Red Raiders Drop Five-Set Heartbreaker at West Virginia

Tech led 2-1 and had match point in both the fourth and fifth sets.

from Texas Tech

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Texas Tech volleyball fell inches shy of earning its first Big 12 win of the season as it fell to West Virginia, 3-2, Saturday at WVU Coliseum in Morgantown.

Holding a 2-1 lead in the match, the Red Raiders (10-15, 0-10) had a match point at 27-26 in the fourth set before the Mountaineers (12-12, 3-7) were able to rally and send it to a fifth set. Texas Tech, which has not lost 13 straight, led throughout most the fifth and had two match points, but West Virginia was able to come through for a 21-25, 25-13, 21-25, 29-27, 18-16 win.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the outcome, but there were so many positives,” head coach Tony Graystone said. “The effort was great. You can see those younger players really evolving. The improvement that we have shown is really good. This was the next step. We have been working so much on our systems and our fight, and now we are working on playing better volleyball. Now we have to take advantage of those moments, stay composed and trust ourselves and we will get that result.”

Texas Tech utilized a balanced effort as senior Lauren Douglass, sophomore Sarah Redding and freshman Toni McDougald recorded 13 kills each, while freshman Chandler Atwood added 12. It marks the first time four Red Raiders have posted double-digit kills since a 3-1 win at TCU in November of 2014.

“It was good to see Toni (McDouglad) and Chandler (Atwood) score points tonight,” Graystone said. “Our ball control was good so we were able to spread things out and stay balanced. Getting our outside hitters consistently going has been difficult for us these last few matches, so that was all due to our ball control and being able to move the ball around.”

While the Mountaineers hit .361 in the first matchup between the two teams this season, Tech held West Virginia to a .205 clip. Freshman Payton Caffrey led all attackers with 23 kills on 57 attempts for the Mountaineers.

The Red Raiders got off to a strong start in the first with solid play at the net that aided the defensive back, helping Tech turn an 8-8 draw into a 16-10 lead. Tech outhit the Mountaineers .281 to .226 in the set behind four kills each from Douglass and Atwood along with 13 assists from Grubb.

Errors plagued the Red Raiders in the second frame allowing West Virginia to bounce back and even the match. Tech committed four early on to help the Mountaineers get out to a 13-8 lead and finished the set with nine to post a -.107 hitting percentage.

Neither side could gain any separation in the early portion of the third set. Tech eventually claimed a four-point lead at 19-15, but West Virginia clawed back to within one at 21-20. Atwood helped provide a cushion for the Red Raiders, pounding home a kill from the left side before combining with Douglass to stuff a Mountaineer attack and give Tech a 23-20 lead. A Redding kill gave Tech match point on which West Virginia committed a service error to give the Red Raiders the set and a 2-1 lead.

For the first time in Big 12 play this season, Tech entered the fourth set with a lead. The Red Raiders worked out of two set points to pull even at 24-24 and eventually held match point at 27-26 after an ace from McDougald. A pair of Tech errors swung the advantage back to West Virginia, who connected on an ace to send the match to a fifth set.

Texas Tech held as much as a three-point lead in the fifth set at 8-5. The Red Raiders had match point at 14-13 and 15-14, but couldn’t get it done and West Virginia pulled out an 18-16 win.

With a match-high 55 assists, senior Marguerite Grubb moved up to the eighth position on the school’s all-time career assists list with 2,467. Sophomore libero Reyn Akiu also made her mark on the record book, recording a match-high 27 digs to move into the top 10 of the school’s single-season digs list with 421.

UP NEXT

The Red Raiders return home for a pair of matches next week. Texas Tech takes on Baylor Wednesday on Greek Night at United Supermarkets Arena at 6 p.m. The match has been designated as a ‘Black Out’ and fans are encouraged to wear black. A quick turnaround awaits Tech as it will host Iowa State Friday at 5 p.m.

Share