TCU Ready to Take On Kansas

Mattie Burleson
Oct. 31, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - Coming off a win at home over West Virginia, the TCU volleyball team will welcome Kansas to the University Recreation Center for a match slated to begin at 1 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 1.

The Horned Frogs (13-10, 3-6 Big 12) are set to host the Jayhawks (16-6, 4-4 Big 12) for their third straight match in the row on their home court. The match will air live on 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 223 kills and 2.86 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in 12 matches and also has 183 digs on the season and 36 total blocks. Smith leads the team with six double-doubles on the season.

Stephanie Holland is following close behind and is helping shoulder the offensive load. Holland has 222 kills on the season, 2.74 kills per set and is shutting down at the net with 45 total blocks which is good for third on the team.

The Frogs once again have two players ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage for the Big 12, with Regan McGuire checking in at No. 9 with a .325 clip and Blaire Pickens sitting at No. 10 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 1.49 per set and 124 total aces, which is good for No. 43 and No. 57, respectively, nationally.

TCU has been shutting down at the net the last few matches and has recorded 10 plus blocks in eight matches this season including five of the last nine and a season-high 16.0 against Iowa State. Mattie Burleson is ranked No. 3 in conference only matches with 45 total blocks and 1.36 blocks per set.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU despite missing a few matches with an injury and has recorded 226 digs and 3.83 digs per set which is ranked No. 5 in the Big 12.

After starting Big 12 action 0-3, Kansas bounced back to take four of the next five matches and sit at fourth in the standings with a 16-4, 4-4 record on the season.

The Jayhawks finished the first half of league action by sweeping up Texas Tech at home with a match-high 13.5 blocks. Kansas is sitting near the top in conference only matches in digs per set (15.09), blocks per set (2.71), kills (13.48) and hitting percentage (.238).

Chelsea Albers is leading the offensive attack for the Jayhawks with 256 kills and 3.08 kills per set, which is ranked in the top 10 in the conference. Albers chalked up a double-double of 10 kills and 10 digs in the win over Texas Tech, while also chipping in seven total blocks.

Kansas has three players recording a high hitting clip, with Kayla Cheadle (.369), Kelsie Payne (.356) and Tayler Soucie (.338) all sitting in the top 10 in the league. Ainise Havili is dishing out the assists for Kansas and is ranked in the top 20 in the nation with 11.14 assists per set. Havili leads the league in assists in conference only matches and has 11 double-doubles on the year, including five of the first eight Big 12 matches.

Cassie Wait is leading the defense for the Jayhawks and sits at No. 3 in the conference with 4.75 digs per set.

Despite hitting above .250 and two newcomers finishing with career-high days, the TCU volleyball team dropped a 3-0 decision (25-17, 25-19, 25-19) to Kansas just 14 days ago.

The Horned Frogs were able to get a double-digit kill match from Ashley Smith for the 11th time this season as the sophomore finished with a team-high 10. Mia Swanegan notched a career-high nine kills, while Stephanie Holland chipped in eight kills and four assists on the day.

Sutton Sunstrum was able to lead the team in the back row by picking up 19 digs for 11th double-digit dig match of the season, while Skyler Flynn started the first match of her career and tied her career-high with seven digs.

Kansas had three players record double-digit kills, with Tayler Soucie leading the charge with 16 kills, while Sara McClinton chipped in 12 and Kelsie Payne finished with 10. Ainise Havili dished out a double-double of 45 assists and 11 digs, while Cassie Wait led all players with 20 digs.

This will be the seventh meeting all-time between the programs, with Kansas snagging all five 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: 9/10/99 - TCU wins 3-2 (5-15, 15-13, 9-15, 15-9, 15-5)
Last Meeting: 10/18/14 - Kansas wins 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19)

The TCU volleyball team opened the second half of Big 12 play with a decisive 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 25-19) win over West Virginia on Wednesday night at the University Recreation Center.

The Horned Frogs used a balanced offensive attack to take down the Mountaineers with Ashley Smith, Stephanie Holland, Sarita Mikals and Mattie Burleson all notching double-digit kills.

Holland led the charge with 13 kills and a .367 hitting percentage, while also picking up a season-high six total blocks. Burleson finished with 11 kills on the night and tied her career-high with 10 total blocks to record the first double-double of her career. Smith and Mikals rounded out the double-digit performers, with both notching 10 kills while also finishing with double-doubles on the night with 10 and 13 digs, respectively.

Regan McGuire was just shy of joining the double-digit club and chipped in nine kills, but notched a career-high .615 hitting percentage to go with two service aces, two digs and two blocks.

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 10-2 at home this season and has swept four of its opponents on the home floor. The Frogs are currently 3-1 at home in conference action and earned their first victory over Iowa State in a dominating four-set fashion.

The Frogs are averaging a .283 hitting clip at home, while holding opponents to a .160 hitting percentage. The Frogs are also striking down 13.53 kills per set to their opponents 11.28, while also notching 2.67 blocks per set and 1.79 service aces per set.



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