Preview: Bluejay Invitational

Sept. 8, 2016

OMAHA, Neb. – Another weekend on the road is up next on the slate for the TCU volleyball team as the team will head to Omaha, Neb., to compete in the Bluejay Invitational at the D.J. Sokol Arena on the campus of Creighton from Sept. 9-10.

The Horned Frogs (4-1) will open the tournament with the host Bluejays (2-3) on Friday at 6 p.m., before concluding the tournament with Chattanooga (5-2) on Saturday at Noon. All the matches at the tournament will air live on and fans can also see live stats of each match at

-The 2016 season marks the 21st season in the history of the TCU Volleyball program
-This season also marks the second under the helm of alumni and Director of Volleyball Jill (Pape) Kramer
-Kramer (1996-99) was the first scholarship volleyball player on the inaugural team in 1996 and still holds the single-season and career school records in kills and total attacks
-TCU returns 10 letterwinners and five starters from a season ago and also welcome nine newcomers, including three transfers
-91% of the offense returns for the 2016 season along with 95% of the defense at the net in blocking
-The squad includes seven seniors this season including All-American Ashley Smith and AVCA All-Southwest Region honorees Regan McGuire and Natalie Gower
-Smith, who has led the team in kills per set the last three seasons, was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team for the second straight season
-Two other key returners are Sarita Mikals and Jillian Bergeson who spent their springs honing their skills on the beach courts
-The Frogs have great offensive depth which means a 6-2 will be in play again with Kaylee Smith and Lamprini Konstantinidou guiding the offense
-TCU brought in a stud of a freshmen class which was ranked for the first time in program history by by coming in at No. 15
-Last weekend, TCU went 1-1 with come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Duke before dropping its first match of the season to No. 12 North Carolina
-The 3-2 win over the Blue Devils marked the first win under the Jill Kramer era went the Frogs came back from an 0-2 deficit in the match
-Mikals broke the school record in digs for a single-match when she picked up 36 digs against Duke
-After last weekend, TCU improved to 2-1 this season against foes from the ACC

Creighton, the two-time defending BIG EAST Conference champion, started the season ranked No. 18 but dropped out of the top-25 after a 2-3 start. The Bluejays own wins over fellow Big 12 opponent Iowa State (3-1) and Northern Iowa (3-0), but lost to Wichita State (3-2), No. 23 Kentucky (3-0) and USC (3-2).

Leading the Creighton offense is Preseason Big East Player of the Year Jaali Winters who has put down 63 kills and 3.15 kills per set in the team’s first five matches. Three other players are averaging over 2.00 kills per set in Marysa Wilkinson (2.70), Taryn Kloth (2.43) and Jess Bird (2.00). Guiding the offense this year is Purdue transfer Lydia Dimke who has dished out 204 assists and 10.20 assists per set.

Pacing the defense is Brittany Witt who has picked up 86 digs this season and 4.30 digs per set. Winters follows closely behind with 63 digs and 3.15 digs per set. The blocking game is paced by Wilkinson who has shut down at the net with 15 total blocks for 0.75 blocks per set.

After starting the season 4-0, Chattanooga enters the weekend with a 5-2 record after finishing the Dayton Invitational last weekend with a 1-2 record. The Mocs recorded a 3-1 win over Xavier, but dropped straight set losses to host Dayton and Northwestern.

Senior Allie Davenport and freshman Dani Szczepanski were named to the Dayton Invitational all-tournament team over the weekend. Davenport registered 37 kills on a .229 hitting percentage while adding 27 digs in three games. Szczepanski totaled 23 kills on a .237 percentage and added nine blocks, including seven total blocks in the win over Xavier on Saturday.

Junior Lauren Greenspoon directed the offense with 102 assists over the weekend while dishing out 46 assists in the win over Xavier. She has registered 219 assists on the season in 22 sets and 9.95 assists per set, which leads the Southern Conference. Sophomore libero Rachel Petkosh led the defense in Dayton by posting 48 digs in three matches and now has 90 digs on the season with her 4.74 digs per set ranking fourth in the conference.



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