DALLAS, Texas--Amanda Dowdy posted 23 kills while Caroline Courtney added a career-high 17 as Texas Tech was able to endure a late Texas State rally to secure a 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon in the finale of the SMU Tournament at Moody Coliseum.
Tech was helped with a much-improved defense led by libero Jackie Vincent, who set a career-high of her own with 19 digs in the match. The win helps move Tech to 2-4 on the year, while also dropping Texas State to 2-4 overall.
"I was really proud of the way we came out and competed today," Tech head coach Trish Knight said. "We decided to try a few new things with our rotation and it seemed to work out well for us, but you still have to credit the team for coming out here with a new attitude and competiting. That was the key in the match."
The Red Raiders, who were coming off losses to SMU and UC Davis on Friday, boasted a new lineup that featured freshmen Brandy Huskey, Aubree Piper, and Sheridan Burgess combined with experienced upperclassmen in Dowdy, Courtney, Vincent, and Barbara Conceicao.
The result was immediate as Tech sifted through a back-and-forth beginning to the first set to score six-straight points for a 20-14 advantage. Texas State made a rally of its own from there to pull to 22-20 but Tech's resiliency paid off as it won three of the next five points for the 25-22 victory.
The momentum from the opening set victory sprung over into the second frame as the Red Raiders battled to take a 21-18 lead. Led by the powerful arm of Dowdy, Tech won the next four of six points to secure the 25-23 victory.
Despite the two-set deficit, Texas State began its comeback in the third set, immediately take control with a 10-6 lead. The Bobcats continued its streak with a 25-17 victory in the third and 25-19 win in the fourth set, forcing a fifth and final set.
With all the momentum suddenly shifted towards Texas State, the Red Raiders were forced to overcome an early 8-5 deficit in the final set. Following a timeout by Knight, Tech responded with three-straight points to tie the match at eight each and continued to trade points until a 13-13 tie. From there, Courtney would add her final kill of the match and Piper and Dowdy would combine for the match-clinching block to give Tech the victory.
"That final set really said a lot about the way our team battled," Knight said. "We got down early and could of gave up, but I was proud of the way the team came back and secured the win. That's the type of attitude we are looking for each and every match."
Vincent was named to the all-tournament team following the match. She was helped on the defensive end by Burgess, who finished the match with 11 digs with the most important possibly coming on Tech's final point where the freshman dove backwards to keep the ball in play.
The Red Raiders will take a week off before returning to the road at the Colorado State Tournament in Fort Collins, Colo. Tech will face the host Rams, Illinois State, and Northeastern in the event which runs Sept. 11-12.