The Red Raiders open the Rice Invitational against Houston Baptist on Friday afternoon.
Sept. 13, 2012
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech travels to its final tournament of the season this weekend as the Red Raiders head to Houston for the Rice Invitational that begins Friday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Red Raiders will face Houston Baptist, Cal State Northridge, and the host Owls during the two-day tournament.
|Dates ||Friday-Saturday, Sept. 14-15|
|Location (Facility)||Houston, Texas (Tudor Fieldhouse)|
|Tournament Schedule||Friday,Sept. 14 |
Texas Tech vs. Houston Baptist - 2 p.m. | Gametracker
Saturday, Sept. 15
Texas Tech vs. Cal State Northridge - 11 a.m. | Gametracker
Texas Tech vs. Rice - 7 p.m. CT | Gametracker | Watch Live
TOWSON SNAPS TEXAS TECH'S SEASON-OPENING WINNING STREAK
Texas Tech's loss to Towson last weekend to start the Montana tournament snapped an eight-match winning streak to start the season for the Red Raiders, who were off to their best start since 2003. The Red Raiders had started a season with eight-straight victories only seven times previously in school history. Tech also opened the 2011 season with a solid start as the Red Raiders were 13-1 with the only loss coming in the season opener at TCU. The Red Raiders would match that start by winning all three contests this weekend.
The Red Raiders will make one more non-conference stop next Wednesday at Nevada before returning to the United Spirit Arena on Sept. 22 to open Big 12 play against Kansas. Texas Tech will be looking for its first win in a Big 12 opener since 2007 against the Jayhawks when the two teams open up with a 6 p.m. first serve.
THE HOUSTON BAPTIST SERIES
Friday's meeting between the Red Raiders and Houston Baptist will be the first in school history.
THE CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE SERIES
Cal State Northridge and the Red Raiders have met just once before in school history as Texas Tech swept the Matadors in straight sets on Aug. 31, 1990, during the season opener at the Arizona State Tournament.
THE RICE SERIES
The Red Raiders will be facing the Owls for the 35th time in school history as Texas Tech enters this weekend controlling a 25-9 advantage all-time in the series that dates back to 1977. Texas Tech has won 16 of the last 18 contests between the two schools, including seven of eight matches played at Rice. The Owls dropped the Red Raiders in straight sets in Tech's last visit to Houston on Aug. 27, 2010 in the season-opening Rice Invitational. Tech is 10-6 all-time when playing at Rice.
EHRLE BECOMES LATEST RED RAIDER TO EARN A BIG 12 WEEKLY AWARD
Emily Ehrle joined Rachel Brummitt and Emily Ruetter as Big 12 weekly award recipients Monday as she was named the conference Rookie of the Week for her play at the Montana Tournament. The freshman totaled 46 kills over four matches, including double digit totals over the final two contests against Furman and Montana. She hit .293 over 14 sets, including a .432 mark against Furman where she connected on a career-high 23 kills. The performance marked the first time a Tech player had reached the 20-kill mark this season and was also the most kills in a match since Amanda Dowdy recorded 26 on Sept. 26 last year at New Mexico. The selection marked the third-straight week a Red Raider had earned a conference award, a first in school history.
RED RAIDERS RECEIVING MORE ATTENTION UNDER FLORA
Don Flora's hiring at Texas Tech has not only resulted in more wins for the Red Raiders but it has also brought more recognition to the program as well. In the 15 seasons prior to his arrival, Texas Tech had only been honored with a Big 12 weekly recipient 12 times with the most recent being Amanda Dowdy in 2008. That all changed in 2011, though, as the Red Raiders picked up three conference weekly awards en route to a 15-17 season that marked the most wins since 2001. Tech has picked up right where last season left off this year as well as the Red Raiders are 10-1 and have already received four weekly accolades from the league, giving Flora just seven in a little over a season.
RED RAIDERS LOOK TO CONTINUE NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS UNDER FLORA
Don Flora's transformation of the Texas Tech program has been boosted by the Red Raiders' success in non-conference matches. In his two seasons, Flora has led the Red Raiders to a 24-3 mark in non-conference matches, including a 10-1 record this season. During that time, Texas Tech has posted a 7-0 record at home against non-conference opponents and won five tournament titles. The Red Raiders' only losses came in in the 2011 season opener at new Big 12 member TCU, at San Jose State later in the season, and then against Towson last weekend in Montana. Tech is also 10-1 in neutral site contests under Flora as well.
RED RAIDERS CONTINUE TO BE A PRESENCE AT THE NET
Texas Tech's success offensively this season may have been as a result in part to its work at the net. After ranking in the top 20 in blocks for most of last season, the Red Raiders have continued to be a dominating presence at the net as Tech's 2.54 blocks per set average currently ranks sixth in the Big 12 and 45th in the nation. The Red Raiders have stuffed 106 balls so far with a balanced approach that has seen five players already record at least 20 blocks. Aubree Piper leads the group with 39 blocks so far while Breeann David trails closely behind with 35 of her own. Mikia Mills has added 25 blocks from the middle as well while Emily Ruetter and Lydia McKay have both posted 21 each.