Texas Tech Returns Home to Host No. 9 Texas

The Red Raiders host in-state rival Texas at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.

Sept. 28, 2012

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LUBBOCK, Texas - After falling to TCU Wednesday night in Fort Worth, Texas Tech returns to the United Spirit Arena Saturday afternoon to face in-state rival No. 9 Texas in a 2 p.m. first serve.

The Red Raiders will be looking to snap a 22-match losing streak to the Longhorns Saturday as Texas Tech has not defeated its in-state rival since sweeping the 2000 series. Texas has maintained a 72-9-2 overall lead in the all-time series that has been played annually since 1975, the longest active streak among Texas Tech opponents. Texas Tech has only recorded three wins against Texas since 1980 as the Longhorns are also 32-2 all-time when playing in Lubbock. The Red Raiders' 22-match losing streak is the longest against any opponent in school history.

Texas Tech will be looking for its first win over a ranked opponent since 2004 Saturday afternoon as the Red Raiders will be facing their first top 25 team this season. The Red Raiders went winless against ranked opponents in Don Flora's first year roaming the sidelines as the second-year head coach is 0-5 so far against top-25 teams. Texas Tech last defeated a ranked opponent on Nov. 20, 2004, in a 3-2 victory over No. 20 Kansas State in Manhattan. The Red Raiders have not scored a win at home over a top 25 team since downing No. 21 Missouri, 3-1, on Oct. 5, 2002.

The Red Raiders return to their non-conference slate Tuesday evening when Texas Tech travels to face Central Arkansas. The match is one of two remaining non-conference matches remaining for the Red Raiders, who will also host New Mexico on Nov. 9. Texas Tech returns to Big 12 play next Saturday when No. 19 Iowa State travels to Lubbock for an 11 a.m. first serve.

• 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 as well 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 3-5 on the year and 4-19 under Flora.
• Texas Tech boasts one of the youngest rosters in the Big 12 as 12 of 15 Red Raiders who have appeared in a conference match so far are classified as either a freshman or sophomore.
Lydia McKay saw her five-match streak of reaching double digits in kills come to an end Wednesday night at TCU as the freshman finished with four overall. McKay was coming off a team-high 11 kills last weekend against Kansas where she matched her season high for the third time this season.
Rachel Brummitt enters this weekend ranked fourth in the Big 12 for digs per set as the sophomore transfer is averaging 4.61 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 0.28 per set average.
• Brummitt has also recorded two of the four 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 793 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.
• Ruetter entered this week ranked 53rd in the NCAA for assists per set as she has totaled a 10.82 average. She also ranks fifth in the category among Big 12 setters as well.
Emily Ehrle leads a group of five Red Raiders who have already totaled at least 100 kills this year as the freshman has 160 entering this weekend. The Crowley, Texas also leads Texas Tech with 446 attempts as well.

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 .333 average and Piper trailing slightly with a .321 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. Tech has not had two or more middle blockers post 100 or more kills in a season since Piper and Barbara Conceicao combined on 255 kills in 2010.




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