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Monday Morning Matador: Conference play has begun

Texas Tech making a strong first impression in the Big 12.

Texas Tech is in some kind of dream-scape right now. With the opening of Big 12 play across sports we’ve seen substantial victories that prove promising for programs moving forward. Let’s scrape the surface in this week’s Monday Morning Matador.

Football moves to 3-1 after rout of Oklahoma State

Bearded Kingsbury and company walked tall into Stillwater, Oklahoma after handling a powerful Houston team at home. Oklahoma State, too, felt comfortable after dismantling a dark-horse Boise State team the week prior. The difference? Texas Tech played a complete game. OSU had been touted as one of the competitors for the Big 12 crown, but after the Red Raiders handled the Cowboys 41-17 there should be a reassessment. Tech’s defense held a top 10 offenses to just 17 points in the first half. Oklahoma State never saw the end zone again and Taylor Cornelius didn’t manage a single passing yard in the fourth quarter. Alan Bowman showed out, going 35 of 46 for 397 yards slinging it to nine different receivers. The hidden MVP for the offense was time of possession: Tech out-possessed the Cowboys by an astounding 41 minutes to their near 19 minutes. The highly criticized defense also came through by forcing two turnovers and putting constant pressure on Cornelius. Up next for Texas Tech, West Virginia comes to Lubbock for a top 25 match up this Saturday.

Volleyball will not quit winning

For the first time since 2000, the Texas Tech volleyball team is 2-0 in conference play. Last Wednesday the team traveled to Waco to take on 19th ranked Baylor in the Big 12 opener. After falling in the first set 13-25, Texas Tech went on to smoke the Bears in the following three sets (25-11, 25-21, 25-18) to claim their first ranked road victory since 2004. “This is pretty sweet” commented Coach Graystone. The feeling would continue as Tech had a similar showing against West Virginia on Saturday. The Red Raiders claimed three of the four sets with the one loss by a minimal margin (23-25). After starting 2-0 in Big 12 play, Tech has improved to a seven game winning streak and positioned themselves neatly on the top of the conference standings. Up next the volleyball team will take on Iowa State this Friday in Lubbock.

Women’s soccer splits Big 12 games

On Friday, the Red Raiders opened up the Big 12 with a match against West Virginia. For only the second time this season they ended up on the losing side of the scoreboard. A scoreless first half saw intense back and forth between the two teams with continual pressure on goal keepers but nothing substantial. The second half fell into the Mountaineer’s hands as they seized one goal in play and then their second from a penalty. With 19 fouls called in the second half, it marks one of the most penalized halves for the Red Raiders this season. Coach Stone and team quickly moved on from the loss when Iowa State came to town on Sunday. In an almost flipped narrative, the Red Raiders kept the Cyclones on their heels the whole match. With goals from Ally Griffin, Jayne Lydiatt and Charlotte Teeter the Red Raiders cruised to a 3-0 victory and moved one into the win column of the conference record. Up next the team takes on Oklahoma this Friday in Norman.