Talaya Whitfield will be looked to for support on the outside with the departure of Ellen Rehme and Dominika Szabo. Her explosive vertical belies her small stature while her impressive back row defense will continue to benefit the Horned Frogs.
Freshman Season (2004)
The most highly decorated of the 2004 freshman class, Whitfield started at libero in 28 of the 31 matches she played. Never disappointing in her performances, she surpassed the previous single-season dig total in the October 23rd match against Marquette and went on to tally 601 digs. She failed to reach double-digit digs only four times throughout the season, tallying 20 or more digs in 17 matches and 30 or more (a feat not previously accomplished by a Frog) on three occasions. She tallied 34 against Boston College, the most ever in a match for TCU, and tallied 33 against DePaul for the most-ever in a five-game match. She again counted over 30 in the five-game win at Houston (31) and finished the conference regular season in style by picking up 23 digs against Saint Louis, the most-ever in a three-game match. Twenty-one times, she was the match-leader in digs. Her named litters the record books as she holds six of the top 10 single match dig totals, six of the top ten three-game match dig totals, eight of the top ten four-game match dig totals, and four of the top ten five-game dig totals. She earned a spot on three of the four tournament teams this season, including the "Hurricane Frances" Classic, the New England Challenge, and the TCU Molten Invitational. Whitfield finished the season second in the conference for digs with 5.09 dpg (best in a season for TCU) and sixth for aces with 0.45 aces per game (also best in a season for TCU). Her 51 aces placed second in a TCU season only behind teammate Emily Allen. C-USA coaches voted her second team all-conference for her efforts. Career-wise, she is first in digs per game (5.09) and first in aces per game (0.43).
Whitfield played at Long Beach Polytechnic High School under head coach Jeff Eyanson. During her prep career, she was named the Moore League MVP, earned a spot on the Long Beach Press-Telegram "Dream Team", and garnered her team's "Most Improved" award, as well as "Best Offensive Player" and "Best Defensive Player" of 2002 and 2003. In a quarterfinal match, Whitfield tallied career-highs of 47 kills and 20 aces. In addition to her prep accolades, Whitfield earned Junior Olympic all-tournament team honors. She also was named a prep volleyball all-American.
Born on November 20, 1986, Talaya Nicole Whitfield is the daughter of Kim Saunders. She is a nursing major at TCU, and plans to play volleyball overseas after graduation. In her free time, Whitfield enjoys playing beach volleyball, shopping and tanning.