Horned Frogs Rally for Five-Set Win
Nov. 1, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - Trailing 0-2 in the match, the TCU volleyball team rallied to bring down Kansas 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 18-16) on Saturday afternoon inside the University Recreation Center.
For only the 10th time under the tenure of TCU head coach Prentice Lewis, the Horned Frogs (14-10, 4-6 Big 12) were able to stage a comeback and steal away the victory from the Jayhawks (16-7, 4-5 Big 12) for the team's first victory over Kansas since joining the Big 12 in 2012.
After recording just one block through the first two sets, the Frogs were able to put up 11 blocks in the final three sets to finish with 12 and the second straight match with double-digit blocks. Mikals led the blocking and offensive charge for TCU and finished with a double-double of 16 kills and 16 digs to go along with a season-high five blocks.
Ashley Smith also notched a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs, while Stephanie Holland chipped in 10 kills and three blocks. Natalie Gower checked into the match late in the first set and was just shy of the double-digit mark by recorded nine kills and also finishing with four total blocks.
To go along with the double-digit dig performance by Smith and Mikals, Sutton Sunstrum was able to pick up a career and match-high 29 digs on the day.
The match was evenly contest at the start, but a kill from the Jayhawks put Kansas on a 3-0 run and forced TCU into a timeout at 10-7 in the first set. The Frogs were able to post 11 kills in the first set, but Kansas posted 19 kills which made all the difference as the Jayhawks extended their lead out to six, 19-13. TCU could not close the gap and dropped the first set, 25-19.
The second set was all about Kansas, as the Jayhawks were able to keep TCU at a distance and jumped out to a 9-3 lead. Holland would cut the gap to four, 11-7, with a kill, but that is as close as the Frogs would get in the set, as a service error by Mikals wrapped up the set, 25-18, and allowed Kansas to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
A break and a regroup was all TCU needed, as a kill by Smith in the second point of the set sent Alexia Heist back to the service line where she put Kansas off balance and led the Frogs to an 8-1 lead. The Jayhawks responded with a 4-1 run, but a kill and then a block from Mikals stopped them, as TCU continued to roll and kept Kansas at bay, 18-13.
The teams continued to trade points back and forth and Kansas was able to close the set within two, 22-20 after an ace, but Gower stepped up and notched two kills and a block to close out the set, 25-20, in favor of the Frogs.
TCU once again produced a strong start in the fourth set, as the team capitalized off of errors by Kansas to run up to a 7-3 lead. The Jayhawks did not back down and would go on a 5-1 run to even out the set, 8-8. Three straight hitting errors by Kansas put the Frogs back on top, but Kansas once again would not let TCU run away with the set and evened it out again.
The Frogs took a 15-12 lead into the media timeout and then Mikals posted two straight blocks to lift TCU to a 17-12 lead. The Jayhawks were able to slowly chip away at the lead until a kill from Gower gave TCU set point, 24-20. Kansas struck down two kills and then forced an error by the Frogs to bring the set within one, 24-23, but Smith struck down one final kill to seal the win, 25-23 and force the fifth and decisive set.
The final set was a big battle, as neither team could gain more than a two-point advantage throughout the entire set. Tied 8-8, Kansas was able to get a kill and force an error for its first two-point lead and it stayed that way with the Jayhawks inching closer to the victory after another kill, 13-11. Blaire Pickens checked into the match and struck down a kill followed by another put down by Mikals to make things all even at 13-13.
The Jayhawks got a kill down the middle and their first match point, but Mikals came up big out of a timeout to make it tied once again, 14-14. Kansas saw their second set point, 15-14, squashed after a service error and its third and final set point attempt was stopped by Burleson pounding down her own kill for the final tie of the match at 16-16. An attack into the net by Kansas and one final big block from Burleson and Smith sealed the improbable comeback victory, 18-16.
TCU will stay home for the fourth and final time of the recent home stand by hosting Oklahoma on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m., with the match set to air live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.
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