Provided by: Texas Tech Athletics
Texas Tech picked up a career-high 24 kills from Jenna Allen and survived a near two-sets down rally from TCU to drop the Horned Frogs, 3-2 (25-22, 25-19, 20-25, 18-25, 15-11), Saturday evening at University Rec Center.
The victory marked Texas Tech's first in Big 12 play this year and its first in a conference five-set match on the road since defeating Colorado on Nov. 20, 2010, in Boulder.
"The effort and the mature honest conversation from teammate to teammate really showed through tonight," Tech head coach Don Flora said. "We've been able to get a few players back who were on the mend and their production was a big factor in getting a huge road victory over a quality TCU team."
Tech's first Big 12 win this year did not come without drama as the Red Raiders (8-12; 1-4) jumped out to an early two-set lead, only for TCU (12-7; 1-4) to come back from the intermission to win the next two frames and force a fifth and decisive set.
The Red Raiders, who are now 24-0 all-time under Flora when taking a two-set lead into the break, rallied from 4-1 and 7-4 deficits in the fifth to eventually pull ahead, 9-7, before picking up a pair of kills from Allen and then looking to the middle with kills from Mika Mills and Aubree Piper.
Rachel Brummitt wrapped up the victory with her third ace of the night to help the Red Raiders earn their first Big 12 victory over the Horned Frogs while also evening the all-time series at 4-4 between the two schools as well.
The Red Raiders hit a match-high .348 in the final frame alone with nine kills and just one error, while TCU committed five attacking errors en route to posting a .121 hitting percentage of its own.
"Emotionally we were very stable in set five," Flora added. "I thought we competed at a very high level offensively and defensively and never gave up on each other. Then, to hit .348 in the final set, I think that really made the difference."
Tech's 2-0 lead early in the match was largely the result of the arms of Allen and Mills and then its efforts on the back row as well. The Red Raiders out-dug TCU, 89-78, with 26 of those coming from libero Rachel Brummitt, who finished with at least 20 digs for the 10th time already this year.
Brummitt was one of five Red Raiders in double figures for digs, joining setter Emily Ruetter (17), Emily Wright (12), Nicole Hragyil (11) and Allen (11). For Allen and Ruetter, it marked their third and seventh double-doubles of the season as Ruetter also dished out a match-high 50 assists.
In between her solid play from the back row, Ruetter was successful in finding not only Allen, but Mills and fellow middle blocker Aubree Piper as well. Allen took a career-high 61 swings on the night, the most for a Red Raider this year, and managed seven errors for a .279 percentage.
Mills, meanwhile, was especially efficient, totaling 10 kills and just one error off 18 attacks for a .500 hitting percentage, her highest ever in a Big 12 match with at least eight kills. Piper finished with nine kills and a .217 average while Meghan Stacy added seven kills as well.
TCU slightly out-hit the Red Raiders despite totaling four more attacking errors as the Horned Frogs ended with a .223 attacking percentage that was just above Tech's .217 average. This was just the fourth time Tech has ever won when recording the lower hitting percentage under Flora.
Natalie Gower led TCU with 16 kills in the middle while posting a .433 hitting percentage. Stephanie Holland and Ashley Smith also finished in double digits as well with 14 and 10 kills each.
The Red Raiders return home this Wednesday to host Kansas in a 6 p.m. first serve at the United Spirit Arena. The match will air live regionally on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.