Following a hard luck loss to Colorado State University Friday, the Horned Frogs(17-7 overall, 5-5 conference) returned to the court Saturday with a dominating performance against the United States Air Force Academy (3-16 overall, 0-9 conference).”We played very well, this was one of our more solid matches of the year from start to finish,” said Prentice Lewis, head coach.
TCU jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the first game and never looked back surrenduring the lead only 1 time during the entire match. The finished the contest with a 3 games to 0 sweep over the visiting Air Force squad.
Defensively the Horned Frogs exuded their prowess holding Air Force to no more than 15 points in any of the games.
“We had been working on defense at practice a lot this week and were finally able to put it in game situations this week,” said senior middle blocker Anna Vaughn.
Vaughn helped pace the frogs defense taking part in 6 blocks at the net.
The offensive output was fueled by sophomore outside hitter Devon Kirk and junior outside hitter LeMeita Smith. Kirk was making her second start of the season and she tallied 8 kills while making some key defensive contributions with 5 digs off the hardwood floor.
“I came back from an injury in the spring and it feels good to have earned my spot back,” Kirk said.
Though Air Force was winless in Mountain West Conference play going into tonight’s match, the team did not let the opposition’s reputation proceed them.
“You always have to come out ready to play, anyone can beat you on any given night,” Vaughn said.
The victory came as a total team effort, Lewis said, as even some of the bench players took part in the win.
“Not a single individual stood out tonight, our whole team played outstanding.”
Two underclassmen came off the bench and contributed to the TCU effort.
Sophomore middle blocker Gabi McHugh and freshman defensive specialist Mariana Silveira came in during the third game that helped put the nail in to coffin for the evening.
McHugh had a pair of kills and helped out on a block on the right side of the net denying a scoring attempt from Air Force. Silveira served an ace to continue widening the TCU lead.
“Gabi with her strong kills and Mariana with her aces really helped us put it together tonight,” Vaughn said.
Following the plays by Silveira and McHugh, the third game came to a close with a punishing spike by Anna Vaughn to make the TCU victory final. The third game featured the Horned Frogs’ largest winning margin of the match finishing the game with a 17 point lead over Air Force.
TCU will travel to the University of Nevada Las Vegas for a match Friday, and then will play at San Diego State University Ocotber 29.
“Going to UNLV and San Diego will be where the real test will be,” Lewis said, “They are at home and they will play well.