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Tech Prepares For Arch-Rival Texas A&M




Nov. 17, 2000

Game Information: Texas A&M vs. Texas Tech Saturday, Nov. 18, 2000, 7 p.m. United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, Texas

Series Record: Texas A&M leads the all-time series 36-21

Last Meeting: Texas Tech lost their second game of the season to the Texas A&M Aggies on Oct. 11 in College Station. The Aggies took the match in three games (6-15, 12-15, 11-15)marking the first time that Texas Tech had been swept all season long. On the night, Texas Tech was led by Colleen Smith who finished with 18 kills, eight digs and a block.

Rankings: Texas Tech (None), Texas A&M (23rd-AVCA)

Nelson vs. A&M: Head coach Jeff Nelson is 2-11 against the Texas A&M Aggies.

Radio/Television/Webcast: None/None/

Texas Tech's Last Outing: Texas Tech lost to Colorado (7-15, 15-10, 4-15, 15-12, 12-15).

Texas A&M's Last Outing: The Aggies beat Baylor in three games (15-3, 15-2, 15-4).


Texas Tech returns home to the United Spirit Arena for a crucial match with 23rd ranked Texas A&M. The Aggies will come to Lubbock fresh off a three-game win over Baylor while Texas Tech enters the match off a five-game loss to Colorado.

The Aggies will be looking to extend a three-game win streak that they have over Tech dating back to the 1999 season. The Aggies are ranked 23rd in the latest edition of the AVCA's Top 25 Poll with 96 total points. Texas A&M is currently riding a two game win streak after posting wins over Iowa State and Baylor.

A&M is led by Erin Gibson who has 338 kills on the year and a hitting percentage of .258.


The Texas Tech volleyball team lost a heartbreaker at the hands of the Colorado Buffaloes (7-15, 15-10, 4-15, 15-12, 12-15) at the Coors Event/Conference Center in Boulder, Colo. on Wednesday night.

For the second time this season, Texas Tech and Colorado went five games but unfortunately for the Red Raiders the result was the same. With the win, Colorado earned the season sweep after posting a five-game win in Lubbock on Oct. 7.

Texas Tech was able to force the match to five games despite a Colorado onslaught in the third game in which the Buffaloes won 15-4. Texas Tech answered in the fourth game with a 15-12 win to send the match to five games.

Janelle Jones had a big night for the Red Raiders as the senior middle blocker tallied 16 kills and eight blocks.


Texas Tech's success on the court is also showing up in the NCAA statistical rankings. As of the Nov. 12 rankings, Texas Tech has two individuals ranking among the nation's Top 20 in two categories. Texas Tech is also ranked as a team in one category.

INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS (6) Assists, Skydra Orzen (2) Service Aces, Heather Hughes-Justice

TEAM RANKINGS (18) Assists


Texas Tech junior defensive specialist Heather Hughes-Justice maintained her second place mark in this week's NCAA individual standings. Two weeks ago, Hughes-Justice lost her No. 1 ranking and fell to third in the national standings but moved to second in the Nov. 7 rankings. Hughes-Justice currently has 71 aces on the year.


Texas Tech will face the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday in the United Spirit Arena where the Red Raiders will be looking for their first win over arch-rival Texas A&M since the 1998 season. Texas Tech last beat A&M on Nov. 11, 1998 when the Raiders dropped the 19th ranked Aggies 15-4, 15-12, 10-15, 15-7 in College Station. Since then, the Aggies have rolled off three straight wins over Tech including a three-game decision on Oct. 11.


Texas Tech, after a .230 hitting performance against Colorado on Wednesday, is now hitting .246 on the season and .232 in the Big 12. Texas Tech entered Wednesday's match with Colorado hitting .247 overall. Sophomore Melissa McGehee has been the most consistent hitter all season long for Texas Tech as she has 409 kills and a hitting percentage of .264.


With three matches remaining in the 2000 regular season campaign, Texas Tech already has 307 total blocks on the season which is 29 more than Tech had all of last season. The Red Raiders are ranked fourth in the Big 12 while Janelle Jones is ranked 11th in the individual standings.


Junior setter Skydra Orzen is 91 assists away from setting a Texas Tech single-season record. Orzen has 1,446 assists on the year and needs 1,538 to surpass Lisa Hilgers' mark of 1,537 during the 1995 season.


Senior outside hitter Colleen Smith and sophomore Melissa McGehee have been absolutely dominating this season. Both players have combined for a total of 882 kills and became the first duo in school history to hit over 400 kills in the same season. Only four players in school history have hit over 400 kills in a single-season (Brande Brown (431) - 1997, Jill Burness (427) - 1996, Colleen Smith - 2000 and Melissa McGehee - 2000). Defensively, McGehee and Smith have been just as deadly as the two players have combined for 585 digs on the year.


Senior middle blocker Janelle Jones has been playing a major role as of late for the Red Raiders. Jones is hitting .331 on the year with 234 kills, 72 errors and 490 attacks. The big story, however, for Jones has been her blocking as she currently has 111 total blocks (28 Solo, 83 Assist) to lead the team. Against Colorado on Wednesday, Jones tallied a team-high eight blocks.


Texas Tech played in its seventh five-game match of the season against Colorado on Wednesday. Overall, Texas Tech is 4-3 in five-game matches and has a 3-1 record in five-game matches at home.



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