Volleyball Heads to Kansas for a Showdown


Ashley Smith
Oct. 17, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Hoping to snap a two-game losing streak, the TCU volleyball team will hit the road to take Kansas at Noon on Saturday, Oct. 18 at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center in Lawrence, Kan. The match will air live on TWCSC and ESPN3.

Lief Lisec & Jill Dorsey-Hall will be on the call for the match, as the Horned Frogs (12-8, 2-4 Big 12) are looking for their first win over the Jayhawks (14-5, 2-3 Big 12) since joining the Big 12 in 2012. Kansas enters the match riding a two-game winning streak, with road wins over Baylor and West Virginia.

Fans unable to attend the match in Lawrence can see live stat updates through SideArm Stats, while a live audio feed will be available through FrogVision with a CBS Sports All-Access subscription with Jeff Lewis on the call.

TCU QUICK HITS
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.

Under the tenure of Lewis, TCU has finished with a .500 record in nonconference play every year since 2002 and has garnered at least one preseason tournament title.

Ashley Smith has been a consistent leader for the Frogs this season and leads the team with 196 kills and 2.88 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in nine matches and also has 157 digs on the season and 31 total blocks. Smith leads the team with five double-doubles on the season.

Stephanie Holland is following close behind and is helping shoulder the offensive load. Holland has 195 kills on the season, 2.75 kills per set and is shutting down at the net with 38 total blocks which is third on the team.

The Frogs once again a player ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage for the Big 12, with Blaire Pickens sitting at No. 8 in the league with a .335 hitting. Pickens currently holds the school record with a perfect 1.000 hitting clip after going 10- for-10 against Grambling State earlier this year.

Trisha Langley is lethal from behind the service line and is ranked No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 18 nationally with 0.48 aces per set. The Frogs sit atop the Big 12 in service aces with 1.51 per set and 110 total aces, which is good for No. 50 and No. 33, respectively, nationally.

TCU has been shutting down at the net the last few matches and has recorded 10 plus blocks in seven matches including four of the last six and a season-high 16.0 against Iowa State.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU despite missing a few matches with an injury and has recorded with 184 digs and 3.76 digs per set which is ranked No. 6 in the Big 12.

SERIES HISTORY
This will be the sixth meeting all-time between the programs, with Kansas snagging all four wins in conference action since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012. The Frogs were able to come out victorious in the first-ever meeting in 1999 with a five-set thriller in Lawrence.

In the two matchups last year, the Jayhawks were able to easily take care of TCU on their home court. When the match returned just over a month later, the Frogs were able to take the early advantage with a first-set win, but Kansas came back to take control of the match by winning the next three sets to sweep the series in 2013.

First Meeting: 10/13/12 - TCU wins 3-2 (5-15, 15-13, 9-15, 15-9, 15-5)
Last Meeting: 11/27/13 - Kansas wins 3-1 (20-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-23)

BREAKING DOWN THE OPPONENT - KANSAS
Kansas enters the match on a two-game winning streak after picking up four-set victories on the road against Baylor and West Virginia. The Jayhawks had a rough start to conference play and dropped their first three matchups before taking to the road to win two straight.

In their most recent match, the Jayhawks (14-5 2-3 Big 12) were able to bounce back from a first set loss to the Mountaineers to easily take the next three sets.

After TCU faced the reigning Big 12 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week on Wednesday, the Frogs will now how to take on the current Rookie of the Week in Ainise Havili. The freshman setter leads the Big 12 in assists (807) and assists per set (11.21), which are ranked in the top 20 nationally.

The Jayhawks have a completely balanced offense with Chelsea Albers leading the way with 230 kills and 3.19 kills per set. Sara McClinton (2.58), Madison Rigdon (2.33) and Kayla Cheadle (2.14) are all stiking down 2.00 kills per set for Kansas.

Kansas holds a slight edge in blocking over the Frogs (2.42/2.35), with Tayler Soucie doing the most damage at the net with 57 total blocks on the season and 1.30 blocks per set. Soucie (.335) is also one of three players ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage in conference only matches to go along with Kayla Cheadle (.369) and Kelsie Payne (.332).

FOLLOW THE FROGS
Audio for all away TCU volleyball matches is available through FrogVision on TCU's Offical Athletics Website, GoFrogs.com. Jeff Lewis will provide play-by-play and analysis for the all game in the 2014 season.

Video for all home TCU matches, that are not live on television, is streamed on FrogVision through GoFrogs.com with Lewis on the call. Audio and video both require a CBS Sports All-Access subscription for access to FrogVision. Visit GoFrogs.com for more information.


 

 

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