TCU Stuns the Cyclones
Sept. 27, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - With a season-high 16 team blocks and 10 service aces, the TCU volleyball team defeated Iowa State 3-1 (25-15, 18-25, 30-28, 25-16) for the first time in program history and picked up its first win in Big 12 Conference play this season at the University Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Horned Frogs (11-5, 1-1 Big 12) had four players notch double-digit kills for the first time this season, as Ashley Smith, Blaire Pickens and Regan McGuire all notched 11, while Sarita Mikals chipped in 10 against the Cyclones (7-4, 0-1 Big 12).
Mikals recorded her third double-double of the season by picking up a match-high and season-high 16 digs, while Sutton Sunstrum returned to the libero jersey and finished with 12 digs. Mattie Burleson tied her career-high with 10 total blocks, while McGuire picked up four blocks.
TCU was nearly unstoppable at the start of the match, as the Frogs struck down 15 kills and only one error for a .583 clip in the first set. TCU was also tough at the net and was good for six blocks to keep the Cyclones at a .098 hitting percentage in the set. Pickens went up for a solo block to give the Frogs a 9-5 lead to start the match and force Iowa State into its first timeout. TCU continued to roll, as two blocks along with a service ace from Sunstrum lifted the Frogs to a 22-13 lead. TCU wrapped up the set only a few points later, as an error from the Cyclones sealed the 25-15 win.
McGuire and Smith smacked down kills to push TCU ahead 3-1 to start the second set, but Iowa State responded with a 5-0 run to take back the lead, 6-3. The teams continued to trade points, but the Cyclones would keep TCU at a distance and extended the lead to as much as seven after an ace, 21-14. The Frogs could not close the gap, as the Cyclones notched a kill to take the second set 25-18 and tie the match up at 1-1.
The third set was an all out fight for points, as the teams tied on 20 occasions and there were nine lead changes. Iowa State took the early lead at 7-4, but a kill from Pickens along with three straight blocks from Burleson gave the lead right back to the Frogs, 8-7. TCU could never get more than a two-point advantage until another block from Burleson and Smith lifted the Frogs to a 19-16 lead.
Iowa State did not back down and took four of the next five points to even things up in the set at 20-20. A back-and-forth battle would ensue until a kill from the Cyclones gave them a set point at 24-23. McGuire struck one down the middle to keep the match going and after a 28-28 tie, Burleson and Mikals each picked up a kill to take the third set 30-28 and give the Frogs a 2-1 lead in the match.
A string of service runs in the fourth set was key to TCU's success, as Sunstrum's strong play from behind the service line lifted the Frogs to a 5-0 lead at the start. TCU had an answer to everything Iowa State attempted, as Langley continued the serving streak with three straight aces for an 18-7 lead. The Cyclones attempted to close in on TCU, but the lead proved to be too much as Burleson was once again a force at the net and closed out the match with two blocks for a 25-16 fourth set victory.
TCU will hit the road for the next match and head to Norman, Okla., to take on Oklahoma on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., at the McCasland Field House.
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