Frogs fall to Utes at MWC Tournament
Nov. 22, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The fifth-seeded Utah Utes cooled off the TCU Horned Frogs with a 3-0 quarterfinal sweep Thursday evening at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas. The Utes started strong and the Frogs could never recover, falling 15-30, 28-30, 23-30. The loss ends one of the most successful seasons in school history as the Frogs finished with an overall mark of 22-12 on the season.
TCU got a team-high 14 kills from LeMeita Smith, as she was one of only three Frogs with healthy hitting numbers. Smith posted a .375 hitting efficiency and was joined by Kourtney Edwards' .333 and Christy Hudson's .375. Nirelle Hampton assisted on 28 of TCU's 34 assists and also dropped in two aces to move her within one of tying TCU's career record held by Anna Vaughn.
On the defensive end, Calli Corley led TCU in digs with 16 and Devon Kirk blocked seven Ute attacks. It was all Utah in game one as the Frogs struggled to find a rhythm. The Frogs had just seven kills to 10 errors as they hit -.120 in the set. Utah was on fire, hitting a .444 with 15 kills and four aces.
TCU's best chance to get back in the match was a late rally in game two after it had fallen behind 26-19. A kill from Christy Hudson spurred a 7-0 run by the Frogs as they evened the match at 26. Loren Barry served up and ace and three of the next four Frog points came on Ute hitting errors. A block by Kirk and Hudson knotted the game.
But a Ute timeout would kill the Frog momentum as they closed out the set on 5-2 run to take the commanding 2-0 match lead. The Frog block kept them in the set as they totaled eight alone in the set, but it was enough as Utah still managed 20 kills.
Out of the intermission, game three played out much the same way. The Frogs couldn't find an answer for the Ute hitters. They put together a better hitting performance, hitting .222 in the set, but it wouldn't be enough as they fell 30-23.
TCU was the fourth seed in the tournament, its highest-ever seed since joining the Mountain West. The 22 victories is the second-most in school history.