TCU Stuffs Sam Houston
Sept. 19, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (September 19, 2014) - A season-high 15 team blocks led the TCU volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-21, 19-25, 25-18, 25-16) victory over Sam Houston State to open the TCU Molten Invitational on Friday night inside the University Recreation Center.
Regan McGuire denied the Bearkats (6-5) on 11 occasions, which lands her in the TCU record book for the second year in a row with the total tied for third all-time in single match records. McGuire also chipped in seven kills and zero errors for a .318 clip.
Ashley Smith led the Horned Frogs (8-4) for the fourth straight match with 16 kills and only one error for a career-high .429 hitting percentage, while also digging up 11 digs for her third double-double of the season. Stephanie Holland and Sarita Mikals helped shoulder the offensive load by knocking down six kills apiece.
Mikals notched double-digit digs for the fifth time this season with 14, while Shane Peters had a 20 plus dig match for the second-straight match with a game-high 25 digs.
SHSU had two players with double-digit kills with Devene Wells-Gibson leading the way with 14 and Carling Urban notching 11, but TCU was able to contain the Bearkats' offense and held SHSU to a .090 hitting percentage.
The Bearkats got a quick start on the match, with three straight kills for a 3-0 lead, before McGuire broke the run with a kill of her own. The teams continued to trade points and tied up the set on five more occasion before two straight hitting errors by SHSU gave TCU its first two-point lead of the set, 13-11.
The Bearkats struck back by capitalizing off a service error by the Frogs and tying up the set with a block at 13-13. The battle would continue with the teams trading points until a kill from Smith and a block from Mikals and Natalie Gower brought the lead up to 19-17. SHSU kept the rest of the set tight and evened it out at 21-21, but a kill from Alexia Heist would be the final catalyst TCU needed to finish out the set, as a block from McGuire and Holland gave the Frogs the 25-21 victory.
A kill and block from the Bearkats gave them the 2-0 advantage to start the second set, but a block assist from McGuire and Holland along with an error by SHSU evened up the set at 2-2. The teams fought back-and-forth the entire set, with 10 ties and four led changes occurring before kills and a block from SHSU propelled the Bearkats to a 16-13 lead.
After a TCU timeout, the Frogs forced an error to bring the match back within two at 16-14, but TCU struggled offensively in the set and committed two straight errors. Leading 19-14, SHSU continued to extended its lead and closed out the set with two straight kills for a 25-19 win and tied the match at 1-1.
All TCU needed was a quick break and the offense came alive in the third set, with the team recording a match-high .440 clip and four team blocks. The Frogs jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the set after two kills from Pickens and McGuire capped a 3-0 run. The Bearkats chipped away at the lead, as the teams battled to a tie at 14-14. McGuire's strong defensive play at the net would prove crucial, as the sophomore notched two straight blocks to lift the Frogs back up to a three-point lead, 17-14. SHSU would not get any closer, as another error by the Bearkats sealed the victory in set three 25-18.
The offense did not let up in the fourth set, as TCU hit .300 with 15 kills to go along with 22 digs in the set alone. A well-paced and balanced offense got the Frogs an early 10-5 lead in the set, forcing SHSU into a timeout. TCU did not let up, as tough play from behind the service line extended the lead, with McGuire serving up an ace for the team's largest lead of the set at 18-8. The Bearkats attempted to make a comeback in the set and closed the gap to six, but the TCU lead proved to be too much as Mikals and McGuire capped off the match with back-to-back kills for the 25-16 win.
The Frogs return to action tomorrow to wrap up the TCU Molten Invitational with matches against UAPB at 1 p.m., and High Point at 7 p.m.
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