ABILENE, Texas – Texas Tech volleyball passed its first road test of the season with an impressive 3-0 victory at Abilene Christian on Tuesday in front of a reported 2,287 fans in Moody Coliseum.
Tech (4-0) started its 12-match road trip by holding ACU to a hitting percentage of .051 on its way to the 25-10, 25-20, 25-18 straight-set win.
Junior Emily Hill led all players with 10 kills for her second double-digit performance of the season. Senior Katy Keenan added nine kills and seven blocks, while three more Red Raiders registered five or more kills on the night.
“I’m really happy with how we came out playing today,” head coach Tony Graystone said. “It’s tough to travel and play on the same day, but we handled it well. We got off to a hot start and were in good shape from there. This was a good day to work some things out from last weekend, get our confidence high and take it on the road to California.”
With the win, Tech improves to 32-3 all-time against ACU and 10-1 in Abilene. It also marks Tech’s fifth 4-0 start since 2001 and the first under Graystone.
The Red Raiders dominated the opening set, outhitting the Wildcats .417 to -.160. Freshman Haley Killinger got Tech off to a fast start with five kills in the frame to lead all players and match ACU’s team total. Tech used a 13-1 run that turned a slim 5-4 lead into an 18-5 advantage.
After Tech jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the second set, the Wildcats fought back to narrow the gap and eventually tie the set at 15-15. Hill and Keenan then combined for three straight kills to put Tech back in front by three, and the Red Raiders closed the set on a 7-1 run to take firm control of the match.
Graystone trotted out Alex Kirby at setter for the third set, and the Red Raiders didn’t skip a beat. Keenan, Hill and Kanas provided four early kills to help Tech to a 6-1 start. Tech’s lead never shrunk below three, and the Red Raiders scored six of the game’s final nine points.
.039 previous low opponent hit% in Graystone era, .000 in 2015
Freshman Jessica Langridge recorded her first career ace during the first set
Freshman Haley Killinger matched her career high with seven kills
16 Red Raiders received time on Tuesday
Missy Owens recorded 19 assists in the first two sets before sitting the third
Freshman Alex Kirby took over at setter in the third set, finishing with seven assists and eight digs
Freshman Brooke Kanas and sophomore Allison White both added five kills each
The Red Raiders have secured eight or more total team blocks in three of four matches
This marked the second time in three matches Tech has held its opponent under .100 hitting
With each match in 2018, Keenan has upped her hitting percentage from the previous match (.429, .444, .571, .583)
The Red Raiders head to California for week two of the season, taking on Georgia, CSU Bakersfield and UC Irvine at the UCI/Adidas Invitational in Irvine, Calif. The Red Raiders kick off the weekend with a rematch against Georgia, whom Tech lost to in Athens last season, at 12:30 pm CT Friday.