TCU Hosts No. 3 Texas on Senior Night


Stephanie Holland
Nov. 25, 2014

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FORT WORTH, Texas - The TCU volleyball team will wrap up regular season play at home and Big 12 action by welcoming No. 3 Texas to a sold-out University Recreation Center on Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

The Horned Frogs (16-14, 6-9 Big 12) and the Longhorns (22-1, 14-1 Big 12) will take the court live on FOX Sports Southwest Plus with Chuck LaMendola and Pam Lea on the call.

The ninth meeting all-time between the two programs will also mark the fourth straight season that the match has been sold out at the Rec Center. The match will also serve as senior night and the final home appearance for the team's two seniors - Mattie Burleson and Stephanie Holland.

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 QUICK HITS
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 316 kills and 2.95 kills per set. Smith has led the team with double-digit kills in 17 matches and also has 260 digs on the season and 42 total blocks. Smith leads the team with 11 double-doubles on the season, which is good for fourth in the Big 12.

Stephanie Holland is following close behind and is helping shoulder the offensive load. Holland has 250 kills on the season, 2.53 kills per set and is shutting down at the net with 60 total blocks which is good for third on the team.

The Frogs once again have at least one player ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage for the Big 12, with Regan McGuire checking in at No. 6 with a .319 clip. Blaire 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 1.29 per set and 145 total aces. TCU has notched at least one service ace in every match this season except for three.

TCU has been shutting down at the net the last few matches and has recorded 10 plus blocks in 13 matches this season including 10 of the 15 conference matches. Mattie Burleson is ranked No. 7 in conference only matches with 1.194blocks per set and fifth with 65 total blocks.

Sutton Sunstrum has held down the backcourt for TCU despite missing a few matches with an injury and has recorded 361 digs and 4.10 digs per set which is ranked No. 4 in the Big 12.

ONE LAST MATCH: MATTIE & STEPHANIE
Wednesday's match against No. 3 Texas will serve as the final home appearance for TCU seniors - Mattie Burleson and Stephanie Holland - as the duo wrap up their four-year careers as Horned Frogs.

Burleson has been an emotional leader for the TCU squad from the get-go and has recorded 474 kills in her career, along with a .248 hitting clip. The Edmond, Okla., native will be remembered for her blocking efforts for TCU with 339 thus far in her career which is good for No. 4 in the record books. Burleson was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the week on Sept. 29 of this year and has recorded one double-double of 11 kills and 10 blocks against West Virginia on Oct. 29.

Holland became only the second conference freshman of the year in program history when she garnered the honor from the Mountain West in 2011 and has contributed significantly to the TCU offense in her four years. Holland has 887 kills in her career and a career .265 hitting clip to go along with 243 total blocks. Holland has been named to three all-tournament teams and was honored as an AVCA All-Southwest Region Honorable Mention in 2013.

LAST TIME OUT: KANSAS STATE RECAP
The TCU volleyball team dropped its conference road finale 3-0 (27-25, 25-14, 27-25) to Kansas State on Saturday night at the Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan.

The Horned Frogs were led by Ashley Smith for the 17th time this season with eight kills against the Wildcats, while the sophomore also chipped in seven digs. Sarita Mikals was able to notch seven kills on the night, while Blaire Pickens recorded six kills.

Sutton Sunstrum dug up double-digit digs for the 21st time this season, with 12 in the match, while Alexia Heist dished out 19 assists and picked up eight digs.

TCU led the match in blocking by shutting down at the net with seven blocks, with Regan McGuire good for six blocks.

BREAKING DOWN THE OPPONENT - TEXAS
Texas (22-1, 14-1 Big 12) just recently claimed the 2014 Big 12 regular season title with a 3-2 victory over Oklahoma two weeks ago. The win marked the Longhorns' fifth title in the last six years, their eighth Big 12 title overall and 21st conference championship.

Texas have been dominant so far this season, only dropping 16 sets in 23 matches and have outhit every opponent. The 22-1 start is the best since 2009 when the team started 29-1 before falling in the NCAA finals to Penn State.

Texas is ranked in the top 10 nationally in hitting percentage (.287) at No. 6 and blocking (3.07/ set) at No. 7. Two-time defending Big 12 Player of the Year Haley Eckerman leads the team with 234 kills and 3.08 kills per set. The senior also leads the team in service aces with 0.42 per set, which is good for No. 2 in the conference and No. 22 nationally.

Chiaka Ogbogu is leading the conference and is No. 16 in the country in hitting percentage with a .408 clip. The 2013 Big 12 Rookie of the Year has 147 kills on the year and 97 total blocks.

Molly McCage is also leading the conference, but with her strong play at the net with 114 blocks and 1.42 blocks per set, which is good for No. 17 nationally.

LAST TIME WE MET
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 then-No. 2 Texas inside Gregory Gym in Austin.

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.

Smith and Alexia Heist were just shy of a double-double, as each was able to pick up nine digs on the night, while Sutton Sunstrum led all players with 11 digs. Heist continued to dish out the assists and finished with 19 on the night. Smith led all TCU players with three service aces, while Natalie Gower was able to shut down at the net for three total blocks.

Two-time Big 12 Player of the Year Haley Eckerman led all players with 12 kills on the night, while fellow senior Khat Bell recorded nine kills. Pilar Victoria was able to lead the Longhorns with 10 digs, while Cat McCoy chipped in four service aces.

SERIES HISTORY
This will be the ninth meeting all-time between the programs, with Texas winning all the meetings between the teams with a 8-0 record. The Frogs and the Longhorns first met in December 2009, when TCU competed in its first NCAA Championships in a second round matchup in Austin.

In the two matchups last year, Texas came to Fort Worth to start the series and were able to come away with a 3-0 sweep. TCU came down to Austin just over a month later and were able to snag a set from the Longhorns for the first time in program history and were on the verge of forcing a fifth set before ultimately falling 3-1.

First Meeting: 12/4/09 - Texas wins 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-18)
Last Meeting: 10/22/14 - Texas wins 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-22)


 

 

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