LONG BEACH, Calif. – Texas Tech volleyball dropped a tough five-set match at Long Beach State Monday at Walter Pyramid 3-2 (25-17, 20-25, 25-16, 18-25, 15-13).
It marked Tech's first road loss on the season and moves the Red Raiders to 6-2 on the year.
Junior Emily Hill led three Red Raiders with double-digit kills. The Denton, Texas, native matched her season high with 17 kills, senior Katy Keenan recorded 11 and sophomore Allison White tallied 10. Keenan and White were extremely efficient in the middle with hitting percentages of .478 and .409, respectively.
In her return to Long Beach where she played for two seasons, senior Missy Owens finished with 40 assists, seven digs and four kills. Sophomore libero Emerson Solano had a career-high 22 digs.
Both sides finished with 12.0 team blocks in the contest, but the 49ers won the serving battle with 12 aces and seven service errors to Tech's two aces and eight errors.
Long Beach's Hailey Harward totaled 16 kills and seven aces, including four during a critical 9-0 run for LBSU in the fifth set. The stretch turned what was a 4-0 Tech advantage into a 9-4 deficit.
In the opening set, the Red Raiders struggled in their service game, committing three errors and allowing four Long Beach aces. Four Tech errors and an ace aided a 6-0 49er run that put them up 16-9. Tech fired back and looked to have the momentum, but Long Beach closed out the set with a block of Owens.
Hill and Keenan combined for nine kills and a pair of blocks in the second set. The Red Raiders found themselves in system the majority of the set, hitting .406 for the frame with only two errors. Tech led comfortably at 17-11 and never allowed LBSU to get closer than three the rest of the way. A kill from Hill sealed the set win to even the match at 1-1.
Long Beach regained the momentum in the third set as Emma Kirst and Hailey Harward went off for 10 of the team's 15 kills. Tech hit just .075 in the frame, and the 49ers pulled away with a 7-1 run that put them ahead 16-9. Harward closed it out with her sixth kill in the frame and 11th overall.
Tech regained its form in the fourth set, outhitting Long Beach .312 to .154. Hill posted five kills in the frame to bring her kill total to 16 for the match, while freshman Brooke Kanas added four on nine swings. The Red Raiders took a commanding 10-4 lead and the 49ers never got closer than five as a service error from Harward closed the frame and sent the match to a fifth set.
In the deciding set, Tech jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, but Long Beach reeled off nine straight points behind the serve of Harward. Once Tech was able to sideout, it closed the gap to two at 11-9. After an extended officials review of Long Beach's rotation, Tech cut the lead to one twice more down the stretch on kills from White. LBSU, however, closed it out with Harward's 16th kill of the match.
Texas Tech moves to 0-8 all-time against Long Beach State
Tech moves to 1-1 in five-set matches in 2018
The Red Raiders move to 2-1 in road matches in 2018
The Red Raiders move to 2-1 on Labor Day under Coach Graystone
Hill has led Tech in kills five times this season
Texas Tech will travel back to California next weekend for UC Santa Barbara's Thunderdome Classic. The Red Raiders will see Seton Hall, Sacred Heart and UCSB during the two-day event. Tech opens the tournament with the Gauchos at 8 p.m., CT, Friday.