Texas Tech VB is known for its stellar volleyball program. The team is comprised of student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. They participate in a variety of tournaments and are known for their high standards. In order to make the team, students must earn at least a 3.2 grade point average. The VB team is led by junior Kenna Sauer. Other players on the team include Jordan McDaniel, Tony Graystone, and Kenna Sauer.
Kenna Sauer, a Texas Tech VB volleyball player, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after transferring from Missouri. She played volleyball for Missouri for two years before transferring to Texas Tech. The Tigers finished with a 16-8 record last season, but their season was played largely in the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Missouri advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships for the seventh straight year, but lost to ninth-ranked Ohio State in the early spring.
Last season, Sauer finished in the top 10 in the Big 12 in kills and points per set. Her 30 kills against Sam Houston State University tied for second all-time in program history. She also received All-Big 12 First Team honors and was named Offensive Player of the Week twice. She averaged 4.44 kills per set and 2.44 digs per set. After the season, she was named AVCA Southwest All-Region.
Karrington Jones and Kenna Sauer, Texas Tech’s two vbs, were both named to the Big 12 Preseason Team. The team tallied 14 players on the list. Kansas, Texas, and Baylor each had multiple players named to the team. Kenna Sauer, a fifth-year senior, was one of those selected to the preseason All-Big 12 team. Her performance in 2021 led the Red Raiders to the NCAA Tournament, while Jones was named a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
Coach John Graystone has taken the Red Raiders to new heights. They made the Big 12 Championships in 2009 and finished fifth in 2010. In November, they played in the Madison, Wisconsin Regional and finished in the first round. Since then, they’ve won six straight games and are headed to the Big 12 Tournament. Graystone’s team has climbed to a national ranking of No. 16 in the polls.
As assistant coach for the Lady Buffs, Graystone helped lead the team to the NCAA Division II Championship in 1997. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Tech, Graystone was the program director for the Amarillo Junior Olympic Volleyball Club. He began his coaching career as a high school coach in Louisville, Kentucky. He earned a Master’s of Science in exercise physiology from the University of Louisville in 1996 and a Bachelor’s of Science from Grand Valley State in 1992. Graystone and his wife are natives of Whitharral, Texas.
A former assistant coach at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Graystone took the helm of the volleyball program at Texas Tech in 2016. He led the team to a 31-5 overall record and a 16-0 Southland record. The Red Raiders went on to win the NIVC Championship over Ole Miss in December. Graystone has now led the team to its fourth consecutive season of 17 wins. The Red Raiders have also won two Big 12 tournaments under Graystone, one in 2002 and one in 2017.
The Texas Tech VB volleyball team is coming off a successful season. The team won its last 11 Big 12 games and have only been defeated in five sets once this season. The team is energized by the addition of KJ Adams, a graduate libero who leads the Big 12 in digs per set. She has played every game of her college career and has become a valuable asset for the team. KJ Graystone is also a valuable addition to the Tech volleyball team.
The Lady Vols continued to dominate the game in the second set. Tech took a timeout at twenty-one and eventually fell 25-17. In the third set, it was the same story. Tech was outmatched from the start and couldn’t find the answer. McDaniel had eight kills and 21 digs, and Breana Runnels added another seven kills. Maddie O’Brien finished with five kills.
After a season filled with a number of impressive wins, the Texas Tech volleyball team is looking forward to the postseason. The team has announced their official 2020-21 schedule. They will face Louisiana Tech on December 2, 2020. They are hoping to capitalize on the talent they have already acquired. Texas Tech volleyball ended the season with a two-game win over SMU, and they look to build on that momentum.
Jordan McDaniel is a four-year letter winner for Texas Tech. He was selected to the all-tournament team eleven times and earned all-conference honors twice. He has played a key role in helping Tech make three NCAA tournament appearances, including a trip to the national championship game in his sophomore season. McDaniel has also been named to the all-tournament academic team.
The Texas Tech VB volleyball team recently named its annual Academic Honor Roll team. This honor is given to student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.2 or better. Members of this team are required to complete 24 semester or 36 quarter hours of classes in order to qualify. The honor roll is published every semester and includes all Texas Tech VB players. In addition to the honor roll, the team has several academic honors for its athletes.
The team’s recruiting process has been tough. While many recruits are unsure about the program, many potential players are committed to the Texas Tech program. In 2018, McDaniel played in six games, notching four tackles. He was on the practice squad during the rest of the year and had a limited role in the team’s playoff run. He also had offers from Middle Tennessee.
Jordan McDaniel’s career at Texas Tech
In four years at Texas Tech VB, defensive back Jordan McDaniel is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree. He recorded six tackles, one QB hurry and one forced fumble. He played in all 12 games for the Red Raiders and finished second on the team in tackles. His first career interception came against East Carolina. His career high was 15 tackles against Rice.
After graduating from Hauser High School in June 2015, Jordan McDaniel has made it a point to stay in Texas. He always wanted to return to the state after graduation. Currently a sophomore at Texas A&M, McDaniel is majoring in Philosophy and Business Management. With two years to go in Corpus Christi, he doesn’t plan to slow down.
VB Academic Honor Roll team
For the second straight season, the Red Raiders’ volleyball team has made the Academic Honor Roll. Eight Red Raiders made the first team and three others earned second team honors. The Red Raiders also finished the season with the best conference record in program history. This year’s team is led by Missy Owens, who is the Big 12 Co-Setter of the Year. She is the eighth player to earn first-team honors for Tech.
The Red Raiders placed 10 student-athletes on the Academic All-Big 12 team, including nine first-team selections and one second-team selection. For the second consecutive season, Tech led the conference with four student-athletes with four-plus grade point averages. The Red Raiders also received the AVCA Team Academic Award, which honors collegiate volleyball teams and high school volleyball teams that maintain a team GPA of at least 3.30.
The Academic Honor Roll is a select group of student-athletes who have excelled in their academics and contributed to their team’s success. Students who earn athletics scholarships or awards are also eligible to make the Honor Roll. Student-athletes who are not on an athletics scholarship must have played on the varsity team for two seasons, completed at least 24 semester hours of non-remedial academic credit, and participated in the entire NCAA Championship segment.