Nov. 24, 2015
FORT WORTH, Texas – With the theme of “A New Era” being proclaimed all season long, the TCU volleyball team has reached new heights in the 2015 season under the guidance of Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer.
The Horned Frogs (18-9, 8-7 Big 12) have already posted the most wins since 2011 and reached a season-high RPI of 38 for its highest RPI since making the program’s first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2009. This season was also filled with multiple streaks and firsts, as TCU is also one of only two teams in the Big 12 to record wins over top-10 RPI teams. The Frogs pulled off its biggest victory in program history by posting a 3-0 win over No. 1 RPI team Texas at home on Oct. 28.
“When you are building a program, scheduling for the upcoming season can be a challenge,” Kramer said. “You don’t really know what to expect going into your first season and I couldn’t be more proud of this team for buying into our system and creating a culture that will set the standard for years to come.”
RPI – Making the Climb
Since reaching the program’s highest RPI in 2009 at No. 34, TCU has yet to come within reach in recent seasons. Under Kramer, the Frogs began the 2015 season at No. 61 and climbed to as high as No. 38. The resurgence speaks testaments of Kramer’s work to revamp the culture and work ethic of the program. After finishing in the 90s in RPI the last two seasons, the first-year head coach has the team within reach of a second trip to the NCAA tournament.
Hooking the Longhorns
The biggest win in program history came under the watchful eye of Kramer, as she guided the Frogs to a 3-0 sweep at home over RPI No. 1 Texas on Oct. 28. The win snapped Texas’ conference road winning streak of 19-straight matches. It marked the first win over a top-10 and top-5 opponent in school history and the first and only time the Longhorns have been swept this season and also marked Texas’ lone conference loss this season.
The biggest part of TCU’s game this year that has helped them to its big resurgence is the blocking. The Frogs have out-blocked their opponents 23 times this season having been out-blocked in only four matches. TCU has recorded 15 matches with double-digit blocks and is currently ranked No. 12 nationally and No. 1 in the Big 12 conference with 2.93 blocks per set.
Additionally, the Frogs also boast two of the best blockers in the league and nationally. Regan McGuire has led the league from the very first match and has been ranked in the top-10 nationally all season long and is averaging 1.52 blocks per set currently. Natalie Gower has also stepped up her blocking game this season and is No. 2 in the conference standings and No. 41 nationally with 1.27 blocks per set.
Let’s Go Streaking!
So far in 2015, the TCU volleyball team has gone on numerous streaks throughout the season.
- Regan McGuire became the first player in TCU volleyball history and fifth player in Big 12 history to win three straight Big 12 weekly awards after being named Offensive Player of the Week (8/31) and then garnering two straight Defensive Player of the Week (9/7 & 9/14) honors
- The Horned Frogs set a new program record by starting the season winning the first 15 straight sets
- TCU reached the double-digit mark in non-conference action for the 11th time in program history and fifth straight season
- TCU won four straight Big 12 matches for the first time in program history since joining the league in 2012 with wins over West Virginia, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech
- TCU has sold out seven straight Big 12 matches and is on pace to sellout its final home match against West Virginia to mark the first time in program history to fill the University Recreation Center to capacity in all conference matches
- The Frogs have strung together four-straight double-digit blocking performances twice this season
Home & Neutral Success
A lot of the success this season came at home, as TCU is currently 8-2 inside the Rec Center and the team also boasts a 5-0 record in matches played on a neutral site. The team has four top-50 RPI wins this season, including the sweep of RPI No. 1 Texas on the Frogs’ home court. TCU is 6-3 in four or five set matches played this season, with the team earning three of those five-set victories at home against RPI top-60 teams Kansas State, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Only seven of the nine losses that TCU has suffered this season have come in true road matches. All of the Frogs’ defeats have come to teams ranked in the RPI top 60. In the loss at No. 27 RPI SMU and No. 1 RPI Texas, TCU ultimately lost each set by six points or less. In the team’s battle at Oklahoma this past Saturday, the Frogs only lost each set by four points or less.
Big 12 – The Best in the Nation
Seven of the conference’s nine volleyball teams are ranked in the top 60 nationally, including six teams in the top 50, three teams in the top 25 and two teams in the top 10. Six of the league’s nine teams ranked the top 80 nationally in hitting percentage with three Big 12 teams ranked in the top 50 with TCU sitting at No. 49. The Big 12’s 30 non-conference losses are the second fewest in the nation and the league is the only “power five conference” where all the teams play each other in a double-round robin schedule.