Volleyball Stays Home to Face West Virginia

Alexia Heist
Oct. 28, 2014

TCU Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader // WVU Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

FORT WORTH, Texas - In the second of four straight home matches, the TCU volleyball team will play host to West Virginia on Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m., to start the second half of Big 12 conference play at the University Recreation Center.

The match between the Horned Frogs (12-10, 2-6 Big 12) and the Mountaineers (13-9, 3-5 Big 12) is set to air live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus with Chuck LaMendola and Logan Mittie on the call.

The first 100 children in attendance at the match will receive a free TCU Trick or Treat Bag and are encouraged to dress up for the costume contest where the winner will get to Trick or Treat with Superfrog. TCU students with a valid ID can also participate in the costume contest with a chance to win $100.

Fans unable to attend the match at the Rec Center can see live stat updates through GoFrogs.com, 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.

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 213 kills and 2.88 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in 11 matches and also has 173 digs on the season and 34 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 209 kills on the season, 2.71 kills per set and is shutting down at the net with 39 total blocks which is third on the team.

The Frogs once again have a player ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage for the Big 12, with Blaire Pickens sitting at No. 9 in the league with a .317 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. 12 nationally with 0.48 aces per set. The Frogs sit atop the Big 12 in service aces with 1.48 per set and 117 total aces, which is good for No. 46 and No. 74, 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 seven 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 214 digs and 3.89 digs per set which is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12.

West Virginia is sitting just above TCU in the conference standings and is coming off a 1-1 performance last week with a four-set victory on the road at Baylor and a five-set heartbreaking loss to No. 22 Kansas State at home.

The Mountaineers (13-9, 3-5 Big 12) are hoping to rebound from a loss to the Wildcats, where they were able to force a fifth set after being down 2-1 in the match, but were unsuccessful in their bid and lost the final set 15-12.

Jordan Anderson is not only leading the Mountaineers and conference offensively, she is also at the top nationally. Anderson ranks in the top 15 nationally and is No. 1 in the conference in three categories - attacks per set (11.95), kills per set (4.75) and points per set (5.24). The sophomore has put up 380 kills on the season to go along with 12 service aces and 190 digs.

Nikki Attea and Hannah Sackett are helping with the offense for West Virginia and are averaging 2.71 and 2.33 kills per set, respectively. Attea has come on strong in conference play and is ranked in the top 10 of conference only matches in hitting percentage (.279), kills per set (3.26) and points per set (3.71).

WVU is averaging just above TCU in blocks, with the Mountaineers averaging 2.31 per set to the Frogs 2.27. Evyn McCoy is ranked No. 6 in the conference standings with 1.15 blocks per set and leads the team with 71 total blocks. Hannah Shreve has shown excellent blocking since joining the team midseason after preseason injuries and is putting down 1.19 blocks per set.

It was just 18 days ago that TCU and WVU first met, as the Frogs traveled to Morgantown for the matchup. Without three starters, TCU almost came out with the win after being down 2-1 in the match, but the Mountaineers prevailed and took the match in five sets.

The senior duo of Stephanie Holland and Mattie Burleson had a career-day for the Horned Frogs, with the duo slamming down 22 and 13 kills, respectively. Burleson also had a career-high .591 hitting clip, while also leading the team with five blocks. Holland recorded her first double-double of her career and led the team with a career-high 14 digs.

Alexia Heist dished out a career-high 52 assists and completed her own double-double with 11 digs, while Ashley Smith recorded her own double-double of 12 kills and 12 digs. Sutton Sunstrum roamed the backrow for the Frogs and picked up 13 digs.

This will be the seventh meeting all-time between the programs, with TCU holding a 4-2 advantage in the series. The Frogs and the Mountaineers first met before either team joined the Big 12, with a nonconference matchup in 2009 at a tournament in Akron. TCU came out victorious with a 3-0 win over WVU.

As the two newest members of the Big 12 Conference in 2012, TCU faced the Mountaineers for its first Big 12 matchup and last of the season. The Frogs were able to sweep both matches, with a come-from-behind five-set victory to start the Big 12 season and a 3-0 sweep on senior day to end the first season in the conference. Last fall, TCU was able to take a 3-1 victory over the Mountaineers at home in Fort Worth, Texas, before WVU got its first victory over the Frogs in program history with a sweep in Morgantown, W. Va.

First Meeting: 9/12/09 - TCU wins 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-9)
Last Meeting: 10/11/14 - West Virginia wins 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11)

The TCU volleyball team closed out the first half of Big 12 conference play with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-22) loss to No. 2 Texas on Wednesday night before dropping a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-17) decision in the exhibition match on Friday night to Zhejiang.

Outside hitters Ashley Smith and Sarita Mikals led the Horned Frogs with seven kills each, while Stephanie Holland was able to chip in six kills against the Longhorns.

On Friday night, the Frogs were led by Smith with eight total kills, while the sophomore posted double-digit digs in the match with 10. Mattie Burleson chipped in six kills on the night, while also leading the team with six total blocks.

Sutton Sunstrum led all players with 11 digs in the match against Texas, while Heist continued to dish out the assists and finished with 19 on the night against the Longhorns, while also notching 21 assists against Zhejiang.

The home of the TCU volleyball team, the University Recreation Center, houses a perfect atmosphere for the Frogs as they have gone nearly undefeated in one of the rowdiest atmospheres in the Big 12.

TCU is 9-2 at home this season and has swept four of its opponents on the home floor. The Frogs are currently 2-1 at home in conference action and earned their first victory over Iowa State in a dominating four-set fashion.

The Frogs are averaging a .285 hitting clip at home, while holding opponents to a .157 hitting percentage. The Frogs are also striking down 13.46 kills per set to their opponents 11.00, while also notching 2.62 blocks per set and 1.79 service aces per set.



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