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Tory Vaughan was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after her 31-dig performance against Baylor.

Nov. 3, 2011

by Jessika Bailey
Texas Tech Athletics Communications

Hard work has paid off for the Texas Tech volleyball team, including one of their leaders, libero Tory Vaughan. During the team's win over Baylor on Oct. 26, Vaughan recorded a career-high 31 digs.

"I couldn't have done it without my blockers setting up a good block," Vaughan said. "Either way a dig and a block are almost the same thing."

Head coach Don Flora couldn't be more proud of his junior libero after her performance in the five-set win against Baylor.

"To have 31 digs for her, and out-dig Baylor's libero is a massive step for us as a program, and for her individually."

"She receives serve at a high level," Flora said. "She is a better receiver than defender, so to have 31 digs for her, and out-dig Baylor's libero is a massive step for us as a program, and for her individually."

Now that she knows it's possible, Vaughan says she is trying to make it happen again, and she expects the team to pull out a couple of upsets to finish out the season.

"I think teams are a little more worried about us now that we pulled out a win," Vaughn said. "But we've been really close to beating the other teams also."

After her career performance against Baylor, Vaughan received the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honor on Monday. The 31 digs were the most by a Tech player in the rally-scoring era (2001-present) and she ended the week ranked eighth in the Big 12 in digs per-set.

"I'm just really honored," Vaughan said. "I never would have thought I would get any award like that."

To get Vaughan to this level of play, Flora says they work with her hand, foot and eye-coordination to better her playing ability and to see and react to what she sees on the court.

"Before we got here, she was told to always go to the floor and we don't want to go to the floor if we don't have to," Flora said about Vaughan's previous training. "It's been a 360-shift about how we train and what we're looking for out of our libero."

Just three short years ago, Vaughan was a walk-on freshman. She asked the members of former coaching staff if she could play, and they told her to come out to two-a-days. By the time the season started, Vaughan earned a starting position as libero.

"For the past two years I proved that I was working hard enough," she said.

Now well into her Tech volleyball career, Vaughan couldn't picture her college career without volleyball.

"I've been playing since I was nine year-round," Vaughn said. "It's been such a big part of my life. I couldn't really imagine giving it up yet."




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