LUBBOCK, Texas – Junior Emily Hill compiled a season-high 18 kills to lead four Red Raiders in double figures as the Texas Tech volleyball team stormed back from an early hole to capture a 3-1 win over Iowa State in front of 1,618 fans at United Supermarkets Arena.
The win moves Tech to 3-0 in Big 12 play for the second time in program history and snaps a 23-match losing streak to the Cyclones dating back to 2006. The Red Raiders (14-3, 3-0) last started league play with three wins in 2000.
Iowa State (8-8, 1-2) came out swinging, taking the first set and holding a late lead in the second before the Red Raiders rallied and captured the momentum on their way to a 22-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-18 victory.
"That second set, I'm not sure - that really shouldn't have happened," head coach Tony Graystone said of the turning point. "You're down 23-18 and all you can do is try to get on a run. Kylie (Rittimann) was the server in that rotation, and she got us started with good serving. We got a little momentum and next thing you know we're right there and we stole the set. That momentum carried us through from then on."
Senior Missy Owens recorded a season-high 57 assists and surpassed 3,000 career assists for her collegiate career. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native, now in her second and final season at Tech after transferring from Long Beach State, is the sixth player to suit up for Tech and eclipse the 3,000 assist milestone. Her 57 assists Friday matched the most for a four-set match in a Big 12 this season.
"Let's be clear, we aren't going anywhere as a program, making the changes we have without Missy as our setter," Graystone said. "What she's done for us – her ability as a player, her mindset as an athlete and a competitor, her ability to make plays and kind of pull it all together – it takes a special kid to be able to do that. I can't give her enough credit. She's really been a big part of this. She's been able to take a lot of other talented players and pull it all together. Obviously, it's not one girl that does this, but she's in the middle of everything we do."
Junior Chandler Atwood, freshman Brooke Kanas and senior Katy Keenan joined Hill in double figures. Atwood finished with 13 for her fourth straight double-digit kill performance. Kanas, the reigning Big 12 Rookie of the week added 12 and Keenan chipped in 10.
Kanas, the reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Week has now hit in double figures in each Big 12 match. Keenan has been in double figures in three of the last four matches.
Libero Emerson Solano led Tech's back line with a match-high 20 digs, while Hill secured a double-double with 13 digs and freshman Katy Northcut continued her strong play with 10. Sophomore Allison White and Keenan fueled the Red Raider block with four blocks each, including two solo blocks from White.
The Cyclones closed out a tight first set with six of the final nine points. The frame was even at 19-19, and Tech trailed by just one at 23-22, but a kill from Josie Herbst and a block of Allison White gave ISU the set, 25-22.
In the second set, ISU looked to be in control with a 23-18 lead, but Keenan and Owens capped off a 4-0 Tech run with a block that sliced the lead to one at 23-22. Tech saved set point and then evened it at 24-24 after an ISU double. Tech gained the advantage when an ISU attack was called out and then won a long rally to win the set, 26-24.
Tech carried the momentum from there, jumping out to a 10-5 lead in the third. The Cyclones changed setters, but were unable to keep up for the rest of the night as Tech limited them to .190 hitting for the match. This marked the third straight match Tech held its Big 12 opponent to under .200 hitting as the Red Raiders continue to lead the league in opponent hitting percentage, now at .161 for the season.
Keep up with all things Texas Tech volleyball by following the Red Raiders at @TexasTechVB on Twitter and Instagram and online at www.TexasTech.com.
Tech has now won eight straight matches
Tech moves to 5-0 at home
The win over Iowa State is Tech's first since 2006
Tech improves to 21-27 against the Cyclones all-time
The win over ISU is the first for head coach Tony Graystone in his coaching career
Tech moves to 4-3 this season after losing the first set
Texas Tech closes its three-match home stand against Kansas State on Wednesday, Oct. 3, on Greek Night. First serve against the Wildcats is set for 6 p.m. on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.