TCU Travels to Shamrock Invitational

Blaire Pickens
Sept. 11, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Coming off a 3-1 weekend in their home opener, the TCU volleyball team will take a trip to South Bend, Ind., to take part in the Shamrock Invitational on the campus of Notre Dame on Sept. 12-13.

The Horned Frogs (5-2) will open the tournament with host Notre Dame (0-5) on Friday at 6 p.m., CT and then will face Northern Iowa (2-5) and Northeastern (4-3) to close out the tournament on Saturday at Noon and 4 p.m., CST, respectively.

All three matches will be broadcast live on WatchND.TV, a free web stream available through Live stats to all three matches can be found on, while a live audio feed with Jeff Lewis on the call will be available through FrogVision with a CBS Sports All-Access subscription.

TCU returns for the 2014 season after posting a winning record for the ninth time in the last 12 years under head coach Prentice Lewis in 2013.

2014 marks the 19th season in program history and the 13th under the helm of Lewis. 14 returners will be on the roster for the Horned Frogs, including five returning starters and the libero.

TCU began the season on the road for the second straight season with the Penn State Classic, where they went 2-1 to start the season. The Frogs bounced back from a loss to the No. 1 Nittany Lions to sweep William & Mary and take a four-set victory over Iona.

This is the third season in a row TCU has gone 2-1 in the opening weekend. The Frogs have proven they can bounce back and be successful in non-conference play after the opening weekend, as the team won nine matches in 2012 and 2013 after one loss in the opening weekend.

TCU will face Notre Dame for the first time in program history, while this is the second meeting with Northern Iowa and the third meeting with Northeastern.

The only meeting between the Frogs and Northern Iowa came back in 1999 in Corvallis, Ore., with the Panthers taking a 3-1 victory. TCU and Northeastern have split the two matches, with the last meeting resulting in a 3-1 win in favor of the Frogs in 2004 in Boston, Mass.

Stephanie Holland leads the team with 72 kills and 3.27 kills per set on the season, which is good for tied for No. 7 in the Big 12. Holland is also one of three players for the Frogs ranked in hitting percentage with at No. 8 (.338). Natalie Gower and Regan McGuire are also ranked in hitting percentage with Gower coming in at No. 5 (.369) and McGuire checking in at No. 7 (.347).

Alexia Heist and Trisha Langley are dishing out the assists for the second year in a row, with the duo recording 157 and 119 assists, respectively. Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU in its two weekends of play and has recorded with 95 digs and 4.52 digs per set.

Notre Dame is looking for its first win of the season still after starting 0-5 on the year. The Fighting Irish opened the season with matches against two top-15 opponents in No. 12 Minnesota and No. 6 Wisconsin, before hosting their first home tournament against Washington State, IUPUI and Western Michigan.

Jeni Houser leads the team with 40 kills on the season along with 2.50 kills per set. Sam Fry follows closely behind with 32 kills, to go along with a team-leading 27 blocks and 1.69 blocks per set, which is ranked No. 7 nationally.

Hanna Muzzonigro is pacing the offense with 112 assists on the season to go along with 33 digs and 16 blocks. Defensively, Natalie Johnson is roaming the back row for Notre Dame with 52 digs, 3.25 digs per set and a team-leading four service aces.

Northern Iowa enters the weekend on a four-match losing streak after dropping two matches to top-25 opponents USC and Kentucky last weekend, along with losses to Creighton and Northern Illinois.

Leigh Pudwill leads the Panthers with 84 kills and 3.00 kills per set, while also notching a .286 hitting percentage. Kayla Haneline and Eryca Hingtgen are also posting over 2.00 kills per set for UNI. Hingtgen has 77 kills on the season and 2.75 kills per set, while also picking up 85 digs. Haneline has put down 68 kills for 2.43 kills per set and leads the team with 24 total blocks and 0.86 blocks per set.

UNI is nationally ranked defensively in digs per set and sit at No. 42 with 16.24 digs per set. Amie Held is holding down the back row for the Panthers with 134 digs on the season and 4.79 digs per set.

Northeastern is the only other team entering the weekend's matches with a winning record, as the Huskies sit at 4-3 on the season. After starting the season 1-2, Northeastern rebounded by going 3-1 in the second weekend of play.

Brigitte Burcescu is handling the majority of the offensive attack with 91 kills and 3.25 kills per set. Burcescu has also picked up 46 digs and 18 blocks on the season. Cherylain Dizon is also picking up kills for the Huskies with 63 kills and 2.25 kills per set. Dizon is also helping the Huskies average of 2.00 blocks per set, as she has notched 12 on the season.

Defensively, Northeastern looks to Natalia Skiba, who is nationally ranked at No. 35 with 5.04 digs per set after notching 141 digs so far this season.



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