KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Louisiana Tech volleyball team came back from a set down to defeat Saint Francis, 3-2, in the second match of the day in order to earn a split on the opening day of the season on Friday at the Bronco Classic in University Arena.
LA Tech ended the day with a .500 record, despite dropping the first match of the day to Oakland (1-1), after a come-from-behind victory over Saint Francis (0-2) in five sets in the team's second match of the day.
"I am proud of the team's effort today," head coach Adriano de Souza said. "We used 12 players from a roster of 15 and they all helped each other in order to get the win in the second match. They did a great job managing their game and taking care of the opportunities they created during the long match tonight."
The Lady Techsters return to action at 9 a.m. CT on Saturday as they take on Western Michigan in the team's final match of the weekend.
Match 1: Oakland 3, LA Tech 0
In the Louisiana Tech's season opener, the Lady Techsters fell victim to Oakland, 3-0 (12-25, 18-25, 16-25), in a straight set defeat to begin the Bronco Classic.
Oakland out-hit LA Tech with 39 kills and a .272 hitting percentage for the match compared to the 21 kills and .089 percentage the Lady Techsters totaled.
After the Golden Grizzlies won the first set convincingly, LA Tech fought back in the second and took a 10-4 lead before Oakland mounted a comeback to eventually take the set for a 2-0 lead. Oakland closed out the match in the third with a .265 attacking percentage for the set.
LA Tech was led offensively by Rebecca Redgen, who totaled seven kills in 22 attempts while also recording six digs and the only solo block of the match. Angela Papach and Helena Gunnarsdóttir each had four kills in the match, while Adria Morales led the team with 10 assists.
Oakland's Sammy Condon and Jessica Dood each led the Golden Grizzlies with nine kills apiece, while Ciara Schultz had 34 assists in the match.
Match 2: LA Tech 3, Saint Francis 2
Looking to notch its first victory of the season, a resilient Louisiana Tech team did just that as the Lady Techsters fought back from a set down to prevail over Saint Francis, 3-2 (21-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-27, 15-9), on Friday afternoon in the team's second match of the tournament.
The back-and-forth match proved entertaining as LA Tech (1-1) dropped the first set before shifting the momentum and taking a 2-1 lead over Saint Francis. The Red Flash edged out a 27-25 fourth set to force a fifth and deciding game, which was eventually won by the Lady Techsters by a score of 15-9.
LA Tech had four players reach double-digits in kills, while two Lady Techsters record double-doubles in the match. Senior Rebecca Redgen led the way with 15 kills, 10 digs and three block assists, as the Australia native was responsible for 16.5 points in the match.
In addition to Tech's offensive improvements, junior middle hitter Dalane Guidry showed her defensive skills with a team-leading six blocks versus the Red Flash to go along with her seven kills. Marta Monne, who was out most of last season due to a knee injury, returned to total 14 kills and 12 digs in the win.
Angela Papach and Helena Gunnarsdóttir also reached double-digits on the afternoon with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, while the Lady Techsters out-hit Saint Francis collectively 62-52 in kills and totaled a .196 hitting percentage compared to SFU's .144 mark.
Freshman Brooke Short led the way with 27 assists, while senior setter Maria Coelho had 22 assists to help lead the Lady Techsters to victory. Libero Alejandra Aviles picked up right where she left off last season and totaled two aces, as well as a team-high 31 digs versus the Red Flash.
LA Tech also improved defensively in the second match as the team totaled 12 blocks to go against eight by Saint Francis.
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