LUBBOCK, Texas – After falling behind 2-1, the Texas Tech volleyball team (12-6, 2-2 Big 12) fought for a comeback but their rally fell short and the Red Raiders dropped a 3-2 decision to TCU on Sunday at United Supermarkets Arena.
Tech won the first set, 25-21, before TCU claimed the next two (25-21, 25-17). The Red Raiders fought tooth and nail for a 25-18 win and set four, but a tough break late in the fifth set was too much and TCU clinched the match with a 16-14 set victory.
Sophomore Karrington Jones led the Red Raiders with 12 kills and Emily Hill followed closely behind with 10. Stepping into their own, freshmen Kylie Trefflich and Caitlin Dugan carried the Red Raiders through separate sets and finished the match with nine and eight kills, respectively. Sophomore Setter Alex Kirby collected 39 assists and led the squad with two aces.
Defensively, three Red Raiders finished with double-digit digs. Emerson Solano gathered up 18 digs, while Hill and Alex Kirby recorded 11 and 13, respectively. Tech combined for four blocks and Trefflich posted Tech's only solo block of the day.
SET ONE – TEXAS TECH 25, TCU 21
TCU jumped out to an early 10-3 lead before a kill from Jones in the middle flipped the momentum. After a pair of interruptions from the Horned Frogs, Tech responded with a 9-1 run that featured kills from Kanas, Dugan and White. TCU committed four attack errors during the run and the Red Raiders closed their once seven-point deficit down to just two. Another three-point swing for the Red Raiders tied up the set at 13 points apiece and an attack error by the Horned Frogs gave Tech its first lead of the day. TCU tied up the set again at 14-all and two more lead changes took place before a barrage of Red Raider points put the set out of reach. Three consecutive TCU errors placed Tech at a 21-19 advantage and two more errors and an ace from Kirby moved the Red Raiders to set point. Taking advantage of one more mishap, TCU's fifth service error ended the action and Tech clinched the opening stanza, 25-21.
SET TWO – TCU 25, TEXAS TECH 21
Another slow start put Tech at an early disadvantage in the beginning of the second, but a handful of kills from Hill, Kanas and Kirby kept the Red Raiders within striking distance. While trailing 10-7, a 6-1 swing for the Red Raiders – highlighted by powerful points from Dugan and Hill – lifted Tech to a 13-11 lead. Battling back and forth, the teams tied on three separate occasions before TCU pulled ahead 20-19. Kanas tried to keep Tech in the hunt with a strong swing on the right side, but Tech was unable to overcome a four-point deficit and dropped the second set, 25-21.
SET THREE – TCU 25, TEXAS TECH 17
The Red Raiders held their own to start the third as kills from Dugan, White and Kanas helped Tech to an early 8-6 lead. Four straight points for the Horned Frogs swung the momentum their way, but statement kills from Jones, Kirby and Kanas helped Tech regain the lead. From there, the Red Raiders struggled and TCU collected nine consecutive points to take a 20-12 lead. An ace from Northcut and a TCU attack error shortened the deficit and Hill tried to make up ground with a pair of kills late in the set. However, the Red Raiders were not able to close the gap and Tech fell behind 2-1 in the match after a 25-17 loss in the third set.
SET FOUR – TEXAS TECH 25, TCU 18
Determined to stay in the fight, the Red Raiders battled back from another slow start against the Horned Frogs. Trefflich registered a pair of kills to get Tech on the board and a TCU attack error brought Tech within one point of the Horned Frogs. Coming back from a four-point deficit, the Red Raiders used kills from Hill and Jones – as well as an ace from Kylie Rittiman – to close the gap and take a 12-11 lead. TCU interrupted with one quick point, but Tech laid the hammer down once more and consecutive points from Kirby, Hill, Trefflich and Jones gave the Red Raiders a four-point separation. Trefflich and Jones connected on three more kills before an ace from Kirby catapulted Tech to a commanding 21-14 lead. A pair of Hill kills moved Tech to set point and one final TCU error neutralized the set, 2-2, to force a fifth and final set.
SET FIVE – TCU 16, TEXAS TECH 14
Riding the momentum, Solano opened up the fifth set with Tech's sixth ace of the match. Trefflich laid down her sixth and seventh kills of the match to bring the Red Raiders within two points at 5-3, and a 4-1 run produced by TCU errors evened up the match, 7-7. Two more errors by the Horned Frogs gave Tech a one-point edge and a huge block from Trefflich put Tech ahead, 10-8. After a TCU timeout, the Horned Frogs evened the set at 10 points apiece, but back-to-back kills from Jones and Trefflich kept Tech's motor running. TCU tied the set back up twice and Trefflich's ninth kill of the match gave the Red Raiders a 14-13 edge late in the set. However, a questionable call at the net resulted in a TCU point – consequentially tying the match at 14-14. The Red Raiders were unable to close out the final two points and suffered their first home loss of the season with the 3-2 heartbreaker.
COMING UP NEXT
Tech hits the road for Ames, Iowa, where the Red Raiders will take on the Cyclones at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12. Live stats, as well as a live stream, will be available for the match. For all the latest information on the Texas Tech volleyball team, visit TexasTech.com or follow @TexasTechVB on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.