Horned Frogs Win First Mountain West Volleyball Showdown

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    The Horned Frogs (12-2 overall, 1-0 conf.) opened conference play for volleyball against the University of Wyoming Cowgirls (7-4 overall, 1-1 conf.) with a five game victory Saturday afternoon in the University Recreation Center Gym.After losing the first two games in the best of five match, the Horned Frogs had their backs against the wall.

    During the ten minute break after the second game, head coach Prentice Lewis said she gave a stern talk about improving the quality of play in the second part of the match.

    “They were not playing their game,” Lewis said, “we were playing well for a few points, but not for the full 30.”

    Freshman outside hitter Lauren Otto said the team pulled together during the break.

    “We decided as a team to step it up and play harder,” Otto said.

    A fired up TCU team took to the court in game three and scored four quick points before giving Wyoming a chance to answer back. As game three progressed, the morale of the TCU team increased and the audience of 506 began to cheer louder for the squad.

    Airtight play at the net by Otto, Kourtney Edwards and Anna Vaughn led to a handful of blocks in the third game that began to shift momentum for TCU.

    “The blocks in game three really helped turn things around,” said sophomore setter Nirelle Hampton.

    Winning the third game still had TCU behind, but in game four the Horned Frogs rolled over the Cowgirls by a twelve point margin.

    The match was now in the hands of the 15-point play of the fifth and final game. TCU had an eight point lead that soon dwindled to four points before they started to score their final three points.

    The big blow to send the game into match point came during the longest rally of the match. A series of blocks and digs sent both teams sprawling over the court to hang on to a chance for victory. The rally came to a close when Hampton dumped the ball over the net and found space on the polished gym floor.

    “In long rallies people start sitting further back expecting everyone to be killing,” Hampton said. She added, the deeper defense gave her room to make the shot.

    Otto led the Horned Frogs through the match with 7 aces and tallied double digits in both digs and kills.

    After the match, Lewis said that TCU needed to work on playing a more complete game during the 30 point sets.

    “If we don’t come out ready to play, it will be 5 game matches like it was today,” Lewis said.

    The next match will be Friday in Colorado against Air Force as the Horned Frogs try to build a streak in conference play.