Trio Named AVCA All-Southwest Region
Dec. 8, 2015
FORT WORTH, Texas – A trio of TCU volleyball juniors – Natalie Gower, Regan McGuire and Ashley Smith – were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Southwest Region teams on Tuesday afternoon.
Smith and McGuire earned distinction on the All-Southwest Region First Team, while Gower was named All-Southwest Region Honorable Mention. The honors mark the first in each of their careers from the AVCA, as the trio become the eighth, ninth and 10th players, respectively, in program history to earn All-Southwest Region honors.
Players and coaches honored by the AVCA today will be eligible for a spot on the All-America team, which will be revealed on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
“Everyone on our team made the commitment to learn and grow this fall,” Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer said. “All of them stuck with this commitment and showed great improvement throughout the season. Ashley, Regan and Natalie were all key contributors for us offensively and defensively and put up very good numbers in non-conference that continued through conference play.
“Ashley was in the top-10 in points per set, kills per set and aces per set in the Big 12 and was a key contributor in our serve receive and defensive game. Regan and Natalie were respectfully one of the most dominant middle blocking duos in the country this year finishing out their Big 12 campaign at number one and number two in conference matches this season among all league players.”
Smith has been the offensive leader all season and finished the season with a team-high 294 kills and 2.91 kills per set. Smith also led the team in service aces with 0.26 per set, while she has also picked up 2.88 digs per set 0.63 blocks per set. The junior led the team in kills in 11 matches this season and recorded a team-high 12 double-doubles. The League City, Texas native is ranked in the top-10 in three Big 12 categories – kills per set, points per set and service aces. Smith was named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, All-Big 12 Second 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 1.54 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 ranked second on the team with 224 kills and 2.20 kills per set to go along with 11 service aces and a team-best 157 total blocks. McGuire’s blocks per set is a new single season school record, while her total blocks ranks third all-time in program history.
Gower came on strong in conference action with all four of her double-digit kill performances coming against league opponents, while she also notched 11 kills in the final match against Hawaii. The St. Louis, Mo., native ranked second on the team, second in league action and No. 40 nationally with 1.27 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 hit .300 or better in 15 matches and recorded five plus blocks in 14 matches.
TCU finished the 2015 season by advancing to its second NCAA Tournament in program history. The Frogs fell in a tight five-set battle with No. 7 Hawaii in the first round and finished the season with an overall record of 19-10 and 9-7 in Big 12 action.
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