apiece. The kill total was a season high for Florus. Senior setter Laura Grote dished out 67 assists, a season high for the Austin native.
Defensively, junior Desiree Batista finished the match with a team-high 26 digs. For the fourth-straight match, Batista finished with 15 or more digs. Johnson and Lyons fell just short of double-digit digs with each player tallying nine. The junior college transfer from Brazil also served four aces. Freshman Amanda Hiller also posted one aces, the fourth-straight match in which she has finished with at least one ace. At the net, Florus and Lyons led Texas Tech with eight and five blocks, respectively.
Game one saw both teams struggle offensively. Kansas State finished the game hitting under .100, but was able to take advantage of the Red Raiders' -.071 hitting percentage and win the first game 30-27. Both teams recovered from their early hitting woes in game one to improve the offensive numbers in the second game. The Wildcats out hit Tech in the game with 21 kills (.366 hitting percentage) to 14 (.237). Kansas State took the game 30-24, and took a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Red Raiders came out of the locker room and, for the first time in the match, produced more kills and a better hitting percentage than their opponent. Tech finished the game with 18 kills and a .282 hitting percentage. Tech won game three 30-28. In the fourth game, the Red Raiders turned up the pressure and the defense to hold the Wildcats down for the second consecutive game. Tech held the Wildcats to a .150 hitting percentage, while putting down 19 kills of its own to take the game 30-25 and force a decisive fifth game.
Both teams saved their respective bests for the final game. With only four hitting errors between them, the two Big 12 foes produced a hard-fought, pressure-packed game. Behind 10 team kills and a .333 hitting percentage, the Red Raiders won the fifth game 15-12 to finalize their comeback, and win the match 3-2.
Kansas State's Vali Hejjas (team-high 17 kills, 16 digs) and Gabby Guerre (55 assists, 11 digs) finished with double-doubles. Agata Rezende and Lisa Martin tallied 16 and 15 kills, respectively, to round out the Wildcat double-digit kill performances. Angie Lastra was the defensive leader for Kansas State with a team-high 22 digs.
Tech will look to extend its current match-win streak to three when it returns home for the final home match of the season. The match against the Kansas Jayhawks will begin this Wedneday at 7p.m. at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock.
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