IRVINE, Calif. – Texas Tech volleyball closed play at the UCI/Adidas Invitational with a 3-1 victory over host UC Irvine on Saturday at Bren Events Center.
Junior Emily Hill tallied a season-high 16 kills to help Tech overcome a first-set loss and take the match 23-25, 25-13, 25-18, 25-22. With the win, the Red Raiders improve to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in true road matches after going 2-1 in Irvine, Calif.
After UC Irvine hit .333 in the opening frame, Tech limited the Anteaters to .106 hitting the final three sets, outhitting them .291 to .164 for the match.
The Red Raiders posted three blocks in the second, six blocks in the third and four more in the fourth. Senior Katy Keenan finished with seven blocks, Hill recorded six, sophomore Allison White compiled four and junior Chandler Atwood added three.
Keenan and freshman Brooke Kanas joined Hill in double figures with 12 and 11 kills, respectively. It marked the first time Kanas has been in double figures this year.
Senior setter Missy Owens engineered Tech's most efficient attack of the season with a season-high 50 assists. Sophomore Emerson Solano led three Red Raiders with double-digit digs, securing 16 on the day.
In the opening frame, the Red Raiders dug themselves an early 7-2 hole and trailed by as many as eight at 18-10. An ace from Hill and a pair of Anteater errors swung the momentum, and Tech eventually tied the set at 20-20 on a dump from Owens. UC Irvine, however, closed out the set with Idara Akpakpa's sixth kill of the match for the 25-23 set win.
Tech took charge in the second frame with Hill leading an assault that outhit UCI .448 to .074. The Denton, Texas, native scored five kills in the match to put her at nine through two stanzas at a .500 clip. Tech extended its lead to 10 at 19-9 following a kill from Keenan, and went on to even the match with a 25-13 victory.
UCI fired back to start the third, claiming an 11-6 lead. Out of a Graystone timeout, Tech rattled off five of the next six points to pull within one at 13-12. A kill from Keenan gave Tech its first lead of the frame at 17-16. Tech finished with six blocks in the frame that contributed toward a .028 hitting percentage for the Anteaters, and fueled Tech to a 25-18 set win and 2-1 advantage.
Kanas got the Red Raiders started on the opening point of the fourth with her eighth kill of the match. Hill's 16th kill put the Red Raiders on top 12-7, but the Anteaters were able to maintain reach at 21-19. On the next play, Owens set up Keenan to stretch the lead to three and Tech would finish out the match with a kill from Kanas.
Owens recorded her second double-double of the season with 11 digs and 50 assists
Hill has led the Red Raiders in kills in 4-of-7 matches
Tech improves to 4-1-1 all-time against UC Irvine
Graystone improves to 2-0 against UC Irvine at Tech after also defeating the Anteaters 3-1 in the 2017 NIVC Quarterfinal
Tech enjoys an off day Sunday before making the short trip to Long Beach, Calif., to take on Long Beach State at 11 a.m., CT, Monday.