Women’s volleyball travels to open season


    TCU women's volleyball head coach Prentice Lewis said Tuesday that the hardest thing for young athletes to do is travel.

    The young volleyball team comprised of eight freshmen will test that Friday when it travels to Athens, Ga., to open the 2013-2014 season.

    "I have young players that get to say, 'Now I get to put on my college jersey and play for the first time.' We have a couple kids that will be starting that will have some anxiety," Lewis said.

    The team is headed to Georgia to open its regular season in a weekend tournament at the Georgia Bulldog Invitational in the Ramsey Center.

    The Horned Frog team includes eight newcomers and returns nine letter-winners, including two-time All-Big 12 Preseason team selection and 2012 All-Big 12 Honorable Mention Yvonne Igodan.

    Igodan said she isn't worried about the fact that the team is considered young.

    "It's never the same team that steps on the court season after season. So, it's a different dynamic than last year but I feel like it's better," she said.

    In TCU's debut season in the Big 12 Conference, the team finished with an overall record of 15-14 and 4-12 in the conference, the eighth winning season under Lewis. TCU is 7-4 in season openers.

    TCU will start the weekend with a match against Furman at 3 p.m. The match will be the first meeting between the Horned Frogs and Paladins.

    Furman is picked to finish third in the Southern Conference this season after ending the 2012 season with a 24-10 record overall. The Paladins return SoCon Freshman of the Year in setter Jo Wilks, who finished the 2012 season fourth all-time in program history with 1,529 assists.

    The volleyball team will then match up against tournament host Georgia at 11:30 a.m. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

    Georgia returns both setters, Kaylee Kehoe and Maggie Baumert, its top offensive player in Brittany Northcutt, who tallied 270 kills in the 2012 season, and its top defensive player in Allison Summers, who averaged 4.81 digs per set in 2012.

    The final match of the tournament will take place Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against the Lipscomb Bison. The teams matched up back in August 2012 at the Wildcat Classic in Tuscon, Ariz., where TCU swept the Bison 3-0.

    Senior setter Caitlin Dotson, junior middle blocker Jewell Dobson and junior outside hitter Lauren Ford lead the Bison. All three were selected to the Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference Team. Dotson led the conference with 11.67 assists, and Ford and Bison finished second and third in kills with 389 and 345, respectively.

    This tournament marks the first time the young Horned Frog team will play other teams. The Frogs are coming off two preseason scrimmage wins against other varsity players and former TCU alumni.

    "It will be harder when they actually have to go out and play a real team. I think that's going to be the toughest," Lewis said Tuesday at a press conference.

    Audio coverage of the games will be available through FrogVision on GoFrogs.com.