Red Raiders Open Home Slate Tuesday Against Abilene Christian

Sept. 2, 2013

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech opens its 2013 home schedule Tuesday evening as the Red Raiders welcome Abilene Christian for a 6 p.m. first serve at the United Spirit Arena. All tickets for the match will be $1 and can be purchased on gameday at the United Spirit Arena ticket office.

• Texas Tech renews its series with Abilene Christian Tuesday evening with the first of two matches during the 2013 season. The Red Raiders and Wildcats will play the first match of the home-and-home series at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the United Spirit Arena.
• Despite just 170 miles separating the two schools, Texas Tech and Abilene Christian will be renewing their series Tuesday evening for the first time since 1983 when the Red Raiders swept a pair of matches in both Lubbock and Abilene. Tech leads the all-time series, 27-1, with the Red Raiders holding a 14-1 advantage in matches played in Lubbock.
• Abilene Christian is in its first season at the NCAA Division-I level after joining the Southland Conference this past July. The Wildcats had previously spent the last 40 years as a member of the Lone Star Conference at the Division II level.
• Abilene Christian made the most of its first weekend as a Division-I opponent last Friday and Saturday at the UT Arlington Invitational, scoring victories over Louisiana Tech and Grambling State while also dropping a close-five set loss to the host Mavericks.
• The Red Raiders will be opening their home slate on Tuesday with the first of 13 matches scheduled this season at the United Spirit Arena. Texas Tech is 30-7 all-time in home openers since 1975, including a 12-5 mark during the Big 12 era.
• Texas Tech head coach Don Flora will look to win the home opener for the third-straight season on Tuesday as the Red Raiders topped Central Arkansas in 2011 and then Texas Pan-American last year. Both victories came in only three sets. Prior to Flora's arrival, Tech had not won a home opener since the 2007 season.
• The Red Raiders will be looking to win their home opener for the third-straight season Tuesday which would be the longest such streak since Texas Tech opened its home slate with a victory in 14-straight years from 1989-2002.
• The Red Raiders opened their 38th season of volleyball last weekend with a 3-1 showing at the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Weber State. Tech followed a 3-0 season-opening loss to Seattle by winning three-straight matches over UC Riverside, Grand Canyon and Weber State to share the tournament title.
• Texas Tech earned a pair of selections to the Wildcat Invitational all-tournament team last weekend in Rachel Brummitt and Mikia Mills while Breeann David shared Most Valuable Player honors.
• Texas Tech head coach Don Flora picked up his 300th career victory last weekend at the Wildcat Invitational when the Red Raiders topped Grand Canyon, 3-1. Flora is now 301-95 in 14 seasons as a collegiate head coach after last weekend and 32-36 while with the Red Raiders.
• Texas Tech has found significant success in non-conference action under Flora, who has led the Red Raiders to a 28-8 mark in such matches during his two-plus seasons.

The Red Raiders will look continue their success in home openers Tuesday night as Texas Tech is 30-7 all-time since 1975, including an impressive 12-5 mark during the Big 12 era. Tech is undefeated in home openers under head coach Don Flora, who helped lead the Red Raiders to 3-0 sweeps over Central Arkansas (2011) and Texas-Pan American (2012) in his first two seasons. Tech had not previously won a home opener prior to Flora's arrival since the 2007 season and had not won consecutive home openers since recording a win in 14-straight seasons from 1989-2002. This will be the first time Texas Tech has ever opened its home slate against Abilene Christian.

The Red Raiders return to tournament action this weekend, traveling all the way to Pullman, Wash., for the Cougar Challenge hosted by Washington State. Texas Tech will face Montana and the host Cougars on Friday before closing the two-day event against South Dakota State and Eastern Washington on Saturday. The Red Raiders return to the United Spirit Arena on Sept. 13 when Texas Tech hosts the Lone Star Showdown which welcomes Montana, Nevada and Cal State Fullerton all to Lubbock for the two-day event.

Texas Tech head coach Don Flora earned his 300th career victory at the collegiate level during opening weekend when the Red Raiders dropped Grand Canyon in four sets at the Wildcat invitational. The Red Raiders closed the weekend 3-1 overall, improving Flora's overall record to 301-95 in 13-plus seasons at both the University of La Verne in California as well as Texas Tech. Flora, arguably one of the winningest active coaches at the Division-I level, led Tech to 29 victories over his first two seasons after inheriting a program that totaled just 30 wins in the five seasons prior to his arrival. The California native currently ranks fourth among Big 12 Conference coaches in career victories, trailing only Ray Bechard (Kansas), Jerritt Elliott (Texas) and Jim Barnes (Baylor). All three coaches have longer career tenures than Flora, who arrived in Lubbock after two seasons as an assistant at New Mexico State and 11 years as the head coach of his alma mater in La Verne where he amassed a 269-59 record (.820 winning percentage) and led the Leopards to the 2001 NCAA Division III National Championship.

For Breeann David, the 2013 season probably couldn't have gotten off to a better start. The hard-hitting junior totaled 64 kills during the season-opening Wildcat Invitational, averaging an impressive 4.57 kills per set while also hitting at a .360 percentage en route to earning Co-Most Valuable Player honors. David, who led Tech in kills in all four matches, wrapped the weekend by connecting on a career-high 21 kills against Grand Canyon and then 20 against Weber State. The Denver City, Texas product finished in double figures for kills in all four matches, marking the longest such streak to begin a season for a Red Raider since Alicia Ostmeyer posted at least 10 kills in the first five matches of the 2007 season. In addition to her offense, David also notched a Big 12-leading seven aces to go along with 29 digs and a team-high 13 blocks last weekend.

Rachel Brummitt and Mikia Mills also earned a selection to the Wildcat Invitational all-tournament team after the two juniors helped lead the Red Raiders to a 3-1 showing in the event. Brummitt totaled a team-high 75 digs from the back row, averaging 5.36 per set which ranks third in the Big 12 after one weekend. She ended the tournament with a match-high 26 digs against host Weber State, marking the ninth time in her Tech career where she has reached the 20-dig mark. Mills, meanwhile, connected on 39 kills, second-most on the team, while adding nine digs and 11 blocks to collect her first all-tournament honor of her career. The middle blocker delivered 25 kills over the final two matches, including a career-high 13 in Tech's four-set victory over Grand Canyon.

Texas Tech freshman Courtney Ensch made what seemed to be a smooth transition to collegiate volleyball at the Wildcat Invitational as she connected on 26 kills from the right side while also adding eight digs and five blocks. Ensch, who arrived at Tech from Southlake Carroll High School, had one of the most accurate performances for a Red Raider in recent memory against Grand Canyon as she recorded 12 kills off just 19 attempts. Ensch had only two hitting errors in the match for a .526 hitting percentage, which was the highest for a Red Raider since Lydia McKay totaled the same average on Sept. 14 last year against Houston Baptist. Ensch closed the weekend hitting .327 over 13 sets, the second-highest percentage on the team.

Texas Tech will look to continue its dominance over non-conference foes this week with five matches on tap, beginning Tuesday evening against Abilene Christian. The Red Raiders are a combined 28-8 against out-of-league opponents under third-year head coach Don Flora, who has not lost to an non-conference foe at home during his two-plus seasons on the Tech bench. Tech turned in a 14-2 record in non-conference action during Flora's first season in 2011 and then posted an 11-5 mark a year ago. The Red Raiders close the week at the Cougar Challenge hosted by Washington State where they will play a total of four non-conference matches.




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