MORGANTOWN, W.Va.– The West Virginia University volleyball team dropped its seventh straight match this season to Texas Tech 3-1 (25-19, 10-25, 22-25, 24-26), Saturday afternoon at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers (8-13, 0-7 Big 12) took a victory in the first set for the fourth time this season versus a Big 12 opponent before the Red Raiders (12-10, 1-5 Big 12) swept the next three sets to take the match.
“Today is indicative of how we have come out a lot as of late,” coach Jill Kramer says. “We come out on fire in the first set and then some teams make a few small adjustments against us. We need to learn to do a better job of taking care of those things and making our own adjustments. We ended up playing catch-up the rest of the day.”
The match was tightly contested from the first point with neither team gaining more than a one point advantage to start the first set. With the set tied at 16, the Red Raiders were forced to call a timeout after an error and service ace from freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
gave WVU its first two-point lead. The Mountaineers extended the lead with a kill from freshman outside hitter Nikki Attea
and another Texas Tech error before a block from Mikia Mills and Breeann David cut the lead down to three. A balanced attack by WVU, that included two more kills from Attea, led the Mountaineers to a first set victory.
The Red Raiders swung the momentum in their favor at the beginning of the second set by taking an early 8-1 lead. The run was ended with a kill from sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
, but Texas Tech would respond with kills from Miara Cave to stretch the lead. Four straight hitting errors by the Mountaineers near the end of the set gave the Red Raiders the opportunity to tie the match at 1-1.
Texas Tech started the third set with a service ace before kills from Attea and junior outside hitter Elzbieta Klein
put the match back in the Mountaineers’ favor. Down two, the Red Raider used a 3-0 serving run by Nicole Hragyil to take its first lead of the set and capitalized off of WVU errors to have the lead grow to four. The Mountaineers would not give up and came back to tie the match at 22, which forced Texas Tech to use its second timeout. A kill by Tory Vaughn after the timeout would give the Red Raiders the advantage and the momentum to finish off the set 25-22.
The fourth set saw the Mountaineers take an early lead before Texas Tech would chip away at it until the match was tied at 10. The teams would trade points until two straight kills from Sackett put WVU in the lead at 18-16. The Red Raiders stormed back to take a 24-21 lead and set up match point before three straight errors by Texas Tech tied the match at 24. After a timeout, Texas Tech would use two straight kills to take the fourth set and the match.
WVU had three players record double-doubles for the first time this season. Attea finished the match with 11 kills and 11 digs while freshman setter Brittany Sample
and Klein recorded 41 assists and 12 digs and 14 kills and 11 digs, respectively.
Sackett had her 10th double-digit kill match this season with 13, while also chipping in four service aces. Junior defensive specialist Liz Gulick
also recorded a season- and career-high 17 digs.
The Mountaineers continue Big 12 play by traveling to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m., at the Ferrell Center.