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The seventh day of Texas Tech-mas - Red Raider Volleyball

Our seventh look at a significant Texas Tech moment from the year 2021 in 12 days of Christmas style

Red Raider Volleyball
Greg Anderson for Texas Tech Athletics

On the seventh day of Texas Tech-mas, my Red Raiders gave to me...

Texas Tech Volleyball reaches the NCAA tournament for the first time in 20 seasons. The last time Tech was in the NCAA tournament was in 2001. That team lost in the first round to Utah.

Unfortunately, the 2021 volleyball team also lost in the first round, this time to Florida Gulf Coast University in five sets. Tech pulled out to an early lead in almost dominating fashion by winning the first two sets. FGCU quickly rebounded and were able to “reverse sweep” Tech by winning the final three sets.

While the first round loss was disappointing, it doesn’t take away from the accomplishments of the season. The job that head coach Tony Graystone has done since he was hired in 2016 is nothing short of amazing. Tech volleyball had seen some really low lows before his hire. In 2009, the program only won two matches. Two. They followed that up in 2010 by winning only four matches.

In six seasons, Coach Graystone has lead Tech to 89 wins for an average of about 15 wins per season. That’s a far cry from some low single digit win totals from recent past. The job isn’t done of course and I know there are goals higher than the first round of the NCAA tournament. This team can be proud of what it started and several are coming back to improve on that performance for 2022.

We are excited to recognize the hard work and dedication of these athletes in making it back to the NCAA tournament. We are proud to take a moment in this series of articles to honor the achievements of some that don’t get as much recognition as those involved in more prominent sports on campus. Well done Red Raiders! We look forward to a repeat appearance in next season’s NCAA tournament.

This is the seventh of my 12 article series of great moments from Texas Tech during this year. We have passed the halfway mark. These are in no particular order so it is not intended to be seen as a ranking. I just wanted to treat each moment as its own and give them their due respect. I hope you enjoy this series modeled in the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas.