The West Virginia volleyball team responded from the loss against TCU Wednesday night by rallying to defeat Texas Tech 3-1 (24-26, 25-20, 25-19, 25-19) in Lubbock, Texas, Saturday afternoon.
WVU’s win against Texas Tech is the first Big 12 Conference road win in volleyball history. The Mountaineers now hold a 2-1 conference record, with their overall record now at 15-2. The loss keeps the Red Raiders winless in the conference at 0-3 and 7-11 for the season.
“We have developed a short-term memory on this team. We did a really good job of focusing on the good things and were really in control,” said head coach Jill Kramer. “We fought our way back and stayed aggressive the entire match.”
Saturday’s match marked the official return of freshman outside hitter Jordan Anderson. Anderson played in reserved minutes against the Horned Frogs, but was in the starting lineup against the Red Raiders and came out firing. Anderson capped off her comeback by leading all players in the match with 18 kills and 11 digs, which marks the freshman’s seventh double-double of the season.
“I could tell Jordan was in a different place this game. She seemed much more comfortable out there than last match,” Kramer said.
Sophomore outside hitters Hannah Sackett and Nikki Attea recorded 15 and 11 kills, respectively, while sophomore setter Brittany Sample got back on track after the loss by posting 44 assists and 19 digs. Sample’s performance marked her fourth double-double of the season.
The Mountaineers started the match slow and were held to a .158 hitting percentage in the opening set while Texas Tech started the match with 15 kills and hit at a .220 attack percentage.
After some adjustments from Kramer, WVU rebounded in the second set to the sound of Sackett’s six kills. With additional help from Sample, the Mountaineers would go on to take the set 25-20.
“They were playing us to defend the middle, which led to Evyn (McCoy) and Caleah (Wells) getting fewer kills, but our outsiders all hit over .250,” Kramer said. “The help on the outside makes us harder to defend now. We are a lot stronger this year.”
Anderson would take over the third set by racking up seven kills while hitting at .545 hitting percentage; the Red Raiders would manage to hit .081 as a team.
In what would be the final set of the match, Anderson would chip in five more kills and clinch the match 25-19.
Kramer and her squad won’t be able to enjoy the win for very long and have already begun preparations for Wednesday’s match against Baylor.
“We are moving quickly, and if you are in good shape, you will be able to recover quickly. We’ll get back in the gym Sunday and have two good days to prepare for Baylor,” Kramer said.
Wednesday’s match against the Bears in the WVU Coliseum has been designated “Dig Pink” night. All fans in attendance are encouraged to wear pink for breast cancer awareness.