SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Texas Tech volleyball closed its stay in California with sweeps of Seton Hall and Sacred Heart Saturday in the final day of UC Santa Barbara's Thunderdome Classic.
Tech played the first match of the day and defeated the Pirates 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-20). Sophomore Allison White led all players with a season-high 12 kills as Tech posted its highest team hitting percentage of the season at .393 in the contest.
The attack was also potent in Tech's 3-0 (25-19, 25-16, 25-19) win over the Pioneers. The Red Raiders outhit Sacred Heart .358-.130 in the match with freshman Haley Killinger recording a career-high 13 kills and junior Emily Hill adding nine at a .529 clip.
"I feel like we got better as the weekend went along," head coach Tony Graystone said. "Our team is starting to play looser and more like themselves. We are learning from things when we trip up, and that's all we can ask for right now. The younger players really had a good day today in both matches, and it was good to see us play a little bit faster and take care of business."
With the pair of sweeps, the Red Raiders finish the Thunderdome Classic 2-1 after falling at UC Santa Barbara Friday. White and Hill were named to the all-tournament team.
White went for 17 kills on the day, totaling 25 on the weekend with just one error for a .533 hitting percentage. The middle blocker got up for 13 blocks in Santa Barbara, including six in Tech's opener against UCSB. She added a pair of aces against Seton Hall.
Hill smashed a team-high 35 kills this weekend on .342 hitting. She led Tech with 16 kills in the four-set loss at UCSB while adding 19 kills between the two Saturday sweeps. The outside hitter also got it done defensively with 26 digs and four blocks in Santa Barbara. Her serve also gave Seton Hall trouble, tallying three aces in the win.
SET-BY-SET (Seton Hall)
Tech came out blistering hot with six kills on its first nine swings, including three from White, to take a 12-5 lead. The Red Raiders led by as many as 10 and closed the set with reserve setters Alex Kirby and Kyndal Cowan both receiving time. White would finish with six kills on seven attacks, and Tech hit .591 as a team to win the set, 25-14.
In the second, a dump from senior setter Missy Owens put Tech in front 6-5, a lead that it never relinquished for the remainder of the set. Tech led by as many as six at 22-16 before closing out a 25-21 set to take a 2-0 lead. Owens spread it around with White, Atwood and Janss all recording four kills in the stanza.
The Pirates led early in the third before a block from Atwood and Keenan evened it at 8-8, and Hill followed with her third ace of the match to put Tech on top. A back-and-forth set turned in Tech's favor after a one-handed set from Owens setup Hill, igniting a 5-0 run that put Tech on top 19-15. Janss would give Tech the win on match point with her eighth kill of the match.
SET-BY-SET (Sacred Heart)
Tech used an 11-2 run to take a 21-12 lead and allow several reserves to finish the set. Freshmen Jessica Langridge, Karrington Jones and Kiari Gier all received time. Hill led the attack with four kills on five swings while Killinger added three slams.
It was a 9-0 run in the second set that created separation for Tech, turning a 10-10 deadlock into a 19-10 advantage. The Red Raiders outhit the Pioneers .378-.093 in the frame as Hill recorded four more kills, Killinger netted five and Janss chipped in three.
Freshman Alex Kirby entered at setter to start the third set, and a young lineup responded by hitting .520 for the set. Kirby's blocking game sparked a 7-0 Red Raider run that put Tech in front for good at 22-15. She finished with three stuffs and nine assists in the stanza. Killinger led with five kills and freshman Brooke Kanas got in on three.
Tech moves to 1-0 all-time against Seton hall
Tech moves to 2-0 all-time against Sacred Heart
Northcut had a career-high 14 digs against Sacred Heart for a team high
Texas Tech closes nonconference play next weekend with a tournament at UTRGV. The Red Raiders will see the Vaqueros, who beat Baylor Friday, Houston Baptist and Texas Southern in the two-day event that begins Friday, Sept. 14, in Edinberg, Texas.