TCU Falters at No. 2 Texas
Oct. 22, 2014
AUSTIN, Texas - The TCU volleyball team closed out the first half of Big 12 conference play with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-22) loss to No. 2 Texas on Wednesday night inside Gregory Gym in Austin.
Outside hitters Ashley Smith and Sarita Mikals led the Horned Frogs (12-10, 2-6 Big 12) with seven kills each, while Stephanie Holland was able to chip in six kills against the Longhorns (15-0, 7-0 Big 12).
Smith and Alexia Heist were just shy of a double-double, as each was able to pick up nine digs on the night, while Sutton Sunstrum led all players with 11 digs. Heist continued to dish out the assists and finished with 19 on the night. Smith led all TCU players with three service aces, while Natalie Gower was able to shut down at the net for three total blocks.
Two-time Big 12 Player of the Year Haley Eckerman led all players with 12 kills on the night, while fellow senior Khat Bell recorded nine kills. Pilar Victoria was able to lead the Longhorns with 10 digs, while Cat McCoy chipped in four service aces.
TCU was able to capitalize off errors by the Longhorns to spring out to a 5-4 lead in the first set, but a kill from Texas sparked a 6-0 run that put the Longhorns back on top, 10-5. A kill from Mikals stopped the run and Smith and McGuire connected on a block to bring the set within three, 10-7.
Texas would interrupt the run with a kill, before Smith responded with a kill of her own along with an ace from McGuire to bring the set within two, 11-9. The teams continued to trade points, but the Longhorns kept the lead firmly on their side, as they closed out the set with a 25-14 win.
An ace from Alexia Heist, along with kills from Smith and Mikals gave TCU a 4-3 lead to start the second set. Texas would use little runs to take back the lead at 13-8, but two kills from Burleson and two service aces from Smith were exactly what the Frogs needed as they closed the gap to within one, 13-12. That was as close as TCU would get, as Texas used their offense to close out the set, 25-16, and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
TCU came out swinging to start the third set, as Smith and Mikals connected on kills to lift the Frogs to a 4-1 lead. Texas closed the gap with an error by the Frogs and a kill from the Longhorns, but another kill from Mikals started a 4-0 run that included two straight blocks from Natalie Gower.
Texas did not let the Frogs run away with the set and would go on an 8-1 run to take the lead back at 12-10. Smith halted the run with another kill, while a hitting error by the Longhorns evened the set up at 12-12. Texas struck down a kill, but Smith and Holland stepped up and smacked down a few of their own as the Frogs regained the lead, 15-13. The teams continued to trade points, with the third set producing 12 ties and five lead changes. Tied 22-22, Texas used three straight kills from Eckerman to close out the set and take the match 3-0.
TCU will return home for the next four matches, as they take a break from conference action to play host to one of the top Chinese teams, Zhejiang, on Friday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. The Frogs will resume league action with West Virginia on Oct. 29, before taking on Kansas on Nov. 1 and Oklahoma on Nov. 5.
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