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Volleyball Preview: Texas Tech vs. No. 5 Nebraska

Amanda Dowdy is 19 kills shy of tying for 10th on the school's career kills chart.

Amanda Dowdy is 19 kills shy of tying for 10th on the school's career kills chart.

Nov. 5, 2010


LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech begins the final stretch of Big 12 play this Saturday when it faces No. 5 Nebraska at noon in the United Spirit Arena.

Tech has defeated Nebraska only once in its history as the Huskers have controlled a 33-1 advantage in the series. Tech's lone win came in five sets on Oct. 26, 1996, in Lubbock. The Red Raiders have not taken a set against the Huskers since Oct. 29, 2004, when Tech opened the match with a first-set victory.

After winning the opening set, Tech dropped the final three sets at Kansas State on Wednesday, falling to 3-20 overall and 1-13 in Big 12 play. Tech claimed its first set on the road in a month, but allowed the Wildcats to overcome a five-point deficit in the second to shift the match's momentum.

Preseason All-Big 12 selection Amanda Dowdy has powered the Tech offense with 4.06 kills per set and 4.54 points per set, both ranked fourth in the conference. Dowdy has led the team in kills in all but two matches this season, and her 4.44 kills per set in conference play is tops in the league. She ranks 40th in the nation in kills per set.

Karlyn Meyers is currently eighth in the conference with a 9.03 assists per set average. Miara Cave and Aubree Piper are Tech's next offensive options besides Dowdy as the duo is averaging 1.79 and 1.74 kills per set each. On the defensive end, libero Jackie Vincent has been a consistent option for the Red Raiders, posting 258 digs on the year, while middle blocker Barbara Conceicao leads the squad with 1.08 blocks per set, 10th-highest in the conference. Dowdy has added 183 digs of her own.



Ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation this year, Nebraska enters Saturday's match with a 21-2 overall record and 13-1 conference slate with its only Big 12 loss coming at the hands of No. 8 Texas a week ago in Austin. The Huskers downed Tech, 3-0, earlier in the year in Lincoln.

The Huskers have three solid offensive options in Lindsey Licht, Brooke Delano, and Hannah Werth, who all have posted over 200 kills this year. Nebraska runs a 6-2 rotation with setters Sydney Anderson (5.97 assists per set) and Lauren Cook (6.39 a/s). Kayla Banwarth leads the back line with 381 assists, while on the net Delano has added 1.49 blocks per set, tops in the Big 12. The Huskers are coached by John Cook, who is 311-28 in his 11 seasons with Nebraska.

The Red Raiders return to the road this Wednesday, traveling to Columbia, Mo. for a 6:30 p.m. match with the Missouri Tigers. Tech will play at the United Spirit Arena again next Saturday against No. 8 Texas in a 1 p.m. match.

After opening the match with a decisive first-set victory, Tech allowed Kansas State to overcome a five-point deficit in a momentum-shifting second frame that eventually led to the Wildcats taking a 3-1 victory. Amanda Dowdy and Karlyn Meyers both posted double-doubles in the match.

Around 30 former Red Raider volleyball players will unite this weekend for the Alumni Weekend event hosted by the volleyball program. The group will gather for a banquet Friday night in the west stadium building of Jones AT&T Stadium and will also be introduced during the intermission of Saturday's match against Nebraska. Former student-athletes from the program's beginning in the 1960s to those from last season will be among the alumni in attendance.

Karlyn Meyers and Amanda Dowdy each recorded double-double performances at Kansas State with Meyers finishing with 32 assists and 13 digs, while Dowdy totaled 21 kills and 12 digs. The double-double was the third of Meyers' career, all of which that have come this season, and the seventh for Dowdy this year and ninth of her career.

With Tech needing a boost of energy at Kansas, interim head coach Beth Falls inserted Sheridan Burgess into the rotation and the freshman delivered with a career-high eight kills. Burgess, who can play almost any spot on the floor, added a career-high three blocks in the match.

After two and a half seasons at one of Tech's primary offensive targets, junior Amanda Dowdy is inching closer to joining the top 10 for several career categories on the school's all-time chart, namely kills and total attempts. Here is a rundown of where the Lexington, Texas native currently stands:

Career Kills
1. Kelly Johnson (2001-04) - 1,925
2. Melissa McGehee (1992-02) - 1,333
9. Kim Gosselin (1989-92) - 962
10. Jennifer Cohn (1992-95) - 957
Amanda Dowdy (2008-Pres.) - 938

Career Attack Attempts
1. Kelly Johnson (2001-04) - 5,142
2. Melissa McGee (1999-02) - 3,368
9. Kiley Lyons (2003-06) - 2,680
10. Brande Brown (1994-97) - 2,600
Amanda Dowdy (2008-Pres.) - 2,573

In the midst of one of her best seasons since arriving on campus, Karlyn Meyers is closing in on eighth on the school's all-time assists leaderboard. Entering Saturday, Meyers has recorded 1,630 assists in a little over two seasons, 46 assists shy of tying Rochelle Kaa'iai (1988-92) for eighth overall.

Tech closes its home schedule at the United Spirit Arena with the Big 12's three ranked programs in No. 5 Nebraska, No. 8 Texas, and No. 12 Iowa State. The Red Raiders face the Huskers at noon Saturday before battling Texas on Nov. 13 and Iowa State on Nov. 24.

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