Sports

Roster Preview: 2021 TTU Volleyball

TTU volleyball player about to serve
Graphic by Campus Live designer Adrian Gutierrez

Texas Tech Volleyball Roster and Schedule Preview

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech women’s volleyball has made several roster additions following a rough 2020-2021 season from the Lady Raiders. These changes come after finishing 9-13; while there were a few cancellations and postponements, this was the lowest winning percentage since 2016.

Texas Tech looks to have a bounce-back season with these new additions and capitalize on their existing and new talent.

2020-2021 season

With the new season upon us in a few weeks, it is essential to look back at the Lady Raiders previous season. While Tech ended on a high note with a two-game win streak against SMU, the rest of the season did not feature many highs.

As stated before, their season ended with an overall W/L ratio of 9-13, with a conference record of 5-11. The Lady Raiders also had similar performances away as they did at home, going 3-5 and 6-8, respectively.

These records result from a rough start and struggle down the stretch against Texas and Kansas State. However, with the new talent coming from transfers and other rookies, the season looks to address last season’s struggles.

Roster Updates

Texas Tech’s roster additions include three transfers and two incoming first-year students. For the transfers, the Lady Raiders added KJ Adams (Grand Canyon University), Kenna Sauer (University of Missouri), and Camryn Specia (Hill College). For first-year students, roster additions include Maddie Correa (Reagan HS) and Madison Gilliland (Coppell HS).

Transfers

First, KJ Adams transferred as a graduate student from Grand Canyon University. In her previous season, Adams was the starting libero and was named Libero of the Year in the WAC. Ranked 45th in the country and first in her conference in digs per set, Adams was also named Second Team All-WAC roster. The former WAC Defensive Player of the Year also has two more years of eligibility for college play. Overall, KJ Adams will bring a tremendous defensive mind to the court and some much-needed support in the back row.

Next, Kenna Sauer, the Junior transfer from Missouri, will also join the Lady Raiders this season. The 6-1 middle blocker had an impressive 66 kills and 29 blocks as a sophomore and appeared in 17 games this past season. This outstanding performance also comes after Sauer switching from the outside hitter, showing her versatility on the court. Sauer also offers tremendous ability to rise to the occasion, and make clutch performances with her career-high of 12 kills and 13 points against Kentucky last season. Overall, Sauer is a great all-around player for offense and defense, another excellent pickup for Texas Tech.

Last for transfers is Camryn Specia, the Junior transfer from Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. Named a second-team All-American last season, Specia joins the Lady Raiders as an outside hitter. She ranked in the top-10 last season for kills, 313, and ranked second in the NJCAA in kills per set and points per set. The 6-0 offensive machine helped her previous high school and high school championships and state finals twice and earned commendations in all four appearances. Overall, Camryn Specia will bring some much-needed offensive firepower to the Lady Raider’s roster.

Freshman

The first of the two incoming freshmen, Maddie Correa, comes from San Antonio, Texas. Receiving all-district honors in 2017 and 2018, she started her volleyball career hot at Reagan High School by helping her team reach 6A State Quarterfinals as a freshman. She later played in the 6A-Regional championship, the semi-finals, and became the district defensive MVP throughout her time there. To end her high school career, she finished as the schools’ All-Time digs leader with 2,249 and was named a Top 10 Prep Dig player in Texas. Although she is a freshman, Maddie Correa will undoubtedly bring some more talent to the defensive side of the roster.

Lastly, Madison Gilliland adds some more support to the defensive and offensive side of the ball. From Coppell, Texas, the 6-2 freshman is a three-time All-District honoree at Coppell High School. Throughout her time in high school, Gilliland was also named District Blocker of the Year and MVP after having the most kills and blocks on her team in 2020. Overall, Gilliland is another versatile player that will show immediate success for the Lady Raiders at any position.

Looking Ahead

The upcoming Lady Raider volleyball season begins with an away game to New Mexico State on August 21. Looking down the stretch, while competitors like Kansas State and Iowa may give them some problems, they will have plenty of time to get the roster into mid-season shape and before facing the heavy-hitting teams. Looking at this upcoming season overall, the Lady Raiders look to be in a prime position to improve from last year.

For more Texas Tech sports news, click here!

To see the 2021 Lady Raider Volleyball schedule, click here!

Written by Campus Live intern Hudson Gregg.

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