Johnson Leads Tech with 13 kills in 3-0 Loss|
Nov. 27, 2004
LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech women's volleyball team was unable to overcome the duo of Texas' Mira Topic and Bethany Howden who combined for 36 kills in the Longhorns 3-0 win over the Red Raiders tonight. Tech (10-16, 6-14 Big 12) was led by senior Kelly Johnson with 13 kills, while the Longhorns (23-4, 15-4 Big 12) were led by Topic with 19 kills in Austin, Texas, at the Gregory Gymnasium.
The Red Raiders seemed to never get the engine going on offense putting down only 37 kills on the night as Johnson, with one ace, four digs and one block assist, being the only Red Raider in double-digits in kills.
Johnson finished the night with only four errors on 37 swings for a .237 hitting average. Senior Laura Grote wrapped-up her career at Tech with 28 assists, six digs, one ace and four kills for the match.
Tech suffered a tough battle at the hands of the Longhorns, who were able to balance offense and defense to overcome the Red and Black in the match. In the first two games the Red Raiders were able to stay close to the Longhorns with 14 and 18 kills, respectively, in the opening contests. Texas, however, was able to remain ahead in both games behind a solid defense that tabbed 50 digs. Texas took a 2-0 lead into intermission with game one and two scores of 30-25 and 30-26.
Tech however was unable to rebound after the break, coming out even colder than before. Tech was able to only pull out five kills in the third game, falling 30-13 in the game and 3-0 in the match.
Sophomore Kiley Lyons had six kills on the night, while picking up six digs and one block en route to the Red Raiders loss. Tech's Brianna Florus posted four block assists to lead the Red Raider front line, while junior Desiree Batista had 12 digs, two aces and four assists to the lead both squads in the digs category.
The Longhorns were led by Topic with 19 kills and one ace, followed by Howden with 17 kills. Joining the senior duo in double digits was setter Michelle Moriarty with 45 assists, nine digs and one block in the winning effort. Topic posted another double-double on the season with 10 digs to go along with her double-digit performance from the front row.
Dariam Acevedo joined Topic in carrying the defensive load for the Burnt Orange with 11 digs to lead the Longhorns in the category. Howden threatened double vision in digs with nine on the night.
With the loss, the Red Raiders have sealed their fate for the post-season. With Tech's record, the Red and Black will, for the third-straight year, not advance to post-season action. The last time the Red Raiders made an appearance in the NCAA tournament was in 2001 when Tech fell to Utah in the first round.
To wrap up the season, Tech's Grote (2001-04) finished her career ranking third in Tech's all-time career-assists leaders list with 3,653, following Lisa Hilgers (1995-98) who leads the category with 5,811. The senior also finishes her stint at the helm of the Red Raider offense with a 9.91 season assist average, which ranks 13th on Tech's single season assist-average list.
Johnson (2001-04) concludes her career as Tech's all-time career kills and attempts leader with 1,924 kills and 5,142 attempts, respectively. Johnson also ranks 11th in career digs (1,087) and sixth in career aces (119). Johnson's 2004-05 season numbers place fifth in kills (453) and third in attempts (1,293). The senior's 2004 match records include her 33 against Kansas State ,ranking third in kills, and her 29 versus Baylor which ranks tied for 11th in kills on Tech's all-time single-match kills record list.
Junior Brianna Florus makes her mark in the Tech record books ranking 11th in Tech's single season block-assists leaders list with 102. The junior finishes the season with 114 total blocks.
Junior Desiree Batista, a Red Raider that began the season as an outside hitter for the Red and Black, made the transition halfway through the season to Tech's starting libero. Since then, the defensive specialist has broken records and led most the matches Tech's had, in her stint in the back row, as the leader in digs for both squads.
Batista's 373 digs in 2004 ranks the junior 15th on Tech's all-time single-season digs leaders list. Batista's success also extends past the end lines of the court, as she has posted 52 aces this season, ranking fourth on Tech's single-season ace leaders list. Batista ends just four aces out of owning second all by herself, and 23 aces behind Heather Hughes Justice who owns the record with her 2000 mark of 75.
The Red Raiders finish the season under second-year head coach Nancy Todd 10-16 overall and 6-14 Big 12. Todd finishes the season with a career record of 21-34 and a Big 12 career record of 9-31 over two seasons. Todd's Red Raider Roundup title this year moves the head coach to two-career tournament titles with the Red Raiders.