MADISON, Wisc. – The Texas Tech volleyball team will make its first NCAA Championship appearance in 20 years Friday when the Red Raiders take on FGCU in the first round of the tournament at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN+.
The Red Raiders (17-12) and the Eagles (26-5) will meet for the first time in Friday’s match.
The Red Raiders made the tournament after posting a top 40 RPI and were one of seven Big 12 teams to earn a trip to the postseason.
The Red Raiders landed two players on the All-Big 12 teams with Kenna Sauer earning a first team nod and Karrington Jones earning second team honors. Sauer’s accolade comes in her first season in Lubbock as she led Tech in kills (346), points (403) and attempts (1,115), ranking in the top 10 in the Big 12 in each category. Jones earns her first Big 12 honors in her senior season as she posted career-highs in kills (211), hitting percentage (.356), digs (51), points (263.5) and aces (5).
Tech makes its ninth NCAA Championship appearance and first since 2001 when the Red Raiders faced #13 Utah in the Salt Lake City Regional. The Red Raiders earned trips to the Big Dance in ’90, ’91, ’92, ’95, ’95, ’98, ’00 and ’01 holding a 3-8 record in the tournament. The last Tech win in the tournament came in 1995 in five sets against Arkansas State in the Gainesville Regional.
Red Raider libero, KJ Adams, continues to make her mark in her first season in Lubbock, sitting at seventh in program history in single season digs with 467. She is now 15 digs from sole possession of sixth place. Adams has 25 double-digit dig outings this season in 28 matches played. The former WAC Libero of the Year twice earned Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week this season.
The Eagles earned their bid by winning the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament, going 15-1 in ASUN play dropping just six sets in conference play all season.
FGCU ranks fourth in the NCAA in opponent hitting percentage (.127) and 13th in blocks per set (2.7) making them one of the strongest defensive teams in the country. The Eagles landed five players are led by ASUN Volleyball Player of the Year Erin Shomaker who led the conference in kills per set (3.87) and points per set (4.47), both top 70 marks in the NCAA this season.
Release provided by Katie Moseley Texas Tech Athletics