Volleyball: Opponents come in hungry for win


    The volleyball team welcomes two conference opponents from the state of Utah to the University Recreation Center starting tonight.The Horned Frogs take on BYU tonight and will follow up with a Friday match with the Utah Utes.

    At 15-6 overall and 7-4 in conference play, BYU has already proven it can beat TCU when it swept the Frogs on Oct. 5 in Provo, Utah.

    “BYU is a very good program,” head coach Prentice Lewis said. “They’re ranked in the top three in our conference, and they’re nobody to be taken lightly.”

    The Utes (10-12, 6-5 in conference) will probably be looking for revenge after TCU fought back from a 0-2 deficit to win an Oct. 6 match in five games, Lewis said.

    “We beat them on their home court, so it’s kind of payback time,” Lewis said. “Our ladies have to be ready to come out and play hard.”

    The Horned Frogs (19-9, 6-5 in conference) are the first opponent for both teams as they are playing Thursday and Friday matches this week as well, Lewis said.

    Sophomore defensive specialist Katelyn Blackwood said the team hasn’t altered its strategy for either opponent just because it is the second meeting of the season.

    “We haven’t really adjusted our strategy,” Blackwood said. “We just work on coming in every day and getting better.”

    Lewis said she prefers to evaluate the team’s game as a whole during practice, instead of just focusing on certain aspects. Players know what they have to do individually to improve the team’s overall play, she said.

    “There are numerous things we have to get better at, and we try to use all of them every day,” Lewis said.

    Junior outside hitter Devon Kirk said she has been working on her blocking skills. Currently, she is second on the team in blocks per game with .98 behind sophomore middle blocker Kourtney Edwards’ 1.15 average.

    TCU is averaging 2.5 blocks per game, while BYU and Utah are averaging 2.9, respectively.

    “I had a meeting with one of my coaches this week, and we talked about blocking,” Kirk said. “That was an improvement in the New Mexico match versus last week. That’s something that will definitely help us against BYU and Utah.