Frogs overcome two-set deficit, defeat Mountaineers in five sets

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TCU Volleyball celebrates the comeback over West Virginia. Image courtesy of gofrogs.com

TCU volleyball stormed back after trailing 0-2 to defeat West Virginia 3-2 (18-25, 25-27, 25-21, 25-23, 15-7).

The win broke the Frogs’ two-match losing streak and improved their Big 12 record to 4-4 at the end of the first half of conference play.

“We’ve found our identity again,” said Director of Volleyball Jill Kramer. “Regardless of what happens in the next matches, we have an identity that we’re true to right now.”

TCU looked lost in the opening set. West Virginia started on a 6-0 run and they never looked back. With a combined .000 hitting clip, the Frogs never looked in it, and the Mountaineers won easily 25-18.

“I like the outcome of this game, but I really wasn’t pleased with the way we started; and I don’t think anyone on the team was, so we need to get better at that next match,” Kramer said.

The lone bright spot in the set for TCU was outside hitter Allye Beth Deaton. The sophomore was starting in place of outside hitter élan McCall, who has missed the last three matches with a foot injury. Deaton tied for a set-high four kills in the first set. She would finish with 15 kills and 18 digs in the match.

There is no report at this time as to when McCall will be able to return for TCU.

The Frogs improved in the second set, starting the set on a 3-0 run to make it clear that they would not be run over. Led by outside hitter Anna Walsh, TCU played well offensively, out-hitting West Virginia .239 to .175.

Walsh had 8 kills to go with a hitting clip of .375 in the set. She finished the match with a game-high 24 kills.

The teams went back-and-forth, trading points for the majority of the set. After tying the score at 24, the Horned Frogs lost their momentum and fell 27-25 to go down 0-2 in the match.

After this set, the volleyball team flipped the switch.

Though the Mountaineers hung in the third set initially, the set was all TCU by the midway point. Going up by as much as seven at one point, they made it clear that their match deficit had not crushed their motivation and cruised to a 25-21 victory.

Freshman middle blocker Katie Clark had four kills in the set, hitting .375 in the process. Clark finished the match with 13 kills, her fourth time with double-digit kills this season.

Looking like a completely different team, the Horned Frogs started the fourth set with the same ferocity as the third.  After a tied score of 8-8, TCU blew the set open with a 10-3 run and all but ensure a fifth set.  Fending off two 3-0 runs by the Mountaineers, the team finished the set 25-23 to tie the match score at 2-2.

Riding their momentum, the Horned Frogs looked unstoppable in the fifth set. They were helped by the savviness of Kramer, who won challenges on two straight plays to help push TCU towards victory early.

The Frogs finished with a resounding 15-7 victory to complete the improbable comeback.

“I think it was really good for us to win in the rotation that we have right now,” outside hitter Lexi MacLean said. “I think it gives a lot of confidence going into second half of conference.”

MacLean had led the Frogs on defense, finishing with 24 total digs.

“We did a good job on floor defense and Lexi was a big part of that,” Kramer said. “I thought we were super scrappy and played a very good and also a young West Virginia team.”

Next on the schedule, TCU will face No. 24 Baylor. First serve is set for Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Rickel.