To say that those close to the volleyball program weren’t excited following the TCU Invitational might be an understatement. Now, obviously, all those involved would have liked to be 3-0, but the Red Raiders battled tough against an experienced TCU squad and then rebounded the next day by sweeping both UConn and Grambling State.
The most impressive part, in my opinion, was that the squad expected to win. Once they did win, it was as if the Red Raiders had won a 1,000 times before. As Coach Flora has said multiple times, this was part of the “journey” this program will take this season. That type of attitude is exciting to see and should provide some confidence as we head into this weekend’s Texas Tech Invitational.
Possibly the most impressive part of Tech’s play was the offensive balance. Tech had three players – Amanda Dowdy, Miara Cave, and Breeann David – with double-digit kills over the first two matches, something that hadn’t been done since 2007. This caused Tech’s hitting percentage to rise as well. The Red Raiders hit an astounding .388 against UConn, the school’s highest total since defeating South Florida in three sets on Sept. 9, 2006.
Offensive balance should become a positive trait for Tech this season, especially with the emergence of David and Cave. David is the only Tech freshman in the Big 12 era to post double-digit kills in each of her first two collegiate matches. She definitely showed why she was one of the country’s top high school recruits last year. Cave, meanwhile, reinforced what Coach Flora has said all preseason in that she could become one of the conference’s top players as she was accurate on the attack, finishing with a .453 hitting percentage over the three matches.
Several newcomers found their way into the rotation and that will be a common theme throughout the season. Of the 19 players that are not redshirting this season, only four of those are listed as a junior or senior. That will provide numerous opportunities to underclassmen, especially in the middle.
Make sure you look at texastech.com this week as there will be several stories and videos posted previewing this weekend’s tournament.
Until next time, Guns up!