EVANSTON, Ill. – The Texas Tech volleyball team had a tough opening day in Evanston, Ill., as the Red Raiders dropped a pair of matches to Stephen F. Austin and host Northwestern, Friday at the NU Under Armour Challenge.
Senior Emily Hill, who eclipsed her career kill mark last weekend, etched her name in Tech's top-10 kills list with a dominating 33 kills against the hosting Northwestern Wildcats. She is the first Red Raider since Nov. 20, 2004, to accumulate 33 kills in a single match.
Stephen F. Austin 3, Texas Tech 0
Texas Tech struggled against the Ladyjacks and hit just .112 with 25 kills through a combined three sets. Hill led the Red Raiders with 10 kills while Emerson Solano paved the way with 15 digs in Tech's first match of the day. Sophomore setter Tatum Rohme finished the match with 15 assists while freshman Lauren Dodson tallied six.
SET 1 – Stephen F. Austin 25, Texas Tech 22
An ace from Kylie Rittimann, kills from Karrington Jones and Brooke Kanas and a plethora of SFA errors helped the Red Raiders to an early 6-3 lead in the first set. After the teams traded a handful of points, a kill from Hill, an ace from Allison White and three straight SFA errors lifted Tech to a 13-6 lead. However, a 9-1 run for the Ladyjacks swung the momentum and Tech fell behind 15-14 in the first set. A hard point from Emily Hill in the middle gave the Red Raiders a one-point edge at 21-20, but a 5-1 swing for SFA was too much for the Red Raiders and Tech dropped the first set 25-22.
SET 2 – Stephen F. Austin 25, Texas Tech 13
A slow start plagued the Red Raiders in the second set as Tech fell behind 10-3. As a team, the Red Raiders collected eight kills in the second set to SFA's 15. A 7-3 run for the Ladyjacks put Tech in a 23-11 hole but back-to-back kills from Hill and Kanas stalled the opposing momentum. However, the Red Raiders could not make a stop and dropped the second set, 25-13.
SET 3 – Stephen F. Austin 25, Texas Tech 15
The Red Raiders saw another stalled start in the beginning of the third. Tech trailed 9-3 early on and four-straight points for SFA put Tech at a 13-5 deficit. The Red Raiders tried to make a comeback with a Caitlin Dugan kill and two Ladyjack errors, but one final kill from SFA's Ariana Pagan sealed the score 25-15 in the final set.
Northwestern 3, Texas Tech 2
Tech's nightcap against Northwestern was hard-fought from start to finish. As mentioned, Hill collected a career-high 33 kills (.386) in Tech's narrow loss to the Wildcats. Additionally, her 12 digs on the night helped her clinch her third double-double of the season. Rittimann and Solano also gathered 12 kills apiece.
Joining Hill in double-digit kills, Kanas followed the senior with 11 while Caitlin Dugan collected 10 kills at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Dugan went 10-for-11 on the night, boasting an impressive .909 hitting percentage. Defensively, Rohme led the Red Raiders with three solo blocks. Jones and Dugan followed behind with a pair of solo blocks and four Red Raiders – Hill, White, Dugan and Jones – tallied a trio of block assists. Rohme also posted a career-high 45 assists in her second start of the season.
SET 1 – Texas Tech 25, Northwestern 21
Led by two aces from Rittimann, two kills from Hill and a point form Jones, a 6-1 run out of the gate added a strong redemptive set for the Red Raiders. Following Northwestern's second point of the match, the Red Raiders strung together five unanswered points to take a commanding 11-2 lead. Northwestern clawed their way back into the game with six straight points, but a Wildcat service error and an ace from White added a four-point cushion for Tech at 16-12. Needing just one more point to claim the first set Hill laid down the final kill to clinch a 25-21 set win for the Red Raiders.
SET 2 – Northwestern 27, Texas Tech 25
Northwestern got out to a 5-2 lead to start the second set before Rohme snuck in a kill for the first point produced by the Red Raiders. Trailing 17-13, the Red Raiders used kills from Dugan, Hill and White – as well as three Northwestern errors – to take a two-point lead at 19-17. The lead swung back and forth two more times before Northwestern Ultimately claimed the set, 27-25.
SET 3 – Texas Tech 25, Northwestern 21
Another hot start aided the Red Raiders in the start of the third set. Before they knew it, the Red Raiders found themselves up 8-3 thanks to three kills from Kanas, two from Hill and one kill from Jones. Three straight points brought Northwestern within two points at 11-9, but the Red Raiders responded with a 6-0 run (aided by three Hill kills) to extend their lead to seven points. The Wildcats pulled used a 3-0 run to pull within two points again, but the Wildcats couldn't touch Hill in the third set and she helped Tech to a 25-21 set victory with a commanding kill from the left side.
SET 4 – Northwestern 25, Texas Tech 23
Both teams battled back and forth through the beginning of the set. The two squads swapped points until a Northwestern attack error and kill from Dugan gave Tech an 8-5 advantage. After a pair of Wildcat points, Tech responded with two kills from Hill, an ace from White and another kill from Dugan to take a 12-7 lead. However, an untimely 10-3 point exchange favoring the Wildcats gave the hosting crew a 17-15 advantage. From there, both teams fought for the lead but Tech was unable to respond after a Wildcat kill and two errors evened up the match 2-2 with the 25-23 set loss.
SET 5 – Northwestern 16, Texas Tech 14
Northwestern claimed the first point of the fifth set, but Tech was determined to stay in the fight. After the Wildcats took a two-point lead, the Red Raiders tied the final set up at six points apiece with back-to-back points of their own. Tech fell behind 10-8, but three straight points – two kills from Hill and a Northwestern error – gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the set. The Red Raiders held onto their lead but, needing just one point to win the match, the Red Raiders couldn't hold on and four consecutive points for Northwestern closed out the final set, 16-14.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders look to bounce back tomorrow afternoon with a 1 p.m. match against Austin Peay at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Live stats will be available for the contest and live updates will be provided on Twitter. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech volleyball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechVB on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.