Volleyball edges Auburn to win Add-Ran Cup, 3-2

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TCU won the 2019 Add-Ran Cup after defeating Miami and Auburn this weekend. Photo courtesy of GoFrogs.com.

After falling behind 2-1, TCU volleyball stormed back to defeat Auburn 3-2 (25-21, 19-25, 19-25, 25-16, 16-14) to win the 2019 Add-Ran Cup.

“Playing teams like Auburn and having such a strong preseason schedule only helps us prepare more for conference play,” middle blocker Sarah Langs said.

The Frogs defeated Miami 3-0 on Friday in their first match of the tournament.

Outside hitter Audrey Nalls put together another fantastic performance Sunday with 17 kills and six digs. The first-year player finished with 25 kills and 10 digs on the weekend to earn MVP honors.

This is her second time to win such honors this season, as she won MVP of the Cowtown Classic to start the season.

The first set went back and forth, with Auburn taking a 16-15 lead late on a 5-1 run. Outside hitter Julia Adams put together two straight kills for the Frogs late though, propelling them to a 25-21 win.

Adams finished with 12 kills and four blocks in the match.

Despite their deficit, Auburn looked unfazed, going up 6-0 to start the second set. TCU tried to get back in it, but service errors held them back.  The Tigers won 25-19 to tie the match at 1-1.

The Frogs committed five service errors in the second set alone.

Though TCU went up 3-0 to start the third set, the result was much of the same. The Tigers put together big runs while often preventing the Frogs from winning back-to-back points. TCU fell 25-19 once again to go down 2-1 in the match.

“I think energy and communication—[they] can always get better,” Langs said about the problem in the second and third sets. “[They] kind of got low at points in those [sets].”

With their backs now against the wall, the Frogs came out swinging. A Nalls ace put TCU up 10-4, and they would not look back. A 25-16 fourth-set win for the Frogs sent TCU to just their second five-set match of the season.

The fifth set was an absolute battle, with seven total ties. Though Auburn led 10-6 at one point, TCU came out of a timeout with an immediate 3-0 run to get back in it. Minutes later, a Nalls kill put the Tigers away for good and gave the Frogs the tournament victory.

Along with Nalls, middle blocker Katie Clark and libero Berklie Baker were named to the All-Tournament team. Clark finished the weekend with 19 kills, while Baker had 19 digs, 10 assists and a perfect 40-for-40 passing percentage.

“I accept my role as being the calming and consistent player on the court,” Baker said. “I think it helps boost everyone’s confidence when it does go that way.”

The win comes as a nice bounce back for TCU after the Frogs went 0-3 last weekend in the Fight in the Fort Tournament.

“It means a lot,” Baker said about winning the Add-Ran Cup. “We had a low weekend last weekend, but we really took it to figure out what we needed to work on.”

After opening the season with eight straight home games, the Frogs will head on the road for their next three matches. The first stop on their road trip is across the Metroplex for a matchup with the SMU Mustangs. First serve is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“It will be our first time away, and so it will be different,” Baker said. “It’s just harder on us because we have to create our own energy.”