TCU Ready for Tilt With No. 24 Oklahoma

Sutton Sunstrum
Nov. 4, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU volleyball team will conclude its four-match home stand by hosting No. 24 Oklahoma on Wednesday, Nov. 5 at 6:30 p.m., inside the University Recreation Center. The match will air live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.

Chuck LaMendola and Logan Mittie will be on the call for the 11th matchup all-time between the Horned Frogs (14-10, 4-6 Big 12) and the Sooners (16-6, 7-2 Big 12).

The first 200 TCU students in attendance at the match on Saturday will receive a free t-shirt along with free admission to the match. The showdown has also been designated Kids' Day with free TCU volleyballs being given to the first 200 kids ages 12 and under. Fans can also receive a free youth ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket.

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

Ashley Smith has been a consistent leader for the Frogs this season and leads the team with 238 kills and 2.87 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in 13 matches and also has 197 digs on the season and 38 total blocks. Smith leads the team with seven double-doubles on the season.

Stephanie Holland is following close behind and is helping shoulder the offensive load. Holland has 232 kills on the season, 2.70 kills per set and is shutting down at the net with 48 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. 8 with a .322 clip and Blaire Pickens sitting at No. 9 in the league with a .320 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.

The Frogs sit near the top the Big 12 in service aces with 1.491 per set and 124 total aces. TCU has notched at least one service ace in every match this season except for two.

TCU has been shutting down at the net the last few matches and has recorded 10 plus blocks in nine matches this season including six of the last 10 and a season-high 16.0 against Iowa State. Mattie Burleson is ranked No. 5 in conference only matches with 1.29 blocks per set and second with 45 total blocks.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU despite missing a few matches with an injury and has recorded 255 digs and 3.98 digs per set which is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12.

Trailing 0-2 in the match, the TCU volleyball team rallied to bring down Kansas 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23, 18-16) on Saturday afternoon inside the University Recreation Center.

For only the 10th time under the tenure of TCU head coach Prentice Lewis, the Horned Frogs were able to stage a comeback and steal away the victory from the Jayhawks for the team's first victory over Kansas since joining the Big 12 in 2012.

TCU faced three match points in the fifth set, but Sarita Mikals and Mattie Burleson were able to put down crucial kills to go along with one big block at the end to seal the 18-16 victory.

After recording just one block through the first two sets, the Frogs were able to put up 11 blocks in the final three sets to finish with 12 and the second straight match with double-digit blocks. Mikals led the blocking and offensive charge for TCU and finished with a double-double of 16 kills and 16 digs to go along with a season-high five blocks.

Ashley Smith also notched a double-double of 15 kills and 14 digs, while Stephanie Holland chipped in 10 kills and three blocks. Natalie Gower checked into the match late in the first set and was just shy of the double-digit mark by recorded nine kills and also finishing with four total blocks.

To go along with the double-digit dig performance by Smith and Mikals, Sutton Sunstrum was able to pick up a career and match-high 29 digs on the day.

This will be the 11th meeting all-time between the programs, with Oklahoma holding a 9-1 advantage in the series. The Frogs were able to score a 3-1 victory the first time the two teams met in 2004 in Norman, but Oklahoma has won the last nine meetings. The Sooners hold a 4-1 advantage in games played in McCasland Field House, a 4-0 record in Fort Worth and a 1-0 record in neutral site meetings.

In the two matchups last year, the Sooners were able to steal both matches including a five-set battle in Fort Worth. Oklahoma took a 2-1 lead at the Rec Center before TCU fought back to force a fifth set before ultimately falling. The Sooners were able to take a sweep in the final matchup in Norman.

First Meeting: 11/3/04 - TCU wins 3-1 (28-30, 30-19, 30-20, 30-19)
Last Meeting: 10/1/14 - Oklahoma wins 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23)

The TCU volleyball team dropped its mid-week Big 12 match to Oklahoma 3-0 (19-25, 22-25, 23-25) on Oct. 1 inside McCasland Field House in Norman, Okla.

Ashley Smith was the kill leader for the Horned Frogs with nine put downs, while the lefty duo of Stephanie Holland and Blaire Pickens each chipped in seven kills.

TCU once again had a powerful block at the net and led the match with 10 total team blocks against the Sooners, with Pickens and Regan McGuire leading the way with four blocks apiece.

Sutton Sunstrum was the anchor in TCU's defense with a match-high 12 digs, while Sarita Mikals notched double-digit digs with 11. TCU led in service aces for the 13th time this season and scored four from behind the service line with Smith leading the way with two.

Oklahoma was led by three players with double-digit kills, with Madison Ward notching 18, Kierra Holst scoring 14 and Marion Hazelwood recording 10. Ward and setter Julia Doyle were good for double-doubles with Ward picking up 11 digs and Doyle dishing out 36 assists and 10 digs.

No. 24 Oklahoma (16-6, 7-2 Big 12) is sitting at the No. 3 spot in the league standings after defeating then-No. 2 Texas in Austin and sweeping West Virginia at home.

The Sooners are boasting back-to-back Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors, after Madison Ward picked up the honor on Monday. Ward tallied a career-high 21 kills and hit an astounding .679, with only two errors on 28 attempts and also added six digs, two blocks and a service ace. On the season, Ward is averaging 3.16 kills per set and hitting at a rate of .244. Since the start of Big 12 play, she is averaging 4.15 kills and 2.64 digs per set to go with a .310 hitting percentage.

Kierra Holst is also picking up the kills for Oklahoma and leads the team with 278 kills and 3.39 kills per set. Julia Doyle checks in at No. 4 in the conference with 10.56 assists per set and has also picked up 186 digs and 2.27 digs per set.

Marion Hazelwood is leading the Sooners and is ranked No. 10 in the conference with a .316 hitting percentage, while also shutting down at the net with 76 total blocks and 0.93 blocks per set. Taylor Migliazzo is roaming the backrow for Oklahoma and has scooped up 274 digs this season and 3.51 digs per set.

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 11-2 at home this season and has swept four of its opponents on the home floor. The Frogs are currently 4-1 at home in conference action and earned their first victory over Iowa State in a dominating four-set fashion.

The Frogs are averaging a .276 hitting clip at home, while holding opponents to a .162 hitting percentage. The Frogs are also striking down 13.38 kills per set to their opponents 11.58, while also notching 2.65 blocks per set and 1.60 service aces per set.



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