Cooper, Sauer Reach 500 Career Kills at Bulldog Classic

ATHENS, Ga. – Highlighted by career milestones from Regan Cooper And Kenna Sauerthe Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-0) overpowered the Charlotte 49ers and Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum starting the season 6-0 for the first time since 2014. In matches, both Cooper and Sauer racked up their 500th career kill to help the Rossoneri to collect two victories on the day.

In the match against Charlotte, Sauer was in tears when he scored a seasonal record of 22 kills out of 41 bouts (.439 hitting), eight digs and a wall in the match.

The double-digit kill total was Cooper e Brooke Kanas, who added 10 each. Kanas also rode with a clip hitting .467. Also, Cooper collected four blocks and Kanas had two of him. Karrington Jones he joined the block party with three, also scoring nine slams out of 19 bouts (.421).

In defense, second free Maddie Correa led the team with 15 digs, followed by Sauer with eight e KJ Adams with seven excavations. The team scored 55 kills and a .357 clip in the game, as well as nine aces, nine blocks, 43 digs and 51 assists.

The Red Raiders returned to the Stegeman Coliseum for the night cap to face the host team, Georgia. In another tough fight, Tech prevailed after three other Red Raiders racked up double-digit kills: Sauer (19), Cooper (15), and Kanas (12). Additionally, Sauer also recorded his third double double of the season totaling 13 digs.

Junior setter Reese Rhodes had a good day after setting a career record in assists against Charlotte, then racked up his second double double of the year with 45 assists and 10 digs. Correa was the third Red Raider of the game to score double digits with 18, while both Maddie O’BrienKanas and Jones totaled five blocks each.

The technology outperformed the Bulldogs from .295 to .221 and also posted more digs (58), kills (58), and assists (50) than the enemy SEC.

GAME 1: TTU 3, CLT 1 (20-25, 25-16, 25-16, 25-18)
HOW DID IT HAPPEN
Set one

The first set started close as both Tech would draw him at 5-5 when Rhodes recorded his first solo block of the season. Charlotte would pick things up and take a 10-6 lead on a Lara Kretschmer kill. The Niners would keep their lead throughout the set, until the Red Raiders hit the gap at 18-17 on a KJ Adams ace. But the 49ers were stuck and would have won the first set by a score of 25-20.

Set two
The Red Raiders wiped the first set from their minds when they started the second set in a dominant fashion, taking a 5-2 opening lead. Then, Tech would win five of the next seven points to go up, 10-4, on kills from Maddie O’Brien, Brooke Kanas And Kenna Sauer. Charlotte closed the gap for 14-11, but Karrington Jones unleashed a 4-0 run, bringing him to 18-11. Technology only allowed the 49ers to win another five points by winning the second set, 25-16.

Set three
O’Brien, the team leader in aces, gave Tech a 3-1 lead to open the third set thanks to two consecutive aces. The Red Raiders went on a 7-3 run highlighted by the kills of Regan Cooper and Jones, as well as another ace from Jones’ service. With a 20-11 lead, Tech scored the next five points over Sauer and Kanas’ slams by winning 25-16.

Set Four
Tech took a 4-2 lead to start the set thanks to kills by Sauer and Jones. Charlotte would be back to equalize the set at 11-round when Emani ‘Foster killed the Niners. Sauer then triggered a 4-1 run with a slam to give Tech a 15-12 lead ahead of the media timeout. The Rossoneri would allow Charlotte to win just six more points in the set on a Jones slam, 25-18.

GAME 2: TTU 3, UGA 1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-23)
HOW DID IT HAPPEN
Set one

The technology started with a starting lead of 4-2 in the first set, but then both teams went back and forth the whole time making 18 draws during the set. Even at 14, Sauer would score a kill to trigger a 3-0 run. But Georgia returned to equalize at 17-17. With another even score of 22-22, the Bulldogs picked up two kills and capitalized on an attacking mistake to claim the first set, 25-23.

Set two
Just like the first set, the second set was close to the start after Tech started with a 4-3 lead. Then, the Red Raiders went on a 5-2 run to go up, 9-5, after drawing at 16-all, Tech would win four of the next five points a couple of Bulldogs mistakes highlighted by two Cooper kills. The teams tied the score again at 22-22, but the Red Raiders only allowed Georgia to win just one more point as they took the second set, 25-23.

Set three
Even though the third set went back and forth early, Georgia maintained the slight lead with an 8-7 lead. Tech then went on to a 4-1 triggered by a Cooper slam to take an 11-9 lead. The Red Raiders would win eight of the next 11 points for the 19-12 lead. The Bulldogs tried to catch up, but a kill by Sauer ended the set in Tech’s favor, 25-20.

Set Four
Georgia took a 5-4 early lead thanks to a kill by Georgia’s Kacie Evans, but Texas Tech would return to equalize 6-all with a kill from Cooper. The Red Raiders entered the media timeout under 14-15, but would come back shooting after winning three consecutive points. Georgia continued to cut Tech’s lead and eventually drew at 20-20, however, the Rossoneri won five of the next eight points to close the SEC opponent with a score of 25-23.

Notables

  • Today was the first time the Red Raiders played against the Charlotte 49ers in the history of the show.
  • The Red Raiders opened the season with six straight wins for the first time since 2014 … This is also the best start for the AC Milan head coach Tony Greystone in his seven seasons at Tech.
  • Tech posted consecutive games reaching .357 as a team against the College of Charleston and Charlotte.
  • The Red Raiders recorded a seasonal record of 55 kills in the game against the 49ers.
  • Reese Rhodes collected 47 career record assists during the same game.
  • Kenna Sauer reached an important milestone after scoring 500 career kills with his 22 season record slams against Charlotte.
  • Regan Cooper he also recorded his 500th career kill during the Georgia game.
  • Maddie Correa scored his sixth consecutive double-digit match with 18 against Georgia.
  • Maddie O’Brien equaled her career record with three aces against Charlotte to continue leading the Red Raiders in the category.
  • Three Red Marauders – Sauer (22), Regan Cooper (10) and Brooke Kanas (10) – all recorded double-digit kills and reached over .300 in the Charlotte match.
  • Joining O’Brien with two or more aces in Charlotte’s game were Correa (2) and Karrington Jones (2) as the Red Raiders have registered nine aces as a team.

Next next
The Red Raiders will travel to Houston for a tournament hosted by Rice University from 9-11 September, where they will face Texas A & M-Corpus Christi, Brown and Rice.

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