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Texas Tech volleyball earns NIVC final

Victories over UC Irvine and TCU were the pass for the final act

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC) is giving some unexpected joys to the Red Raiders fans, as the team led by head coach Tony Graystone defeated UC Irvine in quarterfinals and TCU in semifinals, qualifying for the final game of the tournament.

The next opponent will be Ole Miss, in a game that will be played in Oxford on Tuesday, December 12th, at 6 p.m. This important match will also be nationally televised on ESPN 3.

In quarterfinals, Texas Tech defeated UC-Irvine 3-1 (25-14, 21-25, 25-16, 25-20), with only a runaround in the second set that didn’t affect the final result of the game. The Red Raiders offered an awesome defensive performance, as only one Anteater, freshman Danika Ferguson, had a kill percentage over .190.

Sophomore outside hitters Emily Hill and Chandler Atwood led the team, respectively with 23 and 14 points, while other notable numbers came from junior setter Missy Owens, who had 42 assists and 16 digs.

The next day, always in Forth Worth, Texas Tech faced the hosting team, TCU, a squad the Red Raiders already defeated twice during the regular season, 3-1 in Lubbock, and 3-0 away.

The Horned Frogs started the game winning the first set, but they couldn’t handle the guests’ comeback, that won the other three sets. Texas Tech, consequently, with this 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-15), earned the pass for the final stage of the competition.

Atwood led the team in points, with 23, but she found help in already-mentioned Hill and Owens, who had 12,5 each alongside middle blocker Katy Keenan. Owens’ performance was impressive, as she had 9 kills out of 17 total attacks, as a setter. The other standout was libero Kate Klepetka, who had a season-high 32 digs.