Aug. 26, 2016
Final Stats |
FORT WORTH, Texas - A stout defense at the net along with a balanced offensive attack led by the senior duo of Natalie Gower and Jillian Bergeson, helped propel the TCU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-22) season opening victory over NC State on Friday evening to open the TCU Invitational inside The Rickel at the University Recreation Center.
The Wolfpack (1-1) would stay with the Horned Frogs (1-0) through the early parts of each set by trading points, but TCU used its experience to pull away from NC State each time to close out the match in straight sets.
Gower led the Frogs offensively and defensively with 13 kills and no errors on 21 swings for a .619 hitting percentage, while also putting up 7.0 total blocks against the Wolfpack. Bergeson record career double-double No. 20 on the night with 12 kills and 12 digs to go along with 2.0 total blocks.
Stat of the Match
12 - TCU won its second straight season opener and 12th in program history with the 3-0 sweep of NC State. The Frogs have won seven of those matches in straight sets.
Quotes of the Match
TCU Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer
"I am proud of the way our team started off tonight. When you are in your first match of the season, there can always be some jitters in the beginning. We were just talking about the fact that NC State already had their first match of the season earlier today so I was a little big curious since they had already gotten that out of the way if we would be able to do that too. We only have a couple of people out there right now who weren't on the court last year which made it that much easier. It is just such a big difference from where we are right now this time of year to where we were this time last year.
"I thought they worked through some things in the second set. There were some deuce moments there that make it interesting especially in the first match of the season, but the way our team decided to really sharpen up at the beginning of the third set, I thought that was really great. Anna Walsh is playing a different position then what she played last year at Virginia so she is trying to figure some things out but she hit .300 tonight which I thought was great for her to be in that position for the first time. Ashley Smith is playing libero for us right now and she really passed great and made some great defensive plays so we really like having her on the court. Natalie (Gower) and Regan (McGuire) held down the middle really well and Lamprini (Konstantinidou) hasn't competed in a couple of years and I thought she competed really hard and kept a level head in some tight moments. Her and Kaylee (Smith) did a great job running the offense tonight.
"What I love is how much I can tell beach volleyball has helped Jillian (Bergeson) and Sarita (Mikals). Their ball control was so good tonight and NC State served Sarita a ton and she handled it really well so that was great to see."
Senior Middle Blocker Natalie Gower
On the sold-out crowd
"They are awesome. That is why we love playing here. I think it is a huge advantage because a lot of teams think it's really tough to play in our gym because of our crowd being so awesome. They are just the most consistent crowd. Every single game, no matter if its preseason games, we can count on there being an awesome crowd with a lot of energy so I love playing at home."
-TCU won its season opener for the second straight season and 12th time in program history
-In only their second meeting all-time, TCU remains undefeated against NC State with a 2-0 record in the series meetings
-This is the first victory for TCU over NC State in Fort Worth
-Natalie Gower was one of two players in double-digit kills in the match and led the team in the first match of the season with 13 kills which was her 12th double-digit kill match of her career
-Gower was also the leader in blocks with seven total against the Wolfpack which marked the 23rd time in her career she has scored 5+ blocks in a match
-Gower was also the most efficient hitter on the night with 13 kills and no errors on 21 swings for a .619 hitting clip. It was the 31st time in her career she has a .300 hitting percentage or better.
-Jillian Bergeson scored double-double No. 20 in her career with 12 kills and 12 digs on the night
-It marked the 26th time in her career with 10+ kills and 54th time in her career with 10+ digs
-All-American Ashley Smith stepped into a new role this year by donning the libero jersey for the first time in her career where she totaled seven digs and one service ace
-Sarita Mikals led the defensive efforts from the back row against NC State with 16 total digs for her 40th match all-time with double-digit digs
-In her first match as a Horned Frog, Lamprini Konstantinidou led the team with 26 total assists, while Kaylee Smith chipped in 18 assists
-TCU totaled 10.0 team blocks in the match for its first double-digit blocking performance of the year
-Anna Walsh also made her debut as a Frog and was able to put down nine kills, a .316 hitting percentage and 6.0 total blocks
-TCU also opened the season with a sold-out crowd as 1,451 fans were in attendance on Friday night
The Frogs will continue their opening weekend at home at the TCU Invitational by hosting Arkansas State on Saturday at 7 p.m., at The Rickel. The team will conclude the tournament with Boise State on Sunday at 2 p.m.