Sept. 21, 1997
Red Raiders Dominate Air Force Falcon Classic
Brande Brown earns third tournament MVP honors of year
Texas Tech needed only 12 games and used .300-plus hitting in each of its four matches to win its third tournament title of the season at the Air Force Classic this past weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo. The Red Raiders defeated the likes of Denver (15-7, 15-3, 15-7), Air Force (15-12, 15-1, 15-10), Hofstra (15-6, 15-6, 15-3) and William & Mary (15-3, 15-3, 15-2) in consecutive games. The title marked head coach Jeff Nelson's eighth tournament title.
Senior middle blocker Brande Brown was named the tournament Most Valuable Player and led the Raiders with outstanding performances in all four matches. In the final match against William & Mary, Brown tied an all-time NCAA record and set a new Texas Tech record for hitting percentage in a match with a perfect 1.000 percentage (10 kills in 10 attempts, 0 errors). She totaled those numbers over only two games but needed to play the extra third game for the record to stand with the NCAA. Nelson inserted her into the lineup for one play in game three to get the game played.
Other key performances for Brown included a 19-kill, .464 hitting percentage against Denver and a 14-kill performance against Air Force. For the weekend, Brown finished with 47 kills (13 errors) in 71 total attempts for a .442 tournament attacking percentage.
Junior setter Lisa Hilgers and senior outside hitter Cristine Martin both were selected to the all-tournament team by the invitational's five coaches. Martin started her first four matches of the season since getting clearance by the NCAA for a fifth year of competition eligibility.
The Raiders also received key performances from two freshmen Heather Hughes and Janelle Jones. Hughes served home five aces on the weekend and contributed key defensive play while Jones proved to be the tournament's tallest and most intimidating player near the net.
Air Force Falcon Classic All-Tournament Team Most Valuable Player: Brande Brown, senior middle blocker, Texas Tech All-Tournament Team: Lisa Hilgers, junior setter, Texas Tech; Cristine Martin, senior outside hitter, Texas Tech
Air Force Falcon Classic Tech Results Saturday's Results: TEXAS TECH defeated Denver 15-7, 15-3, 15-7; TEXAS TECH defeated Air Force 15-12, 15-1, 15-10. Friday's Results: TEXAS TECH defeated Hofstra 15-6, 15-6, 15-3; TEXAS TECH defeated William & Mary 15-3, 15-3, 15-2.