Horned Frogs Wrangle the Red Raiders
Nov. 19, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas - A career-high 31 digs from Sutton Sunstrum along with a match-high 19 kills from Ashley Smith led the TCU volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 25-22, 20-25, 25-22) victory over Texas Tech on Wednesday night inside the University Recreation Center.
TCU is now 13-2 at home, with Smith recording double-digit kills for the Horned Frogs (16-13, 6-8 Big 12) for the 17th time this season. Sunstrum crossed the 30-dig plateau for the first time in her career against the Red Raiders (15-11, 3-11 Big 12) with the dig total the most in a Big 12 four-set match.
Smith rounded out her night with her team-leading 11th double-double with 13 digs, while Alexia Heist and Trisha Langley also joined the double-double club. Langley led the team with career-high 26 assists to go along with 10 digs, while Heist dished out 25 assists and picked up 11 digs.
Macy Capen came into the last two set for the Frogs and came up big with a season-high seven kills and a .333 hitting clip to go along with two blocks.
TCU recorded double-digit blocks for the sixth straight Big 12 match and 13th time this season with 11.5 against Texas Tech. The Frogs have recorded 10 plus blocks 10 times in Big 12 action, with Regan McGuire leading the efforts with eight blocks.
The Frogs were able to jump out to a 2-0 lead after Stephanie Holland and Sarita Mikals slammed down kills, but Texas Tech responded with two straight kills of its own to create a battle for points. The teams tied on nine more occasions until two straight errors by the Red Raiders gave TCU a 14-12 advantage. Texas Tech responded with two kills and a block to take a 15-14 lead into the media timeout.
Blaire Pickens came out swinging from the timeout and tied up the set, as the two teams continued to fight for points. A service error by the Red Raiders was just what TCU needed as Mikals and Smith each notched kills to lift the Frogs to a 21-18 advantage. The Red Raiders were able to close the gap, 21-20, but that was all the points they would get the rest of the set as TCU recorded multiple blocks and a service ace to finish out the set on a 4-0 run and win 25-20.
TCU used the momentum from the first set to jump out to a 5-2 lead in the second set with kills from Smith and Mikals. Texas Tech turned up the offense and picked up five kills in a row to steal the lead, 7-5. The Frogs did not give up and battled back as a kill from Smith along with an ace from Sunstrum gave TCU a 15-13 advantage into the media timeout.
TCU continued to roll in the set, as Natalie Gower checked into the match and finished off the set with a kill followed by a block from McGuire and Holland to take the second set 25-22 and a 2-0 lead in the match. The Frogs recorded their highest hitting percentage of the match with a .318 clip and were able to finish with 17 kills.
Texas Tech was able to control the majority of the third set from the start, as the Red Raiders jumped out to an 11-7 lead with both teams hit above .300 in the set, but Texas Tech was able to put up 20 kills in the set, to the Frogs' 16 kills. TCU slowly chipped away at the lead and brought the set within three multiple times, but crucial errors by the Frogs hurt in the end as the gap proved to be too much as Texas Tech took the third set 25-20.
The Frogs rebounded from the third set by taking an 8-4 lead in the fourth set, with a block from McGuire and Holland sending the Red Raiders into a timeout. TCU was able to lead throughout almost the entirety of the set and were able to keep Texas Tech at a distance until a 7-3 run by the Red Raiders tied up the set at 19-19.
Texas Tech used a solo block out of a TCU timeout to take its first and only lead of the set, 20-19, but a block from Mattie Burleson and Pickens followed by a kill from Burleson and an error by the Red Raiders lifted the Frogs back into control, 22-20. TCU did not falter, as Langley struck down an ace to end the set, 25-22, and give the Frogs the victory.
TCU will continue action by hitting the road to face Kansas State on Saturday, Nov. 22 at 7 p.m., in Manhattan, Kan.
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