Oct. 27, 2010
RUSTON, La. - The Louisiana Tech volleyball team steps out of WAC play this week with a pair of non-conference matches against Arkansas - Pine Bluff and Houston Baptist. The Lady Techsters will play host to UAPB Thursday evening at 5 p.m. inside the Thomas Assembly Center before travelling to Houston Baptist for a Saturday matchup against the Huskies at 2 p.m. inside Sharp Gym.
"It'll be nice to just play at home," said Louisiana Tech head coach Matt Sonnichsen. "We are trying to sneak in a home match in between back-to-back long travel trips. It's nice to play in front of our fans and play in front of family instead of being on the road where there is nobody in the stands that supports us."
Despite falling in three sets on the road against Nevada this past Saturday, the Tech offense appeared to be finding their groove as true freshman Clara Vido picked up a career-high 12 kills while hitting at a .333 clip. Senior Kassia Pinto added nine kills and a .304 hitting percentage while Kara Jones continued to play well against WAC competition hitting .294 with seven kills.
"We did a lot of good things at Nevada. The game scores were all close and it's probably the first match this year that we put together three really good games," said Sonnichsen. "We didn't win but if you look at our other matches on the road where we would have one good game then we would fall off. We were right there in every single game. The games were tight and we just didn't find a way to finish. Overall, I was very pleased with our performance."
With a brief home match against the Lady Lions of UAPB, Tech will look to continue their dominance in the series as the Lady Techsters have won all three prior meetings via sweeps.
The two schools met earlier this season with Taylor Fritz recording a match-high nine kills and 10 digs to lead Louisiana Tech to an overpowering 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-19) sweep at the Arkansas State Invitational.
The offense, anchored by Fritz, featured an evenhanded attack that saw multiple kills by seven Techsters, including four-plus kills by Vido, Jennifer Goodwin, Gabby Ording and Caitlin Germany. Mallory Stanley and Bianca Bin contributed with double-digit assist totals with Stanley leading the charge with a match-high 15 - three shy of the UAPB team total.
In their final non-conference match of the season, the Lady Techsters will travel to Texas to take on the Huskies from Houston Baptist.
Under the direction of 15th-year head coach Kaddie Platt, the Huskies are off to a 13-10 start this season with Heather Leaverton leading the offensive attack with 2.90 kills per set.
Courtney Whittleman anchors the Huskies' back row averaging 5.29 digs per set while Jolie Graf leads the squad with 75 blocks on the season.
"I am aware of how good Houston Baptist is because they recruit Texas heavily," said Sonnichsen. "Texas produces a lot of good kids and I am very hopeful that our volleyball program respects how good Houston Baptist is and how well they are going to play. I hope our student-athletes are cognizant of how well Houston Baptist is going to play and how good if a volleyball program they have."
The only prior meeting between the two schools occurred on Oct. 28, 2008 as the Lady Techsters knocked off the Huskies in four sets during Sonnichsen's first year at Tech.
In the game, Fritz led Tech with a then career-high 12 kills and 12 digs while Jones added eight kills and five blocks. Bianca Bin also picked up a double-double with 33 assists and 11 digs while Kaylon Alexander and Mallory Stanley also totaled double-digit dig performances with 11 and 14 respectively.
Louisiana Tech (10-14, 0-9) returns to conference action on Nov. 1 as the Lady Techsters travel to No. 5 Hawai'i.
For complete coverage of Lady Techster volleyball, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com and follow sports information contact, Austin Staton, twitter for the latest and most current news.