After a record-setting 2009 campaign in which the volleyball team made its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, a returning player said the team goal is to prove last season was not a fluke.
“Our goal would be to prove to everyone that last year wasn’t just a one-time thing,” junior setter Megan Munce said. “It’s something that we can do consistently and that we hope to do.”
Head coach Prentice Lewis said she feels the team will work hard to achieve its goals.
“[The] number one thing is winning conference,” Lewis said. “Our team’s just got to play consistent, good volleyball through the year, starting with the first game.”
The team lost three seniors last spring who all made their marks on the university volleyball records. Former Horned Frog middle blocker Kourtney Edwards became the career record-holder for blocks at TCU as well as an All-American Honorable Mention. Outside hitter Lauren Otto racked up the sixth most digs in school history, while defensive specialist Katelyn Blackwood became the all-time digs leader.
Lewis said losing the seniors was detrimental to the lineup.
“Our three seniors that we lost last year were phenomenal players,” Lewis said. “As far as their leadership skills and as far as being players our juniors to look up to.”
However, the team does have many returning players this year. Senior outside hitter Irene Hester and senior right side Christy Hudson return, bringing experience to the squad. Hester ranked second on the team last season with 295 kills and Hudson was named a MWC All-Conference player in 2009.
Lewis said the team had to find a way to pick up where the seniors from last year left off. She felt the two seniors and the junior class players have all stepped up in the last two weeks of practice to fill those voids, she said.
Hester said the team was ready to start the new season.
“I think everybody is more excited than anything. We all worked out as a team…We’re ready and excited to be back out on the court,” she said.
According to gofrogs.com, the Horned Frogs were picked to finish third in the Mountain West Conference behind Colorado State University and Utah in the 2010 preseason poll. This is the highest the Horned Frogs have ever been ranked in the preseason polls.
Munce said the preseason ranking is going to help the Horned Frogs prepare by knowing that other teams underestimate them.
“I know it’s going to make me play harder…it’s going to make my teammates play a lot harder too,” she said.