TCU women’s volleyball tops alumni in four sets

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    TCU women’s volleyball finished up its preseason scrimmages Saturday morning with a four-set win over TCU alumni (25-16, 25-12, 21-25, 25-20) at the University Recreation Center.

    TCU rolled over the alumni in the first two sets, scoring a total 40 points to the alumni squad's 17. Freshman outside hitter Ashley Smith and senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan led the charge with 7 kills each.

    Freshman middle blocker Natalie Gower and sophomore right-side hitter Blaire Pickens both contributed to the three total blocks in the first two sets.

    After a five-minute intermission, the Frogs started the third set out slowly, trailing 6-10 after a strong serving run by alumnae Sloane Sunstrum. A kill by Yvonne Igodan brought the Frogs to within three, but the alumni team continued to side out for the lead.

    Head coach Prentice Lewis called a timeout with the Frogs trailing 8-12. TCU earned the quick point afterwards but couldn’t regain focus as hitting errors and a strong offense by the alumni took the team out of the third set, losing 21-25.

    The third-set win by the alumni squad marked the first time varsity dropped a set in the annual Alumni Match since TCU’s 2009-2010 season.

    The fourth set score remained close until strong offense helped the varsity squad to pull away to 13-9. Several strong rallies by the alumni brought the squad to within 13-15, but strong serving by Ashley Smith and offense from Blaire Pickens lifted the Horned Frogs to take the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.

    Blaire Pickens finished the match with twelve kills, no errors and a .67 hitting percentage. Igodan recorded 16 kills and three of the teams six blocks. Freshman libero Shane Peters led the defensive effort with 14 digs followed by libero Sutton Sunstrum’s nine digs.

    All three setters, Alexia Heist, Trisha Langley and Fleming Smurthwaite, split time in the match. Heist finished with 30 assists and seven digs, Smurthwaite contributed 9 assists and two digs, and Langley chipped in ten assists and three digs.

    For the alumni, Irene Hester and Lauren Otto both recorded ten kills and 11 digs in the match and 10.5 and 11 points total, respectively. Setter Megan Munce chipped in 36 assists in the match.

    The Frogs open the regular season at the Georgia Bulldog Invitational in Athens, Ga. on Friday.

    The team’s first match will be against Furman at 3 p.m. Friday followed by matches against Georgia and Lipscomb on Saturday.

    The Frogs open their second season in the Big 12 Conference on Sept. 25 against defending national champion Texas at 6:30 p.m. in the University Recreation Center.