Texas Tech sets program attendance record by losing to No. 1 Texas

LUBBOCK, Texas – In front of a program record crowd of 6,037 fans, the Texas Tech Red Raider volleyball team (13-3, 2-1 Big 12) battled the No. 1 Texas Longhorns, falling in three sets, 25-17, 25-19, 26-24, Sunday afternoon at the United Supermarkets Arena.

In the game, Kenna Sauer recorded his ninth team-leading double-double with 12 kills and 13 digs, while hitting .286 that day. Senior reagan cooper was right behind, posting double-digit wins with 10 (.261 hits) and adding four digs and a block.

Karrington Jones led the team with four blocks against Texas, bringing her career total to 298. She also had five kills and a dig. Junior Maddie O’Brien picked up four decisive wins and did not register a single attacking error in the game, while the junior setter Reese Rhodes totaled 29 assists and eight recoveries.

Graduate KJ Adams had 11 digs, making it his fifth game with double-digit digs. As a team, Tech posted a .250 clip and had 36 kills, 36 assists, 45 digs and 4.0 blocks.

Set a

Texas Tech started the first set with a kill from Sauer, but Texas managed to win 11 of the next 13 points to take an 11-3 lead. A service error and a slam from O’Brien stopped the UT run, and then the Red Raiders were able to win four straight points to cut the Longhorns lead, 18-14. But, UT won four straight points to come back 23-15, before winning the first set, 25-17.

Set Two
The second set started back and forth as the two teams were tied at 4-4 before the Red Raiders won two straight points on a UT attacking error and a Sauer kill. UT would earn three more points to regain the lead at 7-6. Back-to-back Cooper slams gave Tech the 8-7 advantage, before the two teams traded points. The Longhorns would win three more in a row, then hold the lead for the rest of the set to win it, 25-19.

Set three
UT started the third set winning the first two points before Tech could cut the lead in half to 2-1. The Red Raiders tied the game 6-6 on a service ace from O’Brien. After that, Texas Tech won eight of the next 10 points, highlighted by blocks from Cooper and Jones and kills from Cooper and Sauer, to hold a 14-9 advantage. UT would continue their own run, eventually tying the game at 17-17. The two teams traded points back and forth, until Sauer killed to make the set 24-24. However, UT would get back-to-back eliminations from Madisen Skinner to close the game, 26-24.


  • Texas Tech totaled a program record of 6,037 fans at the United Supermarkets Arena.
  • Maddie O’Brien landed his 100th kill of the season.
  • O’Brien also landed her 31st serving ace of the season, propelling her eighth in the nation and first in the Big 12.
  • Kenna Sauer recorded his fourth straight game with double-digit recoveries, earning him over 150 recoveries on the year.
  • Sauer also managed to record his ninth team-leading double-double of the season.
  • Reese Rhodes posted a .500 clip, making it the third time this season she has hit .500 or better in a game.


The head coach Tony Graystone

Opening statement…
“Big effort tonight. I was really happy to have us there. We had over 6,000 [fans], which could be a program record for volleyball matches here in the arena. I am satisfied with the participation rate; hopefully we will get this kind of support in the future. This team deserves it, and I’m happy with the way they played and came to see us. We had a slow start in the first set, and I’m taking the hit on that one. Then we gradually started to play better with each set. In the third set we played clean. The difference was in the service. Their attacker was coming right at us, and we didn’t always have a crush on them. They are a physical team and can do a lot of different things. They are good at what they do, but I felt like as a game went on we played closer and closer in that third set. We were up 14-9, and I really wanted to see us finish that one.”

Taking a lead in the third set…
“In the third set, we put some things in place. We got close to 400, and we were marking our block much, much better. We were digging through balls and improving in transitions and opportunities. So what I remember was that you could see our outer side, our attack numbers, our errors and everything improved set by set. You could see where we were getting a lot more comfortable as we went along.

While playing against the No. 1 team in the country…
“The first set was really about their ability to transform defense and attack. Their transition attack was really good – So it wasn’t that we were running the wrong attack, they were defending our first attack and then burning us in transition. So , that was the part where we had to fight… To fight and extend those who rallied a bit more. Honestly, I think we did a great job with that. So at the end of the third set , it got back to where they were scoring in transition a little too easily, but it was the fight we wanted to win, and I felt like we did a much better job.”

#18 Outside hitter, Maddie O’Brien

On a slow start and then a late game comeback…
“I would say we went out flat at first, just because we’re not used to playing in front of such a big crowd at all, but we knew it was coming. We were preparing during training for it. . , but nothing really prepares you for it until you get in. I just think once we figured out our game and what was going to work for us, we started using that energy to help us to advance.

Overcome team mistakes…
“I would say a service error is definitely difficult after some sort of run, but I think more than anything, we need to come together in these cases and lean on each other more instead of letting the game get to we.”

The Red Raiders head to Fort Worth for another Big 12 game, this time against TCU on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.

Ryan H. Bowman