Harvard red and navy blue are two colors blemished all over the record book of the TCU-SMU series that dates back to 1996.
Although a lot has changed since the last meeting in 2001, Southern Methodist prevailed again.
TCU lost a five-set heartbreaker, 25-21, 23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 13-15 on Tuesday night in Dallas.
“We did not play well for a lot of the portions of all these sets,” head coach Prentice Lewis said. “And that’s what’s the most frustrating. I know they want it really bad, but they’ve got to prove it. Until we stop losing matches like this, it’s going to be tough.”
TCU was led by Lauren Otto’s double-double (19 digs, 13 kills). Kourtney Edwards and Irene Hester chipped in 12 kills a piece, and Megan Munce added 38 assists.
SMU took control early in the first set, rushing to a 5-2 lead after a missed serve by Lauren Otto. The Lady Frogs fought back, tying the score at 8.
Started of with a kill by Christy Hudson, TCU used a 9-3 run to take a 17-11 advantage. SMU continued to battle, cutting the Frogs lead to two at 24-22, but an Irene Hester kill won TCU the set. A tight second set featured six lead changes that mainly occurred in the first few points. Irene Hester and Lauren Otto combined for eight kills, which helped cushion TCU to an 18-11 lead.
But again, SMU rallied with its defense.
“They played great defense,” Lewis said. “But we served the ball right into their lineup.”
The Mustangs used another late-set surge to tie the set at 23, and the Lady Frogs couldn’t hold on and fell, 23-25.
“Our kids just didn’t lay it all out on the floor,” Lewis said. “In game one, it was up and down, but we prevailed. In game two, we were right there and then let it go.”
In the third set, the Mustangs carried over its momentum and stormed to a 12-6 lead. SMU had 16 kills in the set alone compared to TCU’s 10.
The Lady Frogs hit just a .065 percentage compared to the Mustangs’ .387. SMU’s balanced scoring attack doomed the TCU’s comeback. The Purple and White got as close as five at 21-16, but dropped a 17-25 score.
TCU came out on a mission on the fourth set, fighting to an 8-4 lead thanks to consecutive kills by Kourtney Edwards.
Communication problems bit the Frogs and aided the Mustangs to a 15-13 lead, but TCU wouldn’t give in. Another Edwards kill and an ace by Otto granted TCU a 17-15 lead. Hudson’s kill brought TCU to set point, and SMU couldn’t recover.
The rivalry match came down to the fifth set, just the third time in the history of the series.
It appeared SMU was going to run away with the set as the Mustangs quickly advanced to a 10-3 lead.
But TCU continued to chip away.
The Frogs held off three match points and cut the lead to 14-13, but a SMU tip sealed the deal.
“Losing to a cross town rival is never a good thing,” Lewis said. “But next year will be at our place.”
The loss snapped TCU’s three-match winning streak, but the Frogs will have a chance to rebound September 11 against St. Francis (Pa) in game one of the Akron Tournament.