TCU Outplays No. 24 Oklahoma
Nov. 5, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - Sophomore Ashley Smith had a career night and led the charge as the TCU volleyball team upset No. 24 Oklahoma 3-2 (13-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-19, 25-11) on Wednesday night at the University Recreation Center with TCU extending its Big 12 winning streak to three matches.
The Horned Frogs (15-10, 5-6 Big 12) defeated their first ranked opponent since Nov. 10, 2011 and their sixth under the tenure of head coach Prentice Lewis, while improving to 12-2 at home.
Smith had a career-high 20 kills and only one error for a .413 hitting percentage and added 10 digs on the night for her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Blaire Pickens came into the match and struck down a career-high 13 kills and was good for a career-high six blocks.
Mattie Burleson and Sarita Mikals completed the balanced offensive attack against the Sooners (16-7, 7-3 Big 12), with Burleson putting up 12 kills and four blocks, while Mikals recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs.
TCU recorded 10 plus blocks for the third straight match with 10.5 on the night, while also picking up 64 digs and four service aces. Sutton Sunstrum led the defensive efforts from the backrow with 19 digs. Alexia Heist was just shy of her career-high and finished with 54 assists on the night to go along with seven digs and one block.
Oklahoma looked like the better team at the start of the match, as the Sooners served up two aces on their way to a 7-0 lead. An error by Oklahoma finally put TCU on the board, but the Frogs struggled to generate offense and fell behind by double-digits and used their final timeout trailing 19-9. Mikals and Pickens were able to put down a few kills, but the gap proved to be too much as the Sooners took the set 25-13.
TCU rebounded from the opening set and battled back and forth with the Sooners, as the teams had six ties to open the second set. Tied 12-12, Regan McGuire put down a kill, followed by kills from Burleson and Smith to send the Frogs into a 15-12 lead into the media timeout. The Frogs were able to keep the lead in their favor and used two straight blocks to extend the advantage, 21-16. TCU wrapped up the set on a 4-2 run, as Mikals notched her fourth kill of the set for a 25-18 victory.
The fight continued into the third set, with the teams trading points, until a block and kill from Smith and a setter dump from Heist pushed the Frogs into a 15-12 lead. The Sooners did not let TCU slip away and chipped away at the lead and evened things up at 19-19.
A battle to the finish would begin, with the teams trading the lead back-and-forth until a kill from Burleson gave the Frogs set point, 24-23. A crucial service error evened the set out, before Smith lifted TCU to its second set point, 25-24. Oklahoma decided to kick up the offense when it needed it and struck down three straight kills to steal away the set, 27-25, and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The last minute defeat of the third set sparked a fire for TCU, as they used a balanced offense to jump out to a 7-2 lead in the fourth set. The Frogs knocked down 20 kills and hit .436 in the set, while also picking up 18 digs as they continued to roll. The Sooners were only able to get as close as three points in the set, as Smith and Burleson put down two straight kills to take the fourth set 25-19 and force the fifth and decisive set.
Smith started right where she left off in the fourth set by striking down a kill to open the fifth set. Oklahoma responded with a block, but two kills from Smith and Burleson along with an error by the Sooners lifted the Frogs to a 5-1 lead. TCU never lost the lead and dominated the final set with 10 kills, as Smith recorded one final ace to seal the victory, 15-11, and the upset win over the Sooners.
TCU will hit the road for the next three matches, beginning with a nonconference matchup with North Texas on Nov. 9. The Frogs will resume Big 12 play with matches at Baylor on Nov. 12 and at Iowa State on Nov. 15.
FOLLOW THE FROGS
M Basketball @TCUBasketball
W Basketball @TCUWbasketball
M Golf @TCUMensGolf
W Golf @TCUWomensGolf
Swimming & Diving @TCUswimdive
M Tennis @TCUMensTennis
W Tennis @TCUWomensTennis
Track & Field @TCUTrackField
Beach Volleyball @TCUBeachVB