Four Earn Big 12 Postseason Honors
Nov. 30, 2015
FORT WORTH, Texas – Four members of the TCU volleyball team were honored today, as the Big 12 Conference announced their 2015 All-Big 12 Volleyball Postseason Awards.
For the second straight season, junior Ashley Smith was named to the All-Big 12 Second Team and is joined by first-time honorees and fellow juniors Regan McGuire and Natalie Gower. Freshman Ashleigh Martin was the final member honored on Monday, as she became the first person in program history to be named to the All-Freshman Team.
“We are always happy for our players when they are rewarded for individual achievements,” Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer said. “However, all of our players know and understand that our strength lies within our team and one another. Every one of our players has contributed to these awards daily in training, video sessions, lifting and conditioning. Our girls take pride in making one other better.”
Smith becomes only the second player in program history to earn Big 12 postseason honors in two straight seasons. The League City, Texas native has been the offensive leader all season and has a team-high 285 kills and 2.94 kills per set. Smith is also leading in service aces with 0.27 per set, while she has also picked up 2.87 digs per set and is recording 0.65 blocks per set. The junior has led the team in kills in 11 matches this season and has recorded a team-high 12 double-doubles. Smith was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team and earned spots on three all-tournament teams this fall.
McGuire has been the top defensive player at the net in the conference all season long and has been ranked in the top-10 nationally in blocks per set since the first week of action. The junior is stuffing 1.53 blocks per set currently and was able to earn three Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week and one Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors this fall. The Flower Mound, Texas native because the fifth person in league history to earn three straight weekly honors. McGuire is ranked second on the team with 208 kills and 2.14 kills per set to go along with 11 service aces and a team-best 148 total blocks.
Gower came on strong in conference action with all four of her double-digit kill performances coming against league opponents. The St. Louis, Mo., native is second on the team, second in league action and ranked No. 35 nationally with 1.29 blocks per set. Gower has led the team three times in kills and 14 times in blocking. A two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member, Gower reached the double-digit mark in blocking for the first time in her career when she recorded 10.0 against Baylor on Oct. 21. In 2015, Gower has hit .300 or better in 14 matches and recorded five plus blocks in 13 matches.
Martin was a unanimous selection to the All-Freshman team and becomes the first TCU player in program history to be named to the rookie team since the Frogs joined the Big 12. Since being inserted into the starting line-up against Oklahoma on Oct. 7, Martin has put down 82 kills, 2.16 kills per set and a .286 hitting clip. The McKinney, Texas native has also totaled 34.0 blocks and received two Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors in that time span. Martin has put down 10 plus kills on three occasions this season and recorded three or more blocks in a match six times. Martin has 115 kills, 1.92 kills per set, a .273 hitting percentage and 42.0 total blocks so far this season.
TCU wrapped up the regular season with a sweep of West Virginia this past Saturday for a 19-9 overall record and a 9-7 mark in Big 12 action. The Horned Frogs earned an at-large bid to the 2015 NCAA Division I Volleyball National Championship and will travel to College Station, Texas to face No. 7 Hawai’i on Friday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m., CT, in the first round.
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