BERKELEY, Calif. – Texas Tech volleyball suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, dropping a hard-fought 3-1 decision to Cal in the final match of the Cal Classic in Berkeley, Calif.
After dropping the opening two frames, the Red Raiders bounced back to take the third set and held a 23-22 lead in the fourth, but Cal rallied to prevent a fifth set, winning 25-18, 25-17, 22-25, 26-24.
"This was a good match to give us a window to look at ourselves, see how close we are in some areas and where we still have to get better in others," head coach Tony Graystone said. "We started to get our offense figured out in the third set. Once we got ourselves more on track with what Cal was doing, it got really competitive. It was just a couple of rotations at the end we struggled to side-out with."
With the loss, Texas Tech falls to 4-1 on the young season, including 2-1 on the road. Tech will look to get back in the win column Monday with its home opener at United Supermarkets Arena at 6 p.m. on Sept. 4.
Junior libero Reyn Akiu and freshman Allison White were named to the Cal Classic All-Tournament Team. Akiu, the Big 12's leader in digs per set, averaged 5.10 over three games in Berkeley, including 16 against the Golden Bears. White, meanwhile, was a catalyst for the offense against Cal as she recorded a career-high 14 kills on .609 hitting with 10 of those coming in the final two frames.
Sophomores Chandler Atwood and Emily Hill were also in double figures Saturday evening, notching 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Hill got her second double-double as a Red Raider with 13 digs, while junior setter Missy Owens also tallied a double-double with a match-high 48 assists and 10 digs.
The Red Raiders struggled to find an answer for the strong arm of Cal senior Antzela Dempi. The outside hitter, named the Cal Classic MVP, hit .515 on her way to 19 kills. She complimented her offense with five block assists to help the Golden Bears outblock the Red Raiders, 11.0 to 4.0.
After visiting four different cities for competition in the past week, Texas Tech returns to Lubbock and faces a quick turnaround, hosting its home opener Monday, Sept. 4, against Abilene Christian at 6 p.m. inside United Supermarkets Arena. The Red Raiders hit .507 as a team in last year's sweep of the Wildcats in Lubbock
The loss ends Tech's four match winning streak
Tech falls to 0-2 all-time against Cal
Tech falls to 2-1 on the road this season
Tech moves to 13-57-4 all-time against current Pac-12 members and has lost five in a row
The Red Raiders have used a different starting lineup in all five matches this season
MORE FROM GRAYSTONE
On Allison White's performance
"It started with good passing. They were doing really committing to defending Emily (Hill) and Chandler (Atwood), so it was a good matchup, and Allison was putting them down."