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Texas Tech Opens Big 12 Play Against Kansas


The Red Raiders open Big 12 play against Kansas at 6 p.m. Saturday evening.

Sept. 21, 2012

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech will look to snap a three-match losing streak Saturday night when the Red Raiders open Big 12 play against the Kansas Jayhawks. First serve is slated for 6 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena.

TEXAS TECH IN BIG 12 OPENERS
The Red Raiders are 6-10 all-time in Big 12 openers with their last win coming in 2007 when the Red Raiders topped Colorado, 3-2, in Lubbock. Since then, Texas Tech has been swept in four-straight conference openers, with Iowa State delivering a 3-0 rout last year in Lubbock. The Red Raiders, who have never opened league play against Kansas previously, are 3-6 all-time when opening the conference schedule at home.

RED RAIDERS LOOK TO REBOUND AFTER THREE-STRAIGHT LOSSES
Texas Tech enters this weekend riding a three-match losing streak after falling in five sets Wednesday evening at Nevada. The losing streak marks the first time during the Don Flora era where the Red Raiders have lost multiple matches in a row. Tech also fell to Cal State Northridge and Rice last weekend in Houston during the Rice Invitational. Despite the three losses, Tech is still an impressive 25-6 against non-conference foes under the second-year head coach. The Red Raiders' loss at Nevada marked Tech's first in five-set matches this year after previously defeating Boston College, Furman, and Houston Baptist.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
The Red Raiders return to the road next Wednesday to face TCU for the first time as Big 12 Conference members before returning to the United Spirit Arena on Sept. 29 to battle nationally-ranked Texas. Texas Tech and the Horn Frogs are slated for a 6:30 p.m. first serve in the University Rec Center in Fort Worth.

THE KANSAS SERIES
After winning 11 of the last 12 contests, Kansas now controls the overall lead in the series with Texas Tech as the Jayhawks are 17-16 all-time against the Red Raiders. Tech has defeated the Jayhawks just once since 2007 which came on Oct. 2, 2010, when the Red Raiders took a 3-2 victory in Lubbock. Despite the recent struggles against the Jayhawks, the Red Raiders are still 8-7 when facing Kansas in Lubbock.

STEPPING UP THE MIDDLE
Prior to this season, one of the main aspects Don Flora wanted to improve in the Texas Tech attack was the play in the middle. The Red Raiders attacked primarily from the outside during his inaugural campaign on the Tech bench but have looked more to the middle this season with returning junior Aubree Piper and emerging freshman Lydia McKay. The two middles enter this week ranked among the top 10 in the Big 12 for hitting percentage with Piper recording a .349 average and McKay trailing slightly with a .333 percentage. The two, along with fellow middle blocker Mikia Mills, have combined for 235 kills so far this season, 33 percent of Tech's team total which is vast improvement from a year ago where Tech received only 20 percent of its kills from the middle.

CAVE EMERGES AS BIG 12 PLAY BEGINS
After struggling to get healthy early in the year following an off-season knee injury, Miara Cave has seemed to find her groove over the past two weeks as she enters the Kansas match having posted double-digit kills in three of her last four outings. The preseason All-Big 12 selection is coming off her best performance of the year Wednesday night at Nevada where she matched her career high with 16 kills while also recording a .367 hitting percentage off a season high 30 attempts. Cave also totaled 10 kills last weekend against Rice and 14 in the tournament opener against Houston Baptist. She has been in double digits five times this season.

BRUMMITT FINISHES TWO DIGS SHY OF ANOTHER SCHOOL RECORD
In only her first season, Rachel Brummitt has already made quite an impression at the libero position. The sophomore snapped the Texas Tech school record for most digs in a three-set match earlier this year and came close to breaking the overall single-match mark last weekend against Houston Baptist. Brummitt finished with 34 digs in the 3-2 victory over the Huskies as she fell two shy of Ann Romjue's school record that was set on Nov. 18, 2000, against Texas A&M. With her 26-dig performance Wednesday at Nevada, Brummitt has reached the 20-dig mark six times already this year as she ranks third in the Big 12 with a 4.74 digs per set average.

FLORA JUST FIVE WINS SHY OF 300
Don Flora enters this weekend needing five wins to reach 300 for his career as the second-year head coach is 295-80 midway through his 13th season and 26-21 while at Texas Tech. Flora arrived at Tech prior to the 2011 season as one of the winningest active coaches in the NCAA after posting a 269-59 record during 11 seasons at the University of La Verne in California. The Red Raiders wrapped Flora's first season in Lubbock with a 15-17 record that marked the program's most wins since 2001.

RUETTER ALREADY AMONG THE TOP SETTERS IN THE BIG 12
Texas Tech freshman Emily Ruetter ranks fourth in the Big 12 entering this weekend for assists per set as she has averaged 10.84 per frame this year. She trails Kansas' Erin Mcnorton (12.36), Kansas State's Caitlyn Donahue (11.65), and Iowa Stand's Alison Landwehr (10.90) for the league lead as the Canadian native is only freshman ranked in the conference top five. In addition to quarterbacking the offense, Ruetter has also been instrumental on the back row as she is second on the team with 234 digs. She has recorded a team-leading six double-doubles through 15 matches this year, two more than fellow freshman Meghan Stacy.


 

 

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