Thomas Lott: Protecting the Back of the Net
Texas Tech soccer had somewhat of a disappointing season. It was only disappointing in the fact that the Red Raiders had the talent to go to the NCAA Tournament, but failed to get there, but the team had several bright spots. Tom Stone brought in one of his best recruiting classes he has had in his time at Tech and those recruits started playing from the beginning. Four Freshman saw playing time in the first game for the Red Raiders, and when the season ended, three of the four starters on the back line were all freshman (Taylor Narvaiz, Bridget Jenkins, Jaelene Hinkle). Hinkle was the shining point of the back line as she earned All-Big 12 honors in her freshman season. However, as well as these freshman played, the best recruit Tom Stone saw on the field was transfer Victoria Esson. The Sophomore from New Zealand nearly did not come to Texas Tech, but when Coach Tom Stone lost two goalies, he had to go out and find another one, and he struck gold with Esson. Right from the start, Esson established herself as a force to be reckoned with, shutting out her first two opponents on her way to one of her four Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week awards. She sat at the top in defensive categories the entire year while posting five shutouts along the way. Esson was a question mark when the season began, she was an exclamation point when the season ended.
Joe Yeager: Tolbert On-Track for History
Power forward Jordan Tolbert, a Pat Knight recruit, looks like a colossal pick-up. The Fort Worth native was not heavily recruited, but has been an absolute force for Billie Gillispie's Red Raiders thus far. If Tolbert sticks around for four years, he will utterly destroy the school's all-time scoring mark held by Andre Emmett.
John Baucum: Washington Worked Out
In football, the answer for me would be DeAndre Washington. Across all sports, it's fairly apparent to me that Jordan Tolbert is the bell cow. The young man from All Saints Episcopal in Fort Worth is supremely talented and appears to have the skills to give any opposing coach in the conference a few sleepless nights.
Joshua Koch: Adams Steps Up
It might be one of the most overlooked sports but on the Tech Women's tennis team there was a freshman this past season that made a big difference.
Samantha Adams came into Tech as a proven winner leading her team to the 2008,2009 and 2010 State Team Championships. She also won the 2010 State Doubles Title with her brother.
After getting to Tech the winning ways continued as a freshman Adams posted a 25-12 record in singles play as the No.2 player for the Lady Raiders. She went 7-4 in conference play. Doubles is where she really grew getting to play with Tech senior Kelsy Garland.
Garland and Adams combined to post a 14-7 record in doubles play, which earned the duo All-Big 12 Doubles Honor.
Adams will be a fun player to watch in the next three seasons for Todd Petty and the Tech women's tennis team.