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Red Raiders Head to Fort Worth to Battle TCU

The Red Raiders will face TCU at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday evening in Fort Worth.

Sept. 25, 2012

Tech Match Notes  |  TCU Notes  |  Big 12 Notes

LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech continues Big 12 play Wednesday evening when the Red Raiders travel to Fort Worth to face the TCU Horned Frogs at 6:30 p.m. in the University Rec Center.

Wednesday night's volleyball match will mark the first time Texas Tech and TCU will meet as conference members in any sport since both schools were part of the old Southwest Conference that disbanded following the 1995-96 academic year. Since then, TCU has been a member of the Western Athletic Conference (1996-2000), Conference USA (2001-04), and the Mountain West Conference (2005-11) before joining the Big 12 this past July. Texas Tech is also scheduled to face the Horned Frogs on Oct. 19 in soccer and Oct. 20 in football. The Red Raiders have never faced the Horned Frogs as conference opponents as TCU did not form its volleyball program until 1996 after the Southwest Conference disbanded.

Texas Tech and TCU will be meeting for the sixth time in school history Wednesday as the Red Raiders are 3-2 all-time against the Horned Frogs. The two teams opened the 2011 season against each other a year ago with the Horned Frogs taking a 3-1 victory in Fort Worth. Texas Tech swept TCU, 3-0, in its only other trip to Fort Worth on Sept. 5, 2000.

The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play this Saturday when No. 9 Texas travels to Lubbock for a 2 p.m. match in the United Spirit Arena. Texas Tech will then turn its attention back to non-conference action Oct. 2 when the Red Raiders travel to face Central Arkansas.

After being swept in straight sets to open Big 12 play last Saturday against Kansas, Don Flora described the experience as a welcoming to the Big 12 party for his young roster as seven of the 12 players who saw action against the Jayhawks were making their conference debut. Flora also used a starting lineup that consisted of five newcomers against the Jayhawks as only junior Aubree Piper and sophomore Megan Dominguez had previously appeared in a Big 12 match. The Red Raiders closed the night hitting a season-low .080 while totaling just two blocks and 33 kills, both season lows as well.

Breeann David returned to the court Saturday night for the first time since Sept. 7 when the sophomore was injured early in the first set against Towson. David was Texas Tech's leader in kills prior to her injury and also ranked second on the team in blocks as well. The Denver City, Texas native entered the match near the start of the third set against Kansas and registered a kill off six attempts.

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 McKay recording a .341 average and Piper trailing slightly with a .333 percentage. The two, along with fellow middle blocker Mikia Mills, have combined for 235 kills so far this season, 34 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.

• The Big 12 Conference has five teams ranked in the top 25 or receiving votes in this week's AVCA poll which marks the most for the league this season. No. 9 Texas leads the group that also includes No. 15 Kansas State and No. 19 Iowa State. Oklahoma and Kansas are both receiving votes to finish just outside the top 25.
• Success in the opening set has been a focus point for the Red Raiders this season as Texas Tech is 8-1 when winning the opening frame and 22-4 when doing so under head coach Don Flora. When losing the opening set, though, Texas Tech is just 3-4 on the year and 4-18 under Flora.
• While most of the Red Raiders struggled in the Big 12 opener against Kansas, Lydia McKay continued her strong play from the past few weeks as the freshman totaled a team-high 11 kills. The performance marked the fifth-straight match where McKay has reached double digits in kills as she also matched her season high for the third time during the five-match stretch.
Rachel Brummitt enters this week ranked fourth in the Big 12 for digs per set as the sophomore transfer is averaging 4.70 per frame. The two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week is also among the league leaders in service aces as she has 18 on the year at an 0.30 per set average.
• Brummitt has also recorded two of the three highest dig totals in the Big 12 this season after finishing with a conference-leading 34 against Houston Baptist and 27 against San Jose State.
Tory Vaughan enters this week among the leaders in digs among active Big 12 players as the senior has totaled 786 over her four seasons which ranks sixth in the conference.
Emily Ruetter's 71 assists against Houston Baptist during the Rice Invitational ranks as the most for a Big 12 player this season as Erin Mcnorton (Kansas) is the only other setter to register 60 or more assists in a match.
Emily Ehrle leads a group of five Red Raiders who have already totaled at least 100 kills this year as the freshman has 153 entering this week. The Crowley, Texas also leads Texas Tech with 424 attempts as well.

Don Flora enters this week needing five wins to reach 300 for his career as the second-year head coach is 295-81 midway through his 13th season and 26-22 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.



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