Volleyball Shuts Down Notre Dame 3-1
Sept. 12, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Despite dropping the first set, the TCU volleyball team bounced back to notch a 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-21, 26-24) victory over Notre Dame on Friday night in the opening match of the Shamrock Invitational at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind.
In the first meeting between the two programs, three Horned Frogs (6-2) recorded double-digit kills in the match. Stephanie Holland and Sarita Mikals each picked up 14, while Mattie Burleson slammed down a season-high 11 over the Fighting Irish (0-6). TCU hit .351 in the match, with four players recording over a .350 clip.
Alexia Heist dished out 31 assists on the night and put her career total over the 1,000 mark, while also picking up one service ace and eight digs. Sutton Sunstrum dug up 20 digs for the third time this season, while Ashley Smith had 14 digs and Mikals completed her first double-double of the season with 10 digs.
The first set was a tight battle as neither team could gain more than a two-point advantage the entire set with the set tied 18 times with eight lead changes. Trailing 7-5, TCU gained its first lead of the match by capitalizing off a Fighting Irish service error and two put downs from Burleson and Mikals to put the set at 8-7 in favor of the Frogs. Six more ties would occur before another smack down from Gower and Burleson gave TCU the 18-16 advantage and forced Notre Dame into a timeout.
An error from the Frogs brought the match back within one a 18-17, but Burleson and McGuire shut down the Irish at the net to push the lead back to 19-17. Notre Dame did not go down and recorded three straight kills to regain the lead, 20-19. After a timeout from the Frogs, Holland picked up two kills and Burleson and Smith combined for a block for a 22-20 lead. Notre Dame would even the match at 22-22, as the two teams battled out the last few points. Two kills from the Irish gave them their first crack at the set with a 24-23 lead, but a seventh kill from Holland evened out the score at 24-24. A crucial error from TCU made it set point for the last time for Notre Dame, as an Irish block gave them the 26-24 victory.
A brief pause was all TCU needed to rebound from the loss in the first set, as four straight kills from Burleson, Mikals and Holland along with errors by Notre Dame pushed the Frogs out to a 6-0 lead. TCU continued to capitalize off of errors by the Irish and extended the lead to as much as eight, 17-9. A 4-0 run by Notre Dame to bring the match within four at 17-13 forced the Frogs into a timeout.
Out of the timeout, TCU responded with two put downs from Burleson and Holland to stretch the lead back out to five, 19-14. An offensive surge from Notre Dame chipped away at the lead and brought the match to 19-16, but Holland notched her 11th kill of the match to stall the run with McGuire putting down her own kill and recording a block to lift TCU back up, 22-16. Notre Dame notched two more kills in the set, but the Frogs would finish out the set on a 3-0 run for a 25-18 win.
Set three was all TCU from the start, as the Frogs duplicated the second set by jumping out to an early 6-1 lead. TCU kept Notre Dame at a distance, before a 4-0 run from the Irish brought the lead down to two, 10-8. A timeout from TCU helped the Frogs regroup as Mikals slammed down a kill and Burleson and McGuire notching a block to extend the lead back, 12-8.
Errors plagued Notre Dame, as TCU pushed its lead back out to five, 17-11, but the Irish kept chipping away at the lead and put the match within two with a kill at 19-17. McGuire slammed down another kill to start a two-point swing to bring the lead back to four, 21-17. Kills from Notre Dame threatened to bring the set closer, but a kill from Burleson set up the first set point that would come to fruition off another error by the Irish for a 25-20 win.
As dominant as the Frogs were in sets two and three, the Irish reversed the tables and took their first lead of the match since the first set at 3-2 with an error by TCU. The Frogs played almost the entire set from behind as Notre Dame would push out to a four-point lead, 14-10. The middles would come up big in the crucial moments, as Gower, McGuire and Burleson all combined for kills to tie the match up at 21-21. Errors proved to be the difference in the end, as Notre Dame committed four in the final few points, as TCU nabbed a 26-24 victory and the match.
TCU returns on Saturday, Sept. 13 to finish out the tournament with matches against Northern Iowa at Noon, CT, before facing Northeastern at 4 p.m., CT.
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