LUBBOCK, Texas - After several weeks of practice and numerous meetings, the 2010 Texas Tech volleyball season is finally upon us. The Red Raiders kickoff the new season Friday night in the Rice Tournament against the host Owls before facing both Ole Miss and UTSA on Saturday in Tudor Fieldhouse.
Friday, Sept. 27
Ole Miss vs. UTSA............. 4:30 p.m.
Texas Tech at Rice................. 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 28
Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss... 10:30 a.m.
UTSA at Rice................... 12:30 p.m.
Texas Tech vs. UTSA.............. 5 p.m.
Ole Miss at Rice................ 7:30 p.m.
RED RAIDERS IN SEASON OPENERS
Tech has historically fared well in season openers as the Red Raiders are 28-10 all-time. Tech's last season-opening victory came in 2008 when it defeated North Texas, 3-0. The Red Raiders have never opened the season against Rice.
The Red Raiders enter this weekend with a more than favorable all-time record against all three opponents.
- Tech is 25-8 all-time against Rice, winning 16 of the last 17 matches in the series. The two schools have not met since 2005 when the Red Raiders defeated the Owls twice during the season. That year marked the only time since the end of Southwest Conference the two schools have faced each other.
- The Red Raiders have faced Ole Miss only once in their history, defeating the Rebels, 2-0, on Sept. 19, 1981.
- Despite both being in-state schools, Tech and UTSA have only met twice previously with the Red Raiders winning both meetings by a 3-0 score. The two schools have not met since Aug. 29, 1997.
THE RED RAIDERS
Texas Tech returns 10 letterwinners off last season's squad who went 2-27 in the first season under head coach Trish Knight. Despite struggles during her first season, Knight has a talented group still on the bench in juniors Amanda Dowdy and Karlyn Meyers along with seniors Jackie Vincent, Barbara Conceicao, Alexxa Roberts, and Caroline Courtney. Sophomores Miara Cave, Tory Vaughan and Aleah Hayes add to a talented group of freshman and transfer athletes to give Knight more depth in her second season.
Rice is coming off their third NCAA Championship appearance in the last six years following last season's 23-9 campaign that ended in a first-round loss to TCU. Eight letterwinners return from that squad, including four starters, most noteably Preseason All-Conference USA selections Tracey Lam (libero), Ashleigh McCord (outside hitter), Meridith Schamun (setter). The Owls are coached by Genny Volpe, who is 113-70 in six seasons.
SCOUTING OLE MISS
The Rebels welcome back most of their roster from its 2009 squad that finished 10-20 in 2009 as 10 letterwinners return to head coach Joe Getzin's squad. Whitney Craven and Regina Thomas are the Rebels' top returning offensive players, while Emily Kvitle returns after posting 578 assists a year ago. On the defensive front, Morgan Springer played the most sets for Ole Miss in 2009, while adding a team-leading 429 digs.
After boasting a young squad a year ago, head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff returns an experienced 2010 squad that includes 11 letterwinners. Following a 12-29 record in 2009, UTSA is predicted to finish fourth in the Southland Conference's West Division by the league's coaches. The Roadrunners top two players, Whitney Walls and Kendra Rowland, picked up Preseason All-Southland Conference accolades prior to the season.