Tournaments test team’s strength

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    Coming off of a three-win, no-loss performance at the Pioneer Classic in Denver, Colo., last weekend, the TCU volleyball team prepares for the Molten/Fort Worth Plaza Invitational today and Saturday at the University Recreation Center.”Winning at the Denver tournament has given our team confidence,” senior middle blocker Erin Estep said.

    The Frogs will need that confidence while facing Minnesota, the No. 5 team in the nation, on Saturday.

    “Minnesota is a tough team to play, but we know this mentally, so it helps us prepare for the challenge,” senior outside hitter Hayley Harmon said.

    Harmon said the team will learn from, and build on, its performance in Denver.

    “Last week was not an easy win,” Harmon said. “We had to struggle to win, but now we know our strengths.”

    Estep said she is not nervous for this weekend because the team is well prepared.

    The players are not familiar with any of the teams in the tournament, so they will have to go in and play based on their skills and their confidence, Estep said.

    “Just like any other tournament, we have to adjust and adapt to every team we play,” Estep said.

    The other teams playing in the invitational are Maine and Campbell.

    The Frogs enjoy preseason tournaments because they give the team a chance to experience its strengths and weaknesses on the court, Harmon said.

    Estep and Harmonsaid they hope the team’s statistics keep improving so they can end their careers with the best season in the history of TCU volleyball.

    Head coach Prentice Lewis said she agrees with her seniors, and said one of the season’s goals is simply to win.

    Lewis said she also wants to see more consistency out of the team’s performance.

    “A lot of the girls are up and down, and we have to have all of our players consistent in order to win,” Lewis said.

    Junior Anna Vaughn and Estep are the team’s most steady players, Lewis said.

    “Their age shows their consistency, and that is what we hope to achieve out of our younger players,” Lewis said.

    Lewis values her always-reliable players, but said that winning is a team effort, and this weekend will be no exception.