TCU Drops Battle with No. 3 USC
Sep 6, 2013
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - The TCU volleyball team dropped a hard fought battle to No. 3 USC 3-1 (9-25, 18-25, 26-24, 26-28) Friday afternoon in the first match of the Marquette Challenge at the Al McGuire Center.
The Frogs (3-2, 0-0 Big 12) fell in the first two sets to the Trojans (4-0, 0-0 Pac-12), but would find victory in the third set and almost pushed the match to the brink of a deciding fifth set.
This was only the second time in program history that TCU took a set from a top-5 ranked opponent after doing so on Sept. 17, 2005 when the Frogs did so against then-No. 5 Minnesota.
USC controlled the majority of the first set after a 14-1 run gave them a 19-5 lead. TCU ended the run with a kill from Mattie Burleson, but could only score three more points in the set, as the Trojans would hit .500 and record 20 digs in the set on their way to a 25-9 win.
The Frogs found a spark in the second set and took their first lead of the match off a kill from Regan McGuire to make it 7-6. USC responded with kills from Alexis Olgard and Emily Young to take the lead right back. Three more kills from Samantha Bricio pushed the lead to four and forced the Frogs to call a timeout. TCU would use kills from Ashley Smith and Trisha Langely out of the timeout to pull the set within two and would outhit USC .308 to .237 in the set, but strong serving would finish out the set in the Trojans' favor 25-18.
Trailing 22-15 in the third set, Smith came up huge for TCU as she recorded two kills and a block to force USC to call its first timeout of the match. Out of the timeout, the Frogs would not let up on the pressure as more kills from Smith plus a kill from Stephanie Holland pulled the match within one at 23-22. USC would get their first match point off a kill from Elise Ruddins, but four straight points from TCU, including a seventh kill from Smith, gave the Frogs a 26-24 victory.
After pushing the match into a fourth set, the Frogs found themselves once again trailing 23-16. A hitting error from Sara Shaw would set up an 8-0 serving run led by Burleson that would tie the match at 23-23 after a kill from Natatlie Gower. A kill from Olgard gave USC another match point, but great defensive efforts and kills from Holland, Gower and Igodan, put TCU at its first set point at 26-25. A service error would tie the set back up and a block from Bricio and a final kill from Ruddins gave the Trojans a 28-26 win.
Smith led the team in kills for the third time this season and the second match in a row after recording a career-high double-double of 17 kills and 19 digs. Alexia Heist recorded her second double-double of the season and fourth of her career with 22 assists and 12 digs for the match.
TCU outhit the Trojans in two of the three sets and held USC to a season-low .237 hitting percentage. Each team recorded nine blocks, with Burleson, Smith and Regan McGuire each recording four blocks.
The Frogs will continue action in the Marquette Challenge by facing tournament host Marquette tomorrow at Noon at the Al McGuire Center.