TCU pushes #19 BYU to the limit, falls 3-2
Oct. 6, 2006
Fort Worth, Texas - The TCU Horned Frogs played their hearts out, but came up five points short as the dropped a 3-2 (30-27, 23-30, 26-30, 30-27, 10-15) decision at No. 19 BYU. LeMeita Smith led the Frog offensive attack with 19 kills and Calli Corley pitched in with 26 digs. Three other Frogs totaled double-digit kills thanks to 53 assists from sophomore setter Nirelle Hampton.
An inspired Frog team hit the court in game one as they led for the majority of the match. A Hampton and Kourtney Edwards block gave the Frogs a 7-4 advantage, matching the largest lead to that point. BYU rallied to tie the game at eight and took their first lead of the match at 10-9 on a kill by Chelsea Goodman.
The Frogs responded, tying the game at 10 on a Lauren Otto blast and regained a lead they would never relinquish on a Cougar setting error. After the Cougars again tied the game at 11, Emily Allen ripped a kill to the middle of the court to give the Frogs a 12-11 lead and they cruised from there. An Anna Vaughn stuff of a Cougar attack gave TCU a 15-12 lead and an Otto ace made it 17-12, forcing a BYU timeout.
The Cougars attempted to mount a late comeback, but the early mistakes proved too much as the Frogs took game one, 30-27.
A back-and-forth affair greeted both teams in the second game as neither team was able to score a point on its serve. The Frogs took a 10-9 lead on a kill by Hampton, but the Cougars rattled off three straight points to open up a 12-10 advantage.
TCU battled back to tie the game at 16 on Allen's third ace of the match and took the lead on an Otto blast from the outside. With the Frogs leading 18-17, BYU rattled off five straight points to take a 22-18 lead, forcing a TCU timeout.
Out of the timeout, Hampton ended the Cougar rally with a nicely placed dump to the center of the court. TCU put together a mini three-point run helped along by two Cougar errors to pull within one, 23-22. BYU had an answer and stopped the Frog rally, closing out the game on a 7-1 run to take the 30-23 victory in game two.
Game three played out much like game two as neither team could get a comfortable lead. TCU opened up a 4-2 lead on a Vaughn kill and pushed it out to 6-3 on an Otto ace. BYU put together a mini-rally to knot the game at seven, but the Frogs responded. Edwards and Allen teamed up to stuff a Goodman attack to give TCU a 10-8 lead and Otto blocked down another Cougar attack to make it 11-8.
BYU went on a 6-0 run to regain a 14-11 advantage and never relinquished the lead. TCU got as close as two, 24-22, when Vaughn and Hampton teamed up on to block a Cougar attack, but BYU stymied the rally with a kill by Lindsy Hartsock. The Cougars eventually won the set, 30-26, to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Frogs opened up a 10-3 lead in game four thanks to kills from Vaughn and Smith. Not to be denied, the Cougars mounted a rally, but TCU was able to weather the storm. With the lead at four, 12-8, Smith ended the longest rally of the match with a loud kill to push the advantage to five.
BYU rallied again to pull within one, 15-14, but an Otto kill got the lead back to two and Hampton made it 19-15 with a solo block and a kill. The Cougars put together a 6-1 rally and Hartsock completed the comeback with her 10th kill of the match to tie the game at 20.
A battle to 30 ensued with the Frogs coming out on top. Smith was huge in the final 10 points for the Frogs as she came up with four kills. Vaughn pitched in with three kills of her own as the Frogs took game four, 30-27.
TCU jumped out to the early lead in game five as they had a commanding 9-4 lead, helped along by back-to-back aces by Vaughn. The Cougars would not be denied and Goodman put BYU on her back and carried them to the 15-10 victory. She picked up four kills in the final seven Cougar points as BYU claimed the 15-10 game five victory.
Otto and Vaughn finished with 12 kills in the match, while Allen pitched in with 11.
The Frogs return to action on Saturday night when they head north to Salt Lake City for a meeting with No. 16 Utah. The heartbreaking loss drops the Frogs record to 14-5 on the season and 3-3 in conference play.