The Frogs increased their winning streak to four matches Saturday as the team defeated Sam Houston State Saturday in four sets (21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20) at the SMU Doubletree Invitational inside Moody Coliseum on the campus of SMU.
“Coming in and playing a match like today can be tough sometimes just because you had a tough one the night before against a crosstown rival like last night,” TCU head coach Jill Kramer said. “Those can have a different type of energy and a different type of feeling and it might be a little bit tougher to recover from. I think our team did a good job of doing that.”
The Frogs were forced to combat a slow start as they dropped the first set of the match to the Bearkats, but rebounded well to easily control the final three sets of the match and secure the victory. The Frogs lead the Bearkats in almost every statistical category as they racked up 54 kills, 49 digs and five service aces on the match.
“We started off well but had a little bit of a lull there in the middle of the first set and it was nice to see them bounce back in the next three sets,” Kramer said. “We changed the lineup quite a bit and the players responded well to that.”
The victory marked the second time this season the Frogs have come back to win the match after dropping the first set.
Junior outside hitter Ashleigh Martin led the Frogs in kills for the third straight match with 19 and topped her season-high recorded the previous match. Martin earned the kills on a .326 hitting clip along with six digs.
Junior middle blocker Anna Walsh was just shy of earning double digit kills with nine on the night, while freshmen outside hitters Allye Beth Deaton and Abigail Buckingham recored eight individually. Freshman libero Dani Dennison anchored the team defensively with 18 digs while senior setter Kaylee Smith fell just shy of a double-double with a team high 23 assists and nine digs.
“It was really about energy for us and we needed people to come in and bring energy and that is what we did,” Kramer said. “They came together and I told them that it was not our best volleyball. There were some great things about it and it is not always going to look the way we want it to, but any win is a good win in the end. It is good that they came back and got that one.”
The win gives the Frogs their seventh all-time victory against Sam Houston State and TCU leads Bearkats in the all-time series 7-3. The Horned Frogs have won six straight matches against the Bearkats dating back to 2000.
Both Martin and Dennison were recognized as members of the all-tournament team following their performances over the weekend. Between the two matches, Martin totaled 4.62 kills per set along with 17 digs and 2.62 digs per set. Dennison finished the weekend with 46 digs and 5.75 digs per set along with three service aces. Dennison has recorded double-digit digs in 10 of the first 11 matches of the season.
With the win against the Bearkats, the Frogs finish the non-conference portion of the schedule with an 8-3 record. TCU will begin Big 12 play starting Wednesday, Sept. 20 against the Mountaineers of West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va. before returning home to host the Baylor Bears on Saturday, Sept. 23.