TCU Claims Molten Invitational Crown
Sept. 20, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - Three TCU volleyball players notched 10 kills to defeat High Point 3-0 (25-20, 25-11, 25-14) to win the Molten Invitational on Saturday night inside the University Recreation Center.
The Horned Frogs (10-4) have now claimed at least one tournament title each season under the helm of head coach Prentice Lewis in her 13 seasons, as Ashley Smith was named MVP and Stephanie Holland and Regan McGuire joined her on the All-Tournament Team.
Smith and Holland, along with Mattie Burleson, led TCU with 10 kill apiece against the Panthers (6-7), with the team hitting .438 in the match. Alexia Heist dished out a team-high 23 assists and 13 digs for her second double-double of the season, while also serving up a career-high three aces.
For the weekend, Smith led all players with 31 kills and 3.44 kills per set for a .406 hitting percentage, while also chipping in 22 digs, six blocks and three service aces. Holland helped shoulder the offensive load with 22 kills for the weekend and 2.20 kills per set to go along with nine blocks. McGuire was stellar at the net and finished with a team-high 15 blocks and 1.67 blocks per set in the three matches.
The first set was a tight battle as both teams were hitting above .400 hitting percentage, but TCU proved to have just a little more power as the Frogs knocked down 19 kills to the Panthers 15. The match would open with five ties, before a kill from Heist sparked a 4-1 run capped off by a block from Burleson and Holland to lift TCU to a 12-9 lead. A service error would stop the run, before kills from Holland and Langley along with an ace from Smith extended the lead to four at 15-11.
High Point continued to fight and closed the gap to within one at 18-17, but two straight strike downs from Holland extended the lead to 20-17. A final offensive push by Holland and Smith proved crucial as the duo were able to bring TCU to set point at 24-19. One small service error would stall the victory only momentarily, as Blaire Pickens checked into the match and notched a kill for the 25-20 win.
That strong offensive push at the end of set one transferred to set two, as the Frogs jumped out to an 8-3 lead. TCU continued to roll, as the team capitalized off of errors by High Point to extend its lead to as much as 11 with a block from Smith and McGuire to make the score 18-7. The domination by the Frogs kept going, as Mikals recorded a kill to secure the 25-11 set two victory and 2-0 lead in the match.
An error by the Panthers gave TCU a lead in the third set that it never lost, as the team used a pair of kills by Smith and McGuire to cap off an 11-7 start in the set. Out of a timeout by the Panthers, the Frogs looked to Heist from behind the service line who picked up three straight aces to extend the lead to 16-7. Nothing could stop TCU, as two straight errors by High Point finalized the match with the Frogs taking a 25-14 win.
TCU will now begin Big 12 conference play by traveling to Texas Tech on Wednesday, Sept. 24 with match time set for 6 p.m., in Lubbock. The Frogs will then return home to open league play at home with Iowa State on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 2:30 p.m., with the match set to be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest.
FOLLOW THE FROGS
M Basketball @TCUBasketball
W Basketball @TCUWbasketball
M Golf @TCUMensGolf
W Golf @TCUWomensGolf
Swimming & Diving @TCUswimdive
M Tennis @TCUMensTennis
W Tennis @TCUWomensTennis
Track & Field @TCUTrackField
Beach Volleyball @TCUBeachVB