TCU’s offense came out strong, but the Thunderbird’s scrappy back row defense gave the visitors an early grip of the match.
“Just like every team, we had first match jitters,” TCU head coach Jill Kramer said. “This past week it has taken a few reps to get locked in to what is happening in a drill. I think that is what happened today.”
TCU’s defense came alive when Kramer called a time-out after being down 18-13 in the first set. The team came back from behind with a big block from Walsh and a kill from freshman Allye Beth Deaton to make it a 25-23 set win.
Kramer said the team began to control the match with cleaner passes and better reads on defense.
“We had a lot of young players out there so it changes things a little bit,” Kramer said. “We have a lot of competition in our gym. I am really comfortable with anybody hopping in at anytime.”
The incoming recruiting class was ranked No. 24 in PrepVolleyball.com’s Top 30 Collegiate Recruiting Classes this past summer.
New faces in TCU’s lineup included freshmen middle blocker Sarah Swanson, libero Dani Dennison, and defensive specialist Berklie Baker. Junior transfer Lexi MacLean also had a spot in the starting six. Although, the big numbers on the front line still came from returners Ashleigh Martin and Walsh, who tallied a .667 hitting percentage with 11 kills on the night.
“Anna is connecting with both setters really well right now and that is because she has been consistent,” Kramer said.
Kramer also contributed the team’s success to the student section who came out for the season opener.
“Thank you to the students that came out to cheer at the game tonight,” Kramer said. “It wasn’t just having students in the stands, it was having a unified group in the stands.”
The Frogs are back in the University Recreation Center to play Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m Saturday.