LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 13 Texas Tech has secured its seventh NCAA Tournament bid in eight seasons Monday. The Red Raiders, who will host a first round game for the sixth time, will welcome Pepperdine on Friday evening to the John Walker Soccer Complex.
Head coach Tom Stone, whose squad split matches with the Waves in 2017 and 2018, was quick to point out the talented team that will be traveling to Lubbock.
“We’re going to have to be at our best,” Stone said. “This is a team that can beat anybody on any given day. They tore through some Pac-12 teams and had a late season run as they seemingly always do.”
Stone also stressed the importance of getting home field advantage in a first round game – especially against a team like Pepperdine, who he believes is one of the toughest opening round opponents in the entire tournament. Tech is 5-0 when playing first round NCAA Tournament games at home.
“We’re super grateful to be playing them here,” he said. “We know we have an edge when it comes to environment. The atmosphere here is fantastic and electric. When you’re rolling and have a home game in the NCAA Tournament, Tech fans are putting on their coats and coming out. We love that about our Red Raider fans.”
In addition to deciding whose season continues and whose fall comes to an end, the game against the Waves will act as a rubber match between the two clubs. Tech first met Pepperdine in Malibu in 2017, where the Red Raiders suffered a tough 3-0 loss. Last season, in 2018, the Waves traveled to West Texas to begin their season ranked 18th in the country. Tech handed them a swift 1-0 defeat at the John Walker Soccer Complex thanks to Jade King’s goal in the second minute.
Tech, who enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 national seed, has a record of 15-3-2 on its resume. The Red Raiders knocked off two top-25 teams during the regular season and tied a program record for Big 12 wins with six.