TCU Shocked by Northeastern
Sept. 13, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In the finale of the Shamrock Invitational, the TCU volleyball team fell to Northeastern 3-2 (25-20, 25-21, 19-25, 15-25, 12-15) at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind.
The Horned Frogs (6-4) took a 2-0 lead in the match, but the Huskies (5-5) rebounded to win the next three sets to steal the match away from TCU.
Ashley Smith was one of four Frogs in double-digits, as she recorded a double-double of 16 kills and 11 digs. Sarita Mikals also notched a double-double of 10 kills to go along with 14 digs, while middles Natalie Gower and Regan McGuire chipped in season- and career-high 14 and 11 kills, respectively. The duo also led TCU at the net with three blocks each.
Shane Peters stepped into the libero role for only the second time this season and led the team with a season-high 19 digs.
McGuire and Mikals led an offensive attack at the front end of the first set with each recording two kills a piece as TCU started with a 5-3 lead. A service error from Mikals sparked a 3-0 run by the Huskies that shifted the lead in favor of Northeastern, but McGuire came up big in the middle along with Natatlie Gower to nab the lead back, 7-6.
The Frogs continued to spread out the offense, as an ace from Trisha Langely capped a 10-7 lead by TCU. A sideout battle would ensue, as neither team could gain more than a point off serve with TCU holding on to the three-point advantage until 18-15. Northeastern would get two points in a row for the first time in 23 points, before TCU rolled off five straight points with kills from Pickens, Holland and Mikals, 23-17. The Huskies recorded a kill, before McGuire slammed one down the middle to put TCU at set point, 24-18. Northeastern held off the victory for two points, but McGuire would knock one final kill down for the 25-20 win.
Errors proved beneficial for TCU as a service ace from Mikals put the Frogs ahead 3-1 in the second set. The Huskies would notch three straight points to take back the lead, but that would be the only time in the set, as a block from McGurie and Smith along with two straight service aces from McGuire lifted TCU to a 7-4 lead.
The Frogs kept rolling as five different players recorded kills and Langley struck down a service ace for a 13-5 lead. The teams continued to trade points, but TCU kept the Huskies at an eight-point distance after a kill from Smith for a 20-12 lead. Northeastern attempted to close the gap, but McGuire connected with Burleson for a block to push TCU to set point before slamming down her ninth kill for a 25-21 win and a 2-0 lead in the match.
After a strong opening in the first two sets, the third set did not begin the way TCU wanted it to as Northeastern surged out to a 5-0 lead. A kill from Mikals put the Frogs on the board, as two errors by the Huskies put the match at 5-3 in favor of Northeastern. The Huskies would not let TCU get any closer and stretched the lead out to eight, 22-14. The Frogs fought to bring the set within five, 24-19, but Northeastern's lead proved to be too much as they took the set 25-19.
TCU rebounded from the third set with Holland and McGuire combining to shut down a kill to open the fourth set. The teams continued to trade points, until four different Frogs slammed down kills to lift TCU to an 8-6 advantage. A kill from the Huskies interrupted a 4-0 run, before Mikals and Smith responded with put downs of their own to increase the lead, 10-7.
Northeastern would not back down, as Brigitte Burcescu and Ava Cramp combined for five kills to give the Huskies a 8-0 run and put them back on top, 19-12. The Frogs could not contain Northeastern's offense, as the Huskies hit .600 on their way to taking the fourth set, 25-15, and tying the match up at 2-2.
TCU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening moments of the fifth set, but the Huskies responded with two straight kills to even it at 2-2. The teams continued to battle, as TCU held a slight upper edge with Smith notching three kills for a 6-5 advantage. Mikals kept the lead in the Frogs' favor at 7-6, but three kills from Northeastern gave the lead back at 9-7.
The Frogs would have to play from behind the rest of the set, with the team pulling the match within one at 11-10 with a block from McGuire and Holland. The Huskies notched another kill followed by a kill for Smith for a 12-11 score in the fifth set, but errors plagued the Frogs in the final points, as the Huskies took three of the next four points to close out the set 15-12 and complete the comeback.
TCU returns home for the next four matches, as the Frogs host Abilene Christian on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m., before welcoming Sam Houston State, UAPB and High Point for the TCU Molten Invitational on Sept. 19-20 at the University Recreation Center.
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