The Frogs checked off a number of firsts in their program’s history with their straight sets victory over the Longhorns (25-19, 25-19, 25-20). It was the first time TCU has beaten Texas, the first time TCU has beaten the No. 2 team in the country, and the first time Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer has beaten Texas in her coaching career.
“I love firsts, there’s always firsts to be had,” Kramer said. “Stepping on the court with a talented team like Texas and coming out on top definitely makes this win a little bit sweeter.”
The key stat of the match was the amount of times TCU was able to block Texas’ hard-hitting frontline. The Frogs out-blocked the Longhorns 8.5-6.o.
“I think we see some of the best blockers in the country in our own gym, and we don’t see any opponent as bigger or better than us,” Kramer said.
TCU’s unexpected win was fueled by the breakout performance of outside hitter Sarita Mikals, who led both teams in kills with 11.
“Sarita Mikals was off the charts for us. She’s such a great player and we need that from her every time,” Kramer said.
Wednesday was also the first time this TCU team has faced Texas with their entire lineup intact, as outside hitter Jillian Bergeson sat out the last match TCU played against Texas with an ankle injury.
“She was huge for us tonight, moving her to middle back really allowed her to make some great plays,” Kramer said.
Setters Kaylee Smith and Alexia Heist tied for the team lead with 16 assists each, both playing a significant role in the win.
“Our setters made some great plays and we just kept telling them to keep making great decisions and to keep putting our hitters in great positions, which is what they did all night long,” Kramer said.
TCU sold out yet another home game with a total of 2,009 people in attendance. Coincidentally, 2009 was the first year TCU played Texas in volleyball.
Kramer said the crowd’s energy played a factor in rattling one of the top volleyball teams in the nation.
“Our crowd was amazing tonight, and it has been all year long,” Kramer said. “Everyone in that gym tonight could feel it. I could feel it, our players could feel it, and everyone wearing purple tonight knew we were going to win.”
TCU’s next game is on Oct. 31 in Manhattan, Kansas against Kansas State at 7 p.m. The next home game is Nov. 7 at 12 p.m. against Iowa State.