VB NCAA Preview: Wichita State

Dec. 1, 2016

TCU Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

LINCOLN, Neb. - The postseason for the TCU volleyball team is set to begin as the Horned Frogs will take on Wichita State in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship on Friday, Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m., inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Neb.

The match between the Frogs (14-12, 7-9 Big 12) and the Shockers (24-7, 15-3 MVC) will stream live for free on Huskers.com. The winner will face the victor in the match between No. 2 Nebraska and New Hampshire on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m.

NCAA Quick Hits
-The at-large selection to the 2016 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship marks only the third invitation for the Horned Frogs in program history
-TCU's first appearance in the NCAA Championship was back in 2009, where they were also an at-large selection and the team was able to advance to the second round
-The Frogs are 1-2 in postseason action with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 27-25) victory over Rice in the first round in 2009 and a 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-18) loss to Texas in the second round
-The team dropped a 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-21, 15-13) decision to No. 7 Hawaii in the first round last season
-TCU is one of six Big 12 schools that are making an appearance in the 2016 postseason, as they join national seeds Texas (No. 4), Kansas (No. 5) and Kansas State (No. 14) along with Iowa State and Baylor
-This marks the second appearance in the NCAA Championships for Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer as a head coach
-Kramer is also one of six coaches in the 2016 NCAA Championship that is coaching at their alma mater (WKU: Travis Hudson, UCLA: Michael Sealy, UNI: Bobbi Petersen, Princeton: Sabrina King and Washington State: Jen Greeny)

Quick Hits
-The 2016 season marks the 21st season in the history of the TCU Volleyball program
-This season also marks the second under the helm of alumni and Director of Volleyball Jill (Pape) Kramer
-Kramer (1996-99) was the first scholarship volleyball player on the inaugural team in 1996 and still holds the single-season and career school records in kills and total attacks
-TCU returns 10 letterwinners and five starters from a season ago and also welcome nine newcomers, including three transfers
-91% of the offense returns for the 2016 season along with 95% of the defense at the net in blocking
-The squad includes seven seniors this season including 2015 All-American Ashley Smith and AVCA All-Southwest Region honorees Regan McGuire and Natalie Gower
-The Frogs have great offensive depth which means a 6-2 will be in play again with Kaylee Smith and Lamprini Konstantinidou guiding the offense
-TCU brought in a stud of a freshmen class which was ranked for the first time in program history by Prepvolleyball.com by coming in at No. 15
-In its final preseason match of the season, TCU downed No. 8 North Carolina with the win marking the second top-10 win in program history and second straight season the team has achieved that feat
-In the win over Iowa State, Mikals became the sixth player in program history and the first under the helm of Kramer to score a triple-double with 10 kills, 10 digs and 10 blocks
-TCU has out-block their opponents in 20 of the 26 matches played and the team has recorded double-digit blocks in 10 matches
-Three school records have fallen this season with Sarita Mikals breaking the single-match record in digs (36-9/2/16 at Duke), while Natalie Gower recently topped the single-match record in blocks (15-10/1/16 vs. Oklahoma). The team also finished with 23.5 blocks against the Sooners for a new program best in total team blocks.
-The offense is being paced by Ashleigh Martin who has come on strong late in the season to be averaging 2.16 kills per set while Sarita Mikals is good for 2.10 kills per set
-After a spring of playing in the sand for the TCU beach volleyball team, Jillian Bergeson has moved to the libero position for the last half of season and is picking up 3.69 digs per set
-Gower earned All-Big 12 honors after being one of the most consistent hitters in the league at .366

Last Time Out: West Virginia
-For the third straight match, the TCU volleyball team had to battle five sets but came out victorious with a 3-2 (25-15, 26-28, 25-21, 18-25, 15-9) win over West Virginia in the team's final home match of the 2016 season
-In the final home match for the seven seniors, the Horned Frogs used a steady offense and superb blocking in the final set to overcome the Mountaineers and split the season series
-TCU finished with 60 kills, a .255 hitting percentage while also serving up 10 aces and shutting down with 15.5 total team blocks
-Senior Ashley Smith added to her illustrious career by recording her 31st double-double with 10 kills and 16 kills and also reached 1,000 career digs to make her the fifth person in program history to reach 1,000 in career kills and digs
-TCU also served up double-digit service aces for the second straight match

Gower Named All-Big 12
-Natalie Gower was the sole member of the TCU volleyball team to be honored in postseason awards and was named to the All-Big 12 First Team to become the third Horned Frog to earn Big 12 postseason honors in consecutive seasons
-Gower has led TCU all season long offensively and defensively as she has put down 1.94 kills per set with a team-best .366 hitting clip
-The senior has totaled 127 blocks this season for 1.26 blocks per set which is ranked No. 4 in the conference
-In conference action, Gower was good for 2.14 kills per set with a .357 hitting clip to go along with 1.34 blocks per set.
-The St. Louis, Mo., native led the team in kills on five occasions and blocks 15 times during the season



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