Volleyball Travels North to Face Mean Green

Ashley Smith
Nov. 8, 2014

TCU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader // North Texas Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU volleyball team will take its three-match winning streak to Denton, as they are set to battle with North Texas on Sunday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m., at the North Texas Volleyball Center.

The Horned Frogs (15-10, 5-6 Big 12) will take a quick break from conference action and will have to take on a Mean Green (18-9, 9-5) team that is riding a six-match winning streak.

Fans unable to attend the match in Denton can see live stat updates through MeanGreenStats.com, while a live web stream can be purchased through Mean Green All Access Online. A live audio feed with Jeff Lewis on the call 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 258 kills and 2.93 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in 14 matches and also has 207 digs on the season and 39 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, 2.67 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. 7 with a .326 clip and Blaire Pickens sitting at No. 8 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 1.38 per set and 128 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 10 matches this season including seven of the last 11 and a season-high 16.0 against Iowa State. Mattie Burleson is ranked No. 6 in conference only matches with 1.23 blocks per set and second with 53 total blocks.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU despite missing a few matches with an injury and has recorded 274 digs and 3.97 digs per set which is ranked No. 5 in the Big 12.

This will be the 10th meeting all-time between the programs, with TCU holding an 8-1 advantage in the series. The Frogs were able to win the first four matches played between the teams, before the Mean Green scored their first win in 2002. TCU has won the last four meetings between the teams, including a 3-0 sweep at home last fall.

The two teams have only battled in Denton and Fort Worth, with TCU holding a 4-0 record at home at the University Recreation Center, while the Frogs are 4-1 at the North Texas Volleyball Center.

First Meeting: 9/13/97 - TCU wins 3-1 (13-15, 15-13, 15-9, 15-10)
Last Meeting: 9/11/13 - TCU wins 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-19)

North Texas is riding a five-game winning streak headed into the nonconference matchup with TCU. The Mean Green will take on the Rice on the road on Friday night in a conference matchup and boast a 9-3 record at home this season.

Outside hitter Carnae Dillard is not only leading North Texas in kills, she is also pacing the Conference USA and the nation. Dillard is ranked in the top five in attacks per set (12.79), kills per set (5.27) and points per set (5.74). Dillard has rackedup 501 kills thus far this season, while also picking up 315 digs and 3.32 digs per set. Dillard is also leading the nation with 18 double-doubles.

Amy Henard dishing out the assists for the Mean Green and has posted 862 along with 10.02 assists per set. Camille Cherry has stepped into the setter role a few times this season and has 284 assits and 6.45 assists per set.

North Texas is also sitting at the top of its conference in service aces and are averaging 1.54 aces per set. Eboni Godfrey leads the team with 28 service aces, while Dillard has 26 aces on the year and Henard has 21.

Sophomore Ashley Smith had a career night and led the charge as the TCU volleyball team upset No. 24 Oklahoma 3-2 (13-25, 25-18, 25-27, 25-19, 25-11) on Wednesday night at the University Recreation Center with TCU extending its Big 12 winning streak to three matches.

The Horned Frogs defeated their first ranked opponent since Nov. 10, 2011 and their sixth under the tenure of head coach Prentice Lewis, while improving to 12-2 at home.

Smith had a career-high 20 kills and only one error for a .413 hitting percentage and added 10 digs on the night for her team-leading eighth double-double of the season. Blaire Pickens came into the match and struck down a career-high 13 kills and was good for a career-high six blocks.

Mattie Burleson and Sarita Mikals completed the balanced offensive attack against the Sooners, with Burleson putting up 12 kills and four blocks, while Mikals recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 11 kills and 12 digs.

TCU recorded 10 plus blocks for the third straight match with 10.5 on the night, while also picking up 64 digs and four service aces. Sutton Sunstrum led the defensive efforts from the backrow with 19 digs. Alexia Heist was just shy of her career-high and finished with 54 assists on the night to go along with seven digs and one block.



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