Volleyball Tops the Mountaineers
Oct. 29, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU volleyball team opened the second half of Big 12 play with a decisive 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 25-19) win over West Virginia on Wednesday night at the University Recreation Center.
The Horned Frogs (13-10, 3-6 Big 12) used a balanced offensive attack to take down the Mountaineers (13-10, 3-6 Big 12), with Ashley Smith, Stephanie Holland, Sarita Mikals and Mattie Burleson all notching double-digit kills.
Holland led the charge with 13 kills and a .367 hitting percentage, while also picking up a season-high six total blocks. Burleson finished with 11 kills on the night and tied her career-high with 10 total blocks to record the first double-double of her career. Smith and Mikals rounded out the double-digit performers, with both notching 10 kills while also finishing with double-doubles on the night with 10 and 13 digs, respectively.
Regan McGuire was just shy of joining the double-digit club and chipped in nine kills, but notched a career-high .615 hitting percentage to go with two service aces, two digs and two blocks.
Smith helped lead the Frogs to a match-high seven service aces by recording four of her own on the night. TCU recorded double-digit blocks for the fifth time in the Big 12 matches this year with 13 total blocks, while Sutton Sunstrum picked up 12 digs for her 14th match this season with double-digit digs.
TCU was able to come out on top over the Mountaineers to open the match with both teams notching 14 kills in the first set, but the Frogs were able to limit their errors offensively. TCU started with a 4-1 to the set, but three straight points by WVU evened things out.
The teams continued to battle with eight ties in the set, but a block by Mikals sparked a 6-2 run that lifted the Frogs to a 14-9 lead. WVU fought back with a 5-0 run to even out the match again, but TCU stayed ahead and used a service ace from Smith to notch four straight points for a 23-18 lead. A block from Burleson and Holland gave the Frogs set point, as Mikals struck a kill down the line to seal the victory, 25-21.
A tight battle would ensue to start the second set, as 11 ties would define the set. Both teams were able to record a .303 hitting clip, but the Frogs proved to have the closing power and used crucial service aces to take the set. Neither team was able to gain more than a one-point advantage to open the match, until a kill from Burleson along with another block from Burleson and Holland gave TCU a 15-13 lead going into the media timeout.
Smith came out of the timeout strong and served up two aces to extend the TCU lead to 17-13. The Mountaineers attempted to close in on the Frogs, but TCU was able to keep them away, as McGuire stepped up to record two straight aces of her own, 23-18. WVU was able to close the set within two, 24-22, but Burleson's strong play at the net was all TCU needed with the senior connecting with Smith to shut down an attack for a 25-22 win.
TCU looked poised to take the match in a sweep, but WVU would not let that happen and staged a comeback to take a set in the match. The Frogs were in control from the start and were able to put up more kills and blocks in the set, but could not hold off a strong attack at the end by the Mountaineers. After leading the entire set, McGuire put the Frogs at set point, 24-21, but a timeout by WVU led to a regrouping and five straight points by the Mountaineers to steal the set 26-24.
Errors by WVU along with strong serving from Sunstrum got TCU off to a 9-2 lead to start the fourth set. The Frogs never relinquished the lead and used an ace by Alexia Heist to go into the media timeout with a 15-10 advantage. The Frogs were able to run up to set point, 24-17 after a kill from Holland, but WVU closed in on the gap with a kill and an error by TCU. A timeout on the floor was all TCU needed with Holland striking down one final kill to finish off the set, 25-19, and complete the match.
TCU will continue it's four-match homestand by hosting Kansas on Saturday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m., at the Rec Center.
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