SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A pair of tight opening sets went to UC Santa Barbara as Texas Tech volleyball fell 3-1 (29-27, 25-23, 18-25, 25-18) to the Gauchos in its Thunderdome Classic opener.
Despite outhitting the Gauchos .278-.277 and out-blocking them 13-5, the Red Raiders (6-3) took the loss and move to 3-3 at the midway point of its extended road trip. UC Santa Barbara improves to 4-3 on the year with the victory in their home opener.
UCSB junior Lindsey Ruddins recorded a season-high 33 kills with a .397 attack percentage, leading USCB to the win. The kill total marks the highest by an individual opponent in the Graystone era.
Junior Emily Hill led the Red Raider attack with 16 kills, while junior Chandler Atwood also finished in double figures with 10 kills. Defensively, Hill tallied nine digs and Atwood skied for three blocks.
Redshirt freshman Andrea Janss recorded a season-high nine kills in the contest. She added five blocks to match her season high.
Sophomore Allison White notched eight kills on 18 swings for a .444 hitting percentage. Her six blocks were tied for the team lead with senior Katy Keenan.
Texas Tech looked to be in control of the opening set, leading 22-19 after Hill’s fifth kill. However, UCSB’s Lindsey Ruddins took over with the Gaucho’s next four points, giving them set point at 24-23. Tech saved set point four times before ultimately giving way, 29-27. Ruddins closed the set with 10 kills on .450 hitting.
The Gauchos jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the second and maintained the lead throughout. Tech was able to narrow the gap to two at 15-13 and to one at 21-20. Atwood, who led the Red Raiders with five kills in the set, committed an error on set point to allow UCSB to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Tech came out swinging in the third as Keenan gave the Red Raiders a 4-3 lead they would extend to 11-6. Back-to-back rockets from Hill and a big defensive play from junior Kylie Rittimann kept the lead at five at 19-14. Hill led Tech with six kills in the frame, climbing her total to 13 for the match as Tech got on the board with a 25-18 set win.
Tech led early in the fourth before a 9-0 run behind the serve of Ruddins. The Gauchos tallied three of their seven aces in the frame and kept Tech out of system, resulting in a match-low .121 clip for the set. Ruddins helped UCSB close out the match with nine more kills en route to the 25-18 set win.
· The Red Raiders fall to 6-1 when hitting .200 or better
· The Red Raiders fall to 0-3 when their opponent hits .200 or better
· Hill led the Red Raiders in kills for a team-leading sixth time this season
· Atwood recorded double-digit kills for the third time this season
· Libero Emerson Solano finished with 17 digs to lead Tech in the category for a team-leading eighth time
· Junior Kylie Rittimann had her fourth double-digit dig performance of the season with 11
Texas Tech closes the Thunderdome Classic on Saturday against Seton Hall and Sacred Heart. First serve against the Pirates will be at 12 p.m., CT, while start time against the Pioneers is set for 6 p.m., CT. Seton Hall (4-3) swept Sacred Heart (4-2) in the other Friday matchup.