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Tech Volleyball Heads to Manhattan

Amanda Dowdy leads Tech in kills -- like this one
Amanda Dowdy leads Tech in kills -- like this one

Sept. 22, 2009

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech Volleyball team will head north tomorrow to face Kansas State in the team's only event of the week, as the first round of Big 12 play continues on Wednesday, Sept. 23, in Manhattan, Kan. Since the Big 12 only has 11 teams which sponsor volleyball (Oklahoma State does not), each week during conference play one team has a bye.

The Wildcats are 6-6 and 0-2 in Big 12 play, while Texas Tech is currently 2-9 and 0-2 in conference. The Wildcats are coached by Susie Fritz in her ninth season at the helm. Texas Tech is 8-22 all-time versus Kansas State, with their last win coming in the 2004 season.

Senior middle blocker Kelsey Chapman leads K-State with a .355 hitting efficiency, a 2.63 kills-per-set and a 1.14 blocks-per-set average. Junior outside hitter JuliAnne Chisholm sports a 3.20 kills-per-set mark and adds 2.12 digs-per-set to the defensive side of play.

For Tech, which has struggled since their best play of the season--a victory over Gonzaga at the Tulsa Tournament, some bumps and bruises to key players have hampered their efforts to get back into solid form.

"Alexxa Roberts struggled to return from an early ankle sprain and fell a little behind of the rest of our core middle blocking group, Karlyn Meyers has been hobbled of late with a nagging hip injury and everyone's slowed with what I call mid-season sluggishness," head coach Trish Knight said. "When you've taken a hundred or more arm swings in full competition, it begins to take a toll. But those things can't be excuses and teams have to learn to work through them, as everyone else does."

"I think Caroline Witte is doing well right now as a replacement for Karlyn at setter, but because we've been using Caroline as an outside hitter it's just another thing to shuffle in terms of lineups. I think Alexxa is starting to come back around and that should help us out," Coach Knight added.



Sophomore outside hitter Amanda Dowdy continues to lead the team with 3.28 kills-per-set and 1.97 digs-per-set averages. Significantly, she leads the Big 12 in service aces per set, .44, which is 50th-best in the nation. Junior middle blocker Barbara Conceicao's 1.44 blocks-per-set rank No. 2 in the conference and are good enough to land her in the No. 15 spot nationally. Meyers is ranked 10th in the conference in the blocking category with her 1.06 clip.

Tech ranks fourth in the Big 12 in blocking and is fifth in the Big 12 in serving to highlight the team's statistical efforts.

Following the Wednesday match, the team will have the weekend off to heal and tend to studies and will begin to prepare to host the No. 11 Iowa State Cyclones on Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the United Spirit Arena.

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