Volleyball Hosts Final Home Tournament

Stephanie Holland
Sept. 18, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Three teams will make their way to Fort Worth for the TCU Molten Invitational hosted by the TCU volleyball team on Sept. 19-20 at the University Recreation Center.

The Horned Frogs (7-4) will face Sam Houston State (6-4) on Friday at 7 p.m., before taking on UAPB (1-9) at 1 p.m., and ending the tournament with High Point (4-6) at 7 p.m.

Admission to the tournament each day is $10 for adults, $5 for youth and free for TCU students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased online at GoFrogs.com or by visiting the ticket office this weekend located inside the Rec Center.

Fans unable to attend the matches can see live stat updates through GoFrogs.com, while a live stream will be available through FrogVision with a CBS Sports All-Access subscription. Jeff Lewis and Logan Mittie will be on the call for all three matches.


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.

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 108 kills and 2.84 kills per set on the season to go along with a .300 hitting percentage for the lefty senior

Ashley Smith and Sarita Mikals are swinging hard from the outside, as the duo are recording 2.81 and 1.91 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 .338 hitting clip, which ranks No. 9 in the Big 12 and has also shut down opponents at the net with 20 total blocks. The other left, Blaire Pickens, is also hitting her mark with a .336 hitting percentage which is good for No. 10 in the conference.

Alexia Heist and Trisha Langley are dishing out the assists for the second year in a row, with the duo recording 255 and 193 assists, respectively. Langley is lethal from behind the service line, with 20 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.

Sam Houston State: TCU holds a slight edge in the series at 4-3, with the Frogs taking the last three victories between the programs. The two teams last met in 2007 in Fort Worth, with TCU claiming a 3-0 victory.
First Meeting: 9/21/96 - Sam Houston State wins 3-0 (15-7, 15-13, 15-13)

Last Meeting: 9/14/07 - TCU wins 3-0 (30-19, 30-22, 30-17)

UAPB: TCU holds the only victory in the series between the teams with a clean sweep coming in 2003 in Fort Worth. This will be the second meeting between the teams on the Frogs' home court in the series and UAPB will be the third team TCU has faced this season.
First Meeting: 9/13/03 - TCU wins 3-0 (30-9, 30-15, 30-20)

High Point : This is also only the second meeting between TCU and High Point, as the teams meet for the first time in Fort Worth. It has also been 11 years since the teams faced off with the Frogs taking the only victory in the series in straight sets in Raleigh, N.C., in 2003.
First Meeting: 9/6/03 - TCU wins 3-0 (30-19, 30-27, 30-23)

Sam Houston State sport a 6-4 record in nonconference action and started the season 4-0 with the tournament title at the Sam Houston Invitational. The Bearkats are coming off a 1-2 weekend at the Houston Flo Hyman Collegiate Cup with a win over Oral Roberts and losses to Lafayette and Houston.

Sam Houston boasts the Southland's No. 2 ranked offense in the conference with 466 kills and 12.26 kills per set. One of only two returning starters, Deveney Wells-Gibson leads the Southland Conference in kills with 163 and 4.29 kills per set. Wells-Gibson also has 103 digs on the season and 2.71 digs per set.

Guiding the offense is Michelle Griffith, who has dished out 370 assists on the season at a league fourth best 9.74 assists per set. Breanna Homer and Claire Kilpatrick are the defensive leaders for the Bearkats with 137 and 131 digs, respectively, with Homer ranking No. 9 in the conference with 3.70 digs per set.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff is 1-9 on the year and is entering the weekend after a 3-0 loss to Louisiana Tech on Monday.

In the loss, Whitney Parker and Ayana Turner led the Lady Lions with four kills apiece. UAPB continued to increase its blocking total with five team blocks in the set, which is ranked No. 1 in the SWAC.

In their only win of the season, Harris led the Lady Lions with nine kills, a .438 clip and three blocks in the 3-0 win over Alcorn State. Courtney Brand roamed the back row and picked up 11 digs in the match for UAPB.

High Point is also coming off a mid-week matchup win over UNC Greensboro and heads into this weekend with an overall record of 4-6. The Panthers went 0-3 this past weekend at the Wildcat Invitational at Davidson.

Two Panthers are averaging over 3.00 kills per set, with Chelsea Davis leading the way with 122 kills and 3.13 kills per set. Kristin Heldt follows closely behind with 124 kills on the season and 3.02 kills per set. Haley Barnes is also helping with the offensive load with 86 kills on the season and 2.69 kills per set to go along with a team-leading 12 service aces.

Gabi Mirand paces the offense with 435 assists on the season and 10.42 assists per set which is good for a No. 68 ranking in the nation and the lead in the Big South Conference. Mirand is also second on the team with nine service aces to go along with 97 digs.

The defense in the back row is led by Wavie Chin with 180 digs on the season and 4.39 digs per set. At the net, Camryn Freiberg is averaging 1.10 blocks per set on the season with 44 shut downs thus far.




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