TCU Set for First Meeting with ACU

Ashley Smith
Sept. 15, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU volleyball team will faceoff with Abilene Christian for the first time in program history on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m., at the University Recreation Center. The match will be televised live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.

The Horned Frogs (6-4) return home after a second place finish in the Shamrock Invitational at Notre Dame, while the Wildcats (1-8) are entering the match after picking up their first win of the season on Saturday.

Fans unable to attend the match can see live stat updates through, while a live audio feed 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.

Under the tenure of Prentice Lewis, TCU has finished with a .500 record in nonconference play every year since 2002.

Stephanie Holland leads the team with 99 kills and 2.91 kills per set on the season to go along with a .295 hitting percentage for the lefty senior.

Ashley Smith and Sarita Mikals are swinging hard from the outside, as the duo are recording 2.62 and 2.03 kills per set, respectively. The pair of sophomores were recently named to the All-Tournament team at the Shamrock Invitational after leading the team with a combined 59 kills and 60 digs.

Natalie Gower is leading the way with a .315 hitting clip, which ranks No. 7 in the Big 12 and has also shut down opponents at the net with 16 total blocks.

Alexia Heist and Trisha Langley are dishing out the assists for the second year in a row, with the duo recording 229 and 168 assists, respectively. Langley is lethal from behind the service line, with 18 aces on the season, 0.50 service aces per set and is ranked No. 37 nationally.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU in its three weekends of play and has recorded with 126 digs and 4.5 digs per set which is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12.

Abilene Christian (1-8) picked up its first win of the season this past weekend with a 3-1 victory over Jackson State and is under the direction of first-year head coach Jason Bibler. The Wildcats also played against North Texas and Utah Valley, but ultimately lost in four sets to both teams.

Jennifer Loerch is averaging 3.37 kills per set for ACU and has notched 101 kills and 54 digs on the season. Stephanie Schoelman is also shouldering the offensive load for the Wildcats with 63 kills and 2.17 kills per set.

Sarah Siemens and Tucker Smith are both dishing out the assists for ACU, with Siemens recording 195 assists, while Smith has 43 on the season. The back court is led by Madison Hoover, who has 106 digs on the season and 3.93 digs per set to go along with three service aces.

The Wildcats are just shy of 2.00 blocks per set as a team and Lexi Mercier is leading the way with 30 total blocks and 1.00 blocks per set. Mercier is also leading the team with a .312 hitting percentage, as the sophomore has only 13 errors on the season and 1.57 kills per set.

1,350 may be the max attendance at TCU, but that does not stop the Horned Frogs from filling the gym to make it one of the hardest places to play in the country.

17,280 fans walked through the University Recreation Center doors in 2013, as the team finished 36th in the nation in attendance. TCU boasted seven sellouts in 2013 and their average of 1,329 fans was good for fifth in the Big 12.

The Frogs have posted 108 wins in the URC since 2003 and a .702 winning percentage.

In partnership with TCU's third-tier television package, seven TCU volleyball matches have been selected to be televised on the FOX family of networks. Six of the eight home Big 12 contests, along with a non-conference matchup with Abilene Christian, will air on FOX Sports Southwest, FOX Sports Southwest+ or FOX College Sports.

2014 TCU Volleyball Television Schedule
Sept. 16 - vs. Abilene Christian, 6:30 p.m. (FSSW+)
Sept. 27 - vs. Iowa State, 2:30 p.m. (FSSW)
Oct. 15 - vs. Kansas State, 6:30 p.m. (FSSW)
Oct. 29 - vs. West Virginia, 6:30 p.m. (FSSW+)
Nov. 5 - vs. Oklahoma, 6:30 p.m. (FSSW+)
Nov. 19 - vs. Texas Tech, 7 p.m. (FCSC)
Nov. 26 - vs. Texas, 6:30 p.m. (FSSW+)




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