LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech volleyball opened its toughest stretch of the year with a hard-fought 3-0 loss to No. 3 Texas Wednesday night in front of a stellar crowd of 1,614 at United Supermarkets Arena.
Playing in front of the largest home audience since 2002, the Red Raiders (13-7, 2-5) held the upper hand late in the first set before the Longhorns (15-2, 7-0) rallied to take the frame and rode their momentum to a 27-25, 25-12, 25-18 victory.
"In the first set, I felt like we played really good ball," head coach Tony Graystone said. "We were up 24 -21, and that's a set we've got to close out. We let them off the hook there for sure, and they made some good plays to steal it. Second and third set, it was just a different match, so I'd like to have seen us respond better. I'd like to have seen what would have happened if we had taken that first set the way we should have."
Junior setter Missy Owens shined for the Red Raiders. The California native posted a double-double with 30 assists and 10 digs, marking her fifth double-double of the season and 19th of her career. With 30 assists, she also surpassed 2,000 career assists.
Offensively, the Red Raiders were paced by junior Sarah Redding and freshman Allison White, who had eight kills each. Junior Katy Keenan and sophomore Chandler Atwood posted six apiece, respectively.
Texas was led by sophomore Micaya White's 15 kills and 11 each from senior Chiaka Ogbogu and senior Ebony Nwanebu. Texas finished with 8.0 team blocks to Tech's 3.0 with Ogbogu posting seven and Nwanebu adding four.
Tech came out firing in the first set as an ace by sophomore Emily Hill put Tech up 4-1 early. The set would tighten, before Tech went on a 4-0 run to take a 21-18 lead. A kill by Redding would give Tech set point at 24-20, but the Longhorns would save a total of five set points before coming away with the set at 27-25.
The momentum stayed with Texas in the second set with the Longhorns winning 10 of the first 11 points. The Red Raiders would pull to within seven at 14-7 following a setter dump by Owens and an ace from Keenan. Texas hit .485 for the set and closed out a 25-12 win.
The Red Raiders regrouped to start the third as Tech opened the frame with a 6-0 run capped off by Redding's seventh kill. It wasn't until an attack error by White with the score even at 12-12 that Texas took its first lead of the frame. The Red Raiders remained close, trailing just 17-16 before Texas closed the match with an 8-2 run.
It doesn't get any easier for the Red Raiders as they head to No. 11 Kansas this Saturday, Oct. 21, for a 1 p.m. tilt on ESPN 3. The match is Tech's second of three straight in which they'll take on ranked opponents with No. 24 Baylor coming to town next Wednesday.
The crowd of 1,614 was the largest since 2002, the fourth-largest for volleyball at United Supermarkets Arena, and the seventh largest in Tech volleyball history.
Tech falls to 6-2 at home this season.
The Longhorns outhit the Red Raiders .376 to .152.
Wednesday was the first time Emily Hill has been held under 10 kills in a Big 12 match.
Tech's 13 wins has already surpassed its 2016 total of 10 and is one away from matching its 2015 total. Tech's 46 sets won is more than it had in all of 2016 or 2015.