VB Preview: Baylor

Oct. 4, 2016

TCU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

FORT WORTH, Texas - A pair of Big 12 road matches await the TCU volleyball team, as the Horned Frogs will open the week by traveling to Waco, Texas to face Baylor on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 6 p.m., at the Ferrell Center. The match will air live on ESPNU with Tiffany Green and Dain Blanton on the call.

This will be the second of four nationally televised matches for the Frogs (10-4, 3-1 Big 12), as they are hoping to continue their best start in Big 12 action in program history against the Bears (14-5, 2-1 Big 12).

Quick Hits
-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 Prepvolleyball.com by coming in at No. 15
-In its final preseason match of the season, TCU downed No. 8 North Carolina with the win marking the second top-10 win in program history and second straight season the team has achieved that feat
-TCU has a very balanced offensive attack with four players currently averaging over 2.00 kills per set
-In the win over Iowa State, Mikals became the sixth player in program history and the first under the helm of Kramer to score a triple-double with 10 kills, 10 digs and 10 blocks
-TCU has out-block their opponents in 13 of the 14 matches played and the team has recorded double-digit blocks in six matches
-Three school records have fallen this season with Sarita Mikals breaking the single-match record in digs (36-9/2/16 at Duke), while Natalie Gower recently topped the single-match record in blocks (15-10/1/16 vs. Oklahoma). The team also finished with 23.5 blocks against the Sooners for a new program best in total team blocks.

Last Time Out: Oklahoma
Multiple records fell on Saturday as the TCU volleyball team battled to a 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 26-24, 21-25, 15-4) victory over Oklahoma in front of a sold-out crowd at The Rickel inside the University Recreation Center.

In only the second time in program history that the Horned Frogs have played three consecutive five-set matches in a one-week time frame, the team finished with a school-record 23.5 blocks, while also improving to 3-1 in Big 12 play for the first time in program history with the win over the Sooners.

After splitting the first four sets, TCU was nearly unstoppable in the final set as Natalie Gower recorded six blocks to improve her total to a school-record 15 in the match. Oklahoma was forced to use both its timeouts after the Frogs went up 7-2 and they continued to roll as Ashley Smith knocked down two straight kills to seal the win in the set and the overall match victory.

Gower was one of three players to record double-digit kills and she finished with her first double-double of 15 kills to go along with the 15 blocks. Jillian Bergeson led the team with 17 kills and 12 digs, while Smith totaled 16 kills and 12 digs for her third double-double of the season. Lamprini Konstantinidou and Kaylee Smith dished out the offense with 27 and 21 assists, respectively, while Kayla Scheevel finished with a team-high 15 digs.

Series History
The match on Wednesday will be the 17th meeting all-time between Baylor and TCU with the Bear leading 10-6 in the series record. Since 2013, it has mainly been the Frogs that have come out with the win as TCU has snatched victory in five of the last six meetings. Last season, the Frogs won 3-2 at home in the first half of Big 12 play before sweeping Baylor in the second half in Waco. Baylor leads the overall series in matches played at the Ferrell Center with a 5-2 record.

Scouting the Opponent: Baylor
Baylor posted a 1-1 record last week in Big 12 play with a 3-0 sweep of Texas Tech before falling in four sets to No. 8 Kansas. Before the loss to the Jayhawks, Baylor had put together 10 straight wins including a 3-0 win over then-No. 23 Kansas State to start Big 12 action.

Katie Staiger is the main offensive weapon for Baylor with 5.44 kills per set this year which leads the Big 12 and is ranked No. 4 nationally. Staiger is also averaging 6.08 points per set which is ranked No. 3 nationally. Camryn Freiberg and Aniah Philo are also contributing offensively and are putting down 2.07 and 1.99 kills per set, respectively, for the Bears.

On the defensive side, Baylor leads the Big 12 and is ranked No. 31 nationally with 2.64 blocks per set. Freiberg paces the team with 1.21 blocks per set, while Jaelyn Jackson is stuffing 1.15 blocks per set. From the backrow, Jana Brusek is picking up 4.59 digs per set, while Philo is good for 2.82 digs per set and Staiger has 2.61 digs per set.



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