Women’s volleyball to host Nike/Molten Invitational


    TCU women's volleyball hasn't reached conference play yet, but head coach Prentice Lewis said the competition at the upcoming Nike/Molten Invitational will be solid.

    "We have a tough weekend before conference," she said.

    Tournament-host TCU (4-3, 0-0 Big 12) will face Stephen F. Austin, Houston, Grambling St. and Ole Miss starting Friday afternoon. The Frogs are coming off their first regular season home sweep of North Texas (25-21, 25-20, 25-19) on Wednesday.

    Against the Mean Green, freshman outside hitter Ashley Smith led the Frogs with 12 kills, her fourth double-digit kill match in a row. Junior right-side hitter Stephanie Holland finished second with nine kills. Senior middle blocker Yvonne Igodan recorded five blocks, three assisted and two solo.

    Sophomore Alexia Heist recorded 24 assists and redshirt freshman setter Trisha Langley added nine. Freshman Shane Peters wore the libero jersey for the first time at home and recorded 16 digs.

    Lewis said the lessons taken from the match against North Texas and from the tournament over the weekend will help the team to prepare for its second Big 12 season.

    "SFA is no slump of a team, and then Houston is another somewhat local team," she said.

    Lewis also said the way Ole Miss runs its offense will test the Frogs.

    "Ole Miss is another great team that runs an extremely fast offense, and that hasn't bode well for us so far," she said. "Hopefully we will get to that point by that match."

    The first match of the weekend between TCU and SFA (6-2, 0-0 Southland) marks the sixth time the teams have met with an overall 3-3 series. The teams met last on September 13, 2002 in Fort Worth when SFA beat TCU 3-1.

    SFA is coming off a five-set win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 10. Players to watch include junior outside hitter Jill Ivy, who led the team with 19 kills. Junior setter Paige Holland finished with 48 assists for her fourth match with over 40 assists on the season.

    TCU will then match up against Houston (6-1, 0-0 American Athletic) for the first time since 2010 when the Frogs swept the Cougars. Houston leads the all-time series against the Horned Frogs 7-2.

    The Cougars competed in the Sawyer Camillo Memorial Classic last weekend. Houston dropped only one set to Louisiana-Lafeyette and beat Alcorn State and Nicholls State in straight sets. Three Cougars were named to the all-tournament team, including junior defensive specialist Natalie Keck, who earned MVP of the tournament.

    In the third match of the tournament, TCU will face Grambling St. (2-5, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic). The Tigers' two wins on the board are over University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 4 and Alcorn State University on Sept. 10.

    TCU's final match against Ole Miss (4-2, 0-0 Southeastern) marks the second time the teams have met. The Rebels defeated TCU 3-2 in 2006 at the Nike/LaQuinta Invitational in Fort Worth.

    Ole Miss hosted the Magnolia Invitational last weekend, beating Kennesaw State and Arkansas State but falling to Georgia Southern. Sophomore middle blocker Nakeyta Clair and freshman right-side hitter Melanie Crow were named to the Magnolia Invitational All-Tournament team.

    The Horned Frogs will start Friday against Stephen F. Austin at 12 p.m. and Houston at 7:30 p.m., and will finish the tournament Saturday with Grambling St. at 2 p.m. and Ole Miss at 7:30 p.m.

    The match against Stephen F. Austin is the second of five televised live on Fox Sports Southwest.