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Texas Tech Volleyball 2011 Season Review

Karlyn Meyers


Karlyn Meyers
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The Red Raiders wrapped the 2011 season with a 15-17 overall record.

Dec. 19, 2011

2011 Season Review |  Final Tech Stats |  Big 12 Stats |  NCAA Stats

LUBBOCK, Texas - In its first season under head coach Don Flora, the Texas Tech volleyball program turned a corner in 2011 with 15 wins, the school's most since the 2001 season.

TEXAS TECH TAKES STEP UP UNDER FLORA
From the moment he accepted the job, Don Flora has stated that Texas Tech would become one of the top volleyball programs in the country. After only one season, the Red Raiders appear on their way to better things in 2012. Despite only 11 wins over the last three seasons combined, the Red Raiders wrapped the year 15-17 overall, boasting the third-largest win differential in the country from the 2010 to the 2011 season. Here is a rundown of the most improved programs this season:

School 2010 Record 2011 Record Difference
Samford 14-17 29-4 15
Tennessee-Martin 6-24 19-14 13
Texas Tech 4-25 15-17 11
San Francisco 5-22 16-13 11
Bowling Green 8-24 19-12 11
Long Island 10-21 21-13 11
Florida Gulf Coast 7-19 18-13 11

RPI ALSO TAKES A JUMP UNDER FLORA
Thanks in part to its 15 wins on the year, Tech saw a drastic improvement in the ratings percentage index (RPI rankings) at season's end, coming in at No. 113 nationally. The ranking is nearly 70 spots higher than a year ago when Tech finished 182nd nationally. The RPI rankings are widely used by the NCAA selection committee for postseason selections.

RED RAIDERS RETURN MOST OF ROTATION IN 2012
Texas Tech fans will see several familiar faces when the 2012 season begins next August as 12 returners and two redshirts are expected to return. Among the group includes two of Tech's top three attackers in Miara Cave and Breeann David along with libero Tory Vaughan. Middle blockers Aubree Piper and Dravon Rangel will also return for their junior seasons while Mikia Mills and Sam Podraza will both be sophomores.

DOWDY NAMED TO ALL-BIG 12 FIRST TEAM
For the second-straight year, Amanda Dowdy was named to the postseason All-Big 12 first team in a vote by the conference coaches. With the selection, Dowdy became just the first Tech player to earn first-team accolades twice in a career. Tech had not previously had a player selected to the first team since Kelly Johnson claimed the honor in 2002. The program had also been left off the postseason awards list since 2004 as well when Johnson earned honorable mention accolades. Dowdy joins a selective group of two-time all-conference selections in Johnson, Lisa Hilgers and Melissa McGehee.

ATTENDANCE RISES UNDER FLORA
With a successful product on the floor, Tech fans flocked to the United Spirit Arena in large numbers throughout the season as the program averaged just over 800 fans during 11 home matches this season. The number is roughly 150 more fans than Tech averaged during the 2010 season and 300 more than the average from the 2009 season.

BIG 12 PROVES TO BE ONE OF NATION'S TOUGHER CONFERENCES
If one thing was evident from the 2011 season, the Big 12 is among the nation's elite volleyball conferences. The league sent seven teams to the NCAA Championship, the second-most in conference history. Texas was one of three squads to earn national seeds, joining Iowa State (No. 4) and Texas A&M (No. 16) with the No. 1 seed overall. The Longhorns and Cyclones both advanced to the elite eight round while Kansas State upset No. 2 Nebraska in the second round to become the league's third team to advance to the Sweet 16 round.

RED RAIDERS BOAST WINS OVER TWO TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Among the seven Big 12 schools to make the postseason, Tech defeated one of those, Baylor, in five sets on Oct. 26 for its second win of the year over an NCAA Championship squad. The other victory came Sept. 3 against Morehead State as part of the Texas Tech Invitational. The Red Raiders came close to dropping two other tournament teams in Oklahoma and Texas A&M, taking both teams to the brink before falling in five sets. Since 2005, Tech had previously defeated only two schools that made the postseason in the same year - UTSA (2010) and UNLV (2007).

