MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Three Red Raiders powered double-digit kills as the Texas Tech volleyball team clinched a thrilling, 3-2 victory over West Virginia, Saturday afternoon at WVU Coliseum.
Senior Emily Hill paced the match with 22 kills (.317) and Brooke Kanas followed behind with 15. Caitlin Dugan posted 13 kills on the day and sophomore setter Alex Kirby collected a career-high nine kills against the Mountaineers. Kirby also put up 55 assists – another career-high – and nine digs.
The Red Raiders threw up six team blocks while Allison White tallied Tech's only solo block of the day. She picked up two block assists, Karrington Jones racked up three and Kanas led the squad with five block assists.
Two Red Raiders – Emerson Solano (22) and Kylie Rittimann (10) – finished with double-digit digs and Rittimann (2), Hill (3), Solano (1) and Katy Northcut (2) all produced aces behind the line.
With Tech's first win at West Virginia since 2015, the Red Raiders improve to 15-12 on the season and 5-8 in Big 12 Conference action. The five-set victory also marked the first time since 2004 that Tech has recorded three Big 12 season wins on the road.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET ONE: West Virginia 25, Texas Tech 16
Despite an early ace from Hill, Tech had trouble finding its opening rhythm and fell behind 8-3. However, a West Virginia service error led into a block from White and Kanas and Tech powered two more quick points to cut into the Mountaineers' lead, 8-7. After the run, West Virginia responded with a 7-3 swing of their own to lead 15-10. A dump from Kirby on the next play cut the deficit to four and the teams swapped points once again. A kill from White, a West Virginia attack error and an ace from Rittimann kept Tech within four points, but one final 6-1 run for the Mountaineers ended the set, 25-16.
SET TWO: Texas Tech 26, West Virginia 24
After collecting just nine kills in the opening set, the Red Raiders woke up and pounded 19 kills in set two. A pair of Dugan points and a kill from Kanas kicked off an early, 3-0 lead for the Red Raiders and Dugan's fourth kill of the set gave Tech a 4-1 advantage. The Mountaineers came back to take a 6-5 lead, but Tech responded with a block from Kanas and Jones to make it a 6-6 set. The teams tied nine more times before an ace from Solano gave Tech an 18-17 edge. Reaching 22-22 after five more ties, West Virginia moved to set point on a pair of kills. However, the Red Raiders stayed in the hunt and Tech evened the match 1-1 (on a 26-24 set win) thanks to two kills and two aces of the hand of Hill.
SET THREE: Texas Tech 25, West Virginia 19
Tech one-upped its kill count and used a .389 hitting percentage to claim the third set, 25-19. The Red Raiders used three kills and a West Virginia error to jump out to an early 4-2 lead. The teams traded points until the Mountaineers took a brief lead at 9-8. Determined to pull ahead once again, Kanas drilled a neutralizing kill and points from Hill and White, along with an ace from Northcut, put the Red Raiders ahead by three at 12-9. A trio of points from Kirby, Jones and Dugan gave Tech a five-point advantage at 17-12 and another rocket from Dugan moved Tech to the 20-point mark. The Mountaineers and Red Raiders swapped two points each but a monster block from Kanas and Jones moved the Red Raiders to set point, 24-19. With pressure looming, Rittimann put the third set away with an ace and Tech took a 2-1 advantage in the match.
SET FOUR: West Virginia 25, Texas Tech 23
A kill from Kirby and two Mountaineer errors gave the Red Raiders an early 3-0 advantage, but five unanswered points for West Virginia swung the lead. After the teams swapped kills, a Kirby kill cut the deficit down to one and a Mountaineer error evened the set, 6-6. A 7-4 run for West Virginia put Tech at a 13-10 disadvantage, but kills from Hill and White, as well as a block and a pair of West Virginia errors, put Tech ahead 15-13. However, West Virginia used a 4-1 run to take a narrow 18-17 lead and the teams tied four more times to reach 22-all. The Red Raiders tried to respond, but weren't able to make up ground and dropped the third set, 25-23.
SET FIVE: Texas Tech 15, West Virginia 13
With one final chance to turn the tide, Tech fell behind 3-0 in the do-or-die set. However, two kills from Kanas, one point from White and a West Virginia attack error put the Red Raiders ahead, 4-3. The Mountaineers came back shortly after and were the first team to reach the halfway mark. Trailing 8-6, Tech swapped sides with the Mountaineers and quickly tied up the set, 8-8, thanks to another West Virginia error and a hard kill from Jones. A timely attack error for the Mountaineers tied the score, 9-9, and Hill's 22nd kill of the night gave the Red Raiders a one-point edge. The two teams tied twice more thanks to kills from Dugan and Kanas stunned the Mountaineer defense. After the equalizing kill from Kanas, White threw up a huge block in the middle and Northcut followed up with Tech's eighth ace of the match. West Virginia tried to make things interesting with a comeback kill, but one final swing from Kanas gave Tech the 15-13 set win to claim a 3-2 victory at WVU Coliseum.
COMING UP NEXT
The Red Raiders return home to United Supermarkets Arena for a showdown against Iowa State on Wednesday, Nov. 20. 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.