Coming off of its second consecutive winning record, finishing 17-13, the Texas Tech women’s volleyball team looks to its new leaders in hopes of having an even more successful 2019 season.
Sophomore Brooke Kanas said she is excited for the upcoming season as she heads into the new season nursing an ankle sprain. Despite her setback, she was able to play overseas matchups this summer.
“(I’m) super excited, this last weekend, to play with everyone and get back in the groove,” Kanas said regarding the start of the season. “I’m feeling really great, so I’m really excited.”
Kanas finished the season with 249 kills, according to Tech Athletics. Her performance led to Kanas being named to the 2018 All-Big 12 Second Team and the 2018 All-Big 12 Freshman Team.
As the Red Raiders headed to Columbus, Ohio, Kanas said it is important for the team to get connected and vibe well as their 2019 season begins.
“Everyone on the team is so great and can play in any role and no matter who steps on the court does a really great job,” Kanas said.
Kanas also praised fellow sophomore, and new team setter, Alex Kirby’s court presence.
“(Kirby) has such a great spirit on the court, and leadership, and demands greatness,” Kanas said. “It helps open up (the net) for everyone.”
While Kanas praised the team’s connection, Kirby also said the strong team chemistry will help the team’s game plan run smoother and lead to more success on the court.
“It’s just nice to know that everyone is playing for each other and that we all trust each other so much,” Kirby said.
Kirby has found her own role and rhythm, as she said the new year, new players and more experience will ease her upcoming role as the team’s setter.
“I feel like I’ve settled down more in my role starting this semester,” Kirby said.
Head Coach Tony Graystone said the team’s chemistry was a large part of its success.
“We have a team that likes to play together, and when they are connected and feeling it as a group, they play so much better,” Graystone said.
Graystone is entering his fourth year as the Red Raiders’ head coach, according to Tech Athletics. He has already made a mark on the program, as he led the team to their first winning season and first postseason since 2001 in his 2017 season.
Tech will look to improve upon their 6-10 conference record last season as Graystone said the preseason games will help the team in the Big 12 as each team was set up to challenge the Red Raiders.
The Tech women’s volleyball team started the preseason, defeating Virginia Commonwealth, Ohio State and Lehigh at the Sports Imports Classic, giving the Red Raiders a perfect 3-0 record this season. The Red Raiders’ next challenge will be at the Under Armour Tournament in Evanston, Illinois as the team will play Stephen F. Austin, Northwestern and Austin Peay.