TCU Blocks Out Baylor, 3-1
Oct. 4, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - For the fourth straight match and seventh time this season, the TCU volleyball team recorded double-digit blocks to comeback and defeat Baylor 3-1 (24-26, 25-22, 25-14, 25-18) on Saturday morning inside the University Recreation Center.
The top blocking team in conference matches, the Horned Frogs (12-6, 2-2 Big 12) notched double-digit blocks and hold the top two spots in blocking in four-set conference matches after recording a team total 12 against the Bears (10-7, 1-2 Big 12). Mattie Burleson led the way with seven, while Natalie Gower chipped in five and Ashley Smith finished with a season-high four.
TCU had at least three players notch double-digit kills for the fifth time this season, as Stephanie Holland led the way with 14 kills and only two errors for a .522 hitting clip. Sarita Mikals and Smith recorded double-doubles on Saturday, with Mikals slamming down 12 kills and picking up 10 digs, while Smith finished with 11 kills and 11 digs.
Baylor's outside hitters did all the work for the Bears, as Andie Malloy recorded a match-high 19 kills and a team-high 14 digs, while reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Week Katie Staiger was good for 16 kills.
TCU jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in the first set, as Mikals and Blaire Pickens notched kills and Baylor had to use a timeout. The Frogs stayed strong, as Mikals and Holland went up for two big kills with Baylor needing to regroup again and used its final timeout with TCU leading 10-2.
An eight-point lead would be the biggest TCU would have in the set, before a few mini runs by the Bears closed the gap within four, 16-12. The Frogs would lose offensive momentum and were forced to use a timeout after Baylor crept within two, 21-19. A kill off a slide from Gower put the Frogs at set point, 24-22, but that would be the final point for TCU as Baylor scored four straight points to steal the set away from the Frogs, 26-24.
TCU rebounded quickly from the first set loss by jumping out to a 9-3 lead to start the second set. The Frogs continued to roll, as kills from Pickens, Burleson and Mikals stretched the lead out to 10, 14-4, as Baylor used its final timeout of the set. The Bears would once again attempt to stage a comeback in the second set as Baylor got within two, 23-21. A timeout from the Frogs was all that was needed, as a service error set up match point which Smith delivered on with a kill from the outside, 25-22.
Out of the break, TCU made quick work and used an ace from Heist, along with kills from Holland and Burleson to get out to a 5-0 lead. Burleson's strong defensive work at the net was key, as TCU continued to stretch out the lead and go up eight, 15-7, with Baylor using its final timeout in the set.
Gower went behind the service line and notched an ace, as the Frogs forced the Bears into multiple hitting errors to extend the lead, 19-8. Holland came on strong offensively to wrap up the set for TCU and was 3-for-3 to help lead the Frogs to a .421 hitting percentage in the set. Langley checked into the match and stepped behind the service line and struck down an ace to finish off the set, 25-14 and give TCU a 2-1 lead in the match.
TCU once again successfully jumped out to an early lead to begin the fourth set, as a kill from Holland capped off a 6-1 run. Baylor did not give up and stormed back with kills from Malloy and blocks to take its first lead of the match since the first set, 10-9. TCU did not let that lead last and stormed back after an ace from Heist and a kill from Holland for a 17-12 lead.
Malloy would attempt to keep the Bears in the match by rattling off four kills to close the gap to four, but Pickens and Mikals wrapped up the match with two straight kills to seal the 3-1 victory with a 25-18 fourth set victory.
TCU will go back on the road to continue conference action, as the Frogs travel to Morgantown, W. Va., to face West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 11. First serve is set for 3 p.m., CT, inside the WVU Coliseum.
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