Texas Tech Opens Second Half of Big 12 Play Against West Virginia

The Red Raiders host West Virginia at 6 p.m. Saturday evening in the United Spirit Arena.

Oct. 26, 2012

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LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech opens the second half of Big 12 play Saturday evening when the Red Raiders host West Virginia at 6 p.m. in the United Spirit Arena.

West Virginia will be making its first ever trip to Lubbock this weekend as the Red Raiders and Mountaineers will be meeting for the fourth time in history. Tech took a 3-1 victory in the first Big 12 match between the two schools earlier this year to improve to 3-0 all-time against the Mountaineers. Prior to this year, the two schools had not met on the volleyball court since Sept. 22, 1995, when Tech claimed a 3-1 victory in Morgantown. The Red Raiders also swept West Virginia, 3-0, in their first ever meeting on Sept. 19, 1985.

After picking up their first Big 12 win of the season earlier this year at West Virginia, the Red Raiders will be looking for a similar performance Saturday when the Mountaineers make their first ever trip to Lubbock. The Red Raiders overcame a first-set deficit on Oct. 13 to defeat West Virginia, 3-1, in what was Tech's first conference road victory since topping Colorado on Nov. 20, 2010 in Boulder. Tech will be looking to sweep the season series with a Big 12 opponent for the first time since 2006 when the Red Raiders downed both Kansas and Texas A&M.

The Red Raiders return to the road next week for a pair of matches at Oklahoma on Wednesday evening and then No. 22 Iowa State the following Saturday. Texas Tech closes the year with three of its final five matches at the United Spirit Arena, beginning Nov. 7 with TCU. The Red Raiders will also host Kansas State on Nov. 17 and Baylor on Nov. 21 to close out the home schedule.

A two-set deficit did not derail Texas Tech from nearly upsetting 14th-ranked Kansas State last Saturday in Manhattan. The Red Raiders, who dropped each of the first two sets, rallied with wins in the third and fourth to force a pivotal fifth set where the two teams were tied at 9-9 midway through the frame. Kansas State won the final six points, however, to escape with the victory. The Red Raiders advanced to a fifth set against a ranked opponent on the road for the first time since traveling to Oklahoma on Sept. 27, 2008. Tech was looking for its first win over a top-25 team since facing the Wildcats on Nov. 20, 2004, in Manhattan.

After transferring to Texas Tech last winter, Rachel Brummitt has already made quite the impact for the Red Raiders on the back row. The Plano, Texas native moved into the top 10 in single-season history at Kansas State as her 21 digs in the match moved her to 406 on the year which ranks eighth all-time. Brummitt passed Lisa Hilgers (1995), Sabrina Zenon (1989), and Sheila Solomon (1990) against the Wildcats. She now trails teammate Tory Vaughan by just three digs for seventh entering this weekend. Brummitt is also on pace to potentially snap the Tech record that was set in 2000 when Melissa McGehee recorded 448 total digs.

• Texas Tech announced last week that its originally-scheduled Nov. 9 non-conference match with New Mexico has been canceled. The Lobos will instead travel to Lubbock during the 2013 season.
• 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 four season. No. 8 Texas leads the group that also includes No. 16 Kansas State, No. 17 Kansas, and No. 22 Iowa State. Oklahoma had also been receiving votes over the past six weeks before dropping completely out of the poll this week.
• The Red Raiders are No. 87 in this week's ratings percentage index (RPI) poll that is released every Monday leading up to NCAA postseason selections. Tech came in at No. 75 nationally in the first set of rankings that were released two weeks ago, marking a significant improvement in Don Flora's first season where the Red Raiders were No. 93 in the opening rankings.
• Texas Tech boasts one of the youngest rosters in the Big 12 as 15 of 18 Red Raiders who have appeared in a conference match so far are classified as either a freshman or sophomore.
• Following the Red Raiders' victory over West Virginia earlier this season, Don Flora is just four wins shy of reaching 300 for his career as he is 296-88 over 13 seasons and 27-29 while at Texas Tech.
Ellen Sorrells enters this weekend coming off her best performance of the season as she totaled a career-high 10 digs last Saturday at No. 14 Kansas State to go along with three aces. It was only the fourth time this year that a Red Raider reached three aces in a match.
• Like Sorrells, Whitney Ford and Brianna Grant also came off the bench and delivered against Kansas State as Ford totaled a season-high three kills and two blocks while Grant notched season highs with five kills and four blocks.
Rachel Brummitt enters this weekend ranked fourth in the Big 12 for digs per set as the sophomore transfer is averaging 4.46 per frame. The two-time Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week has also recorded the second-highest dig total in the Big 12 this season after finishing with 34 against Houston Baptist in the Rice Invitational opener.
Tory Vaughan enters this week among the leaders in digs among active Big 12 players as the senior has totaled 849 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) and Hannah Allison (Texas) are the only other setters to register 60 or more assists in a match.
• Ruetter enters this weekend ranked fifth in the Big 12 with a 10.02 assists per set average. She is the conference leader among freshman setters as Oklahoma's Julia Doyle is averaging 9.75 assists per set while West Virginia's Brittany Sample has recorded a 9.38 per frame average.




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