DOWDY REWRITES RECORD BOOK IN FINAL SEASON
Amanda Dowdy's final season in scarlet and black forever put her name in the Tech annuals. The senior wrapped her career ranked second all-time in career kills and attempts while also placing among the top 10 in several single-season categories as well. Below is a listing of where Dowdy stands following this season:

Category Total Rank
Career kills 1,495 2nd
Career attempts 4,269 2nd
Single-season kills (2011) 454 T-7th
Single-season attempts (2011) 1,376 T-2nd
Single-season attempts (2010) 1,286 7th
Single-match kills (vs. Colorado, 10/13/10) 37 1st
Single-match kills (at Colorado, 11/20/10) 34 T-3rd
Single-match attempts (vs. Colorado, 10/13/10) 87 2nd
Single-match attempts (at Colorado, 11/20/10) 75 T-5th

DOWDY ENTERS BIG 12 RECORD BOOK AS WELL
In addition to her numerous spots in the Tech record book, Amanda Dowdy also left her name in the Big 12 almanac as well, wrapping her career ranked 10th all-time in attack attempts. Thanks to her 50 swings in the season finale against Missouri, Dowdy finished with 4,269 career attempts, four more than Nebraska's Sarah Pavan during the 2004-07 seasons.

MEYERS JOINS FELLOW SENIOR, GOOD FRIEND IN RECORD BOOK
Like her good friend and fellow senior, Karlyn Meyers also concluded her time in scarlet and black with her best season to date. The China Spring, Texas native totaled 1,057 assists on the year, moving to sixth all-time on the school's career chart in the process. Meyers finished just short of the 3,000 assists mark as she totaled 2,908 over her four seasons. Her career 7.90 assists per set average also ranked seventh all-time in school history. Meyers was just the first Tech to reach the 1,000 assist mark in a single season since Laura Grote in 2003.

VAUGHAN WRAPS SUCCESSFUL SEASON AT LIBERO
Tory Vaughan wrapped her first season back at the libero position with one the best campaigns in recent history. The junior totaled 409 digs on the year, becoming only the seventh player in school history to reach the 400 mark and the first since Desiree Batista in 2005. Her single-season total ranked seventh as well in the school record book. With a similar season in 2012, Vaughan stands a chance to enter the top 10 on the career chart as well as her 699 digs trail Ginger Carter (1991-94) by 393 for 10th all-time.

PRESEASON TALK PROVES TRUE FOR CAVE DURING JUNIOR SEASON
If there was one consistent prior to the season, it was that Don Flora was excited to see how Miara Cave would perform during her junior year. After seeing her compete all spring, the first-year head coach strongly believed Cave was primed for a breakout season. He was right. The San Antonio finished with 298 kills on the year, second-most on the team, while posting a .231 hitting percentage that was significantly higher than her first two seasons combined. In addition to her offensive output, Cave also led the Red Raiders with 99 blocks on the year. She needs 85 blocks next year to tie Brande Brown (1994-97) for 10th all-time on the Tech career chart as she concluded the year with 203 over three seasons.

TECH STILL AMONG NATIONAL BLOCK LEADERS
The Red Raiders concluded the season ranked 14th nationally in blocks per set, averaging 2.76 per frame that was just percentage points behind Texas for the conference lead. Tech only averaged 2.18 blocks per set a year ago, marking another big improvement under first-year head coach Don Flora.

HUSKEY EMERGES DURING BIG 12 PLAY
The Red Raiders received a much-needed boost off the bench late in the year from backup setter Brandy Huskey, who entered the rotation as a defensive specialist on the back row. The sophomore posted double-digit digs in five matches during Big 12 play, including a career-high 19 at Kansas State on Nov. 19. Huskey finished the year with 126 digs, doubling her total from her freshman season.

DAVID FINDS SUCCESS DURING FRESHMAN SEASON
After a successful prep career at nearby Denver City High School, Breeann David lived up to the high expectations during her inaugural season, finishing third on the team with 262 kills, the most for a Tech freshman since Amanda Dowdy totaled 301 in 2008. David posted 10 or more kills in 11 matches, including a career-high 17 against Oklahoma on Oct. 1. She wrapped the year with 44 kills over Tech's final five matches. David also added 134 digs on the back row and 72 blocks on the net. She dropped her first career double-double Sept. 26 at New Mexico, totaling a then career-high 15 kills to go along with 12 digs.


 

 

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