Behind 32 kills and 12
service aces as a team, TCU volleyball came out of the gate swinging, sweeping
the High Point Panthers 3-0 in their season opener on Friday night.
“I think tonight was a great start for our squad,” head coach Jill Kramer said. “Had a lot of young players on the court … they handled the environment well.”
The game was the Horned
Frogs’ first of three this weekend as part of the annual Cowtown Classic
tournament, which is hosted by TCU.
Entering the season with the No. 6-ranked recruiting class (PrepVolleyball.com), it’s no surprise that TCU saw huge impact from their first-year students from the get-go.
First-year outside hitter Audrey Nalls showed signs of being a force on offense with a game-high 10 kills (tied). In the middle, first-year Afedo Manyang was all over the board with six kills, four service aces and three blocks.
“[In] the first few points
and first half of the game, I was a little nervous,” Manyang said. “But I slowly eased in and stuck to what I
After the transfer of 2018 All-Big 12 second team setter Tori Dilfer to Louisville, the setter position was a big question mark for TCU heading into the season. Two newcomers, McKenzie Nichols and irem Uçar, saw action in the season opener, and they left Frog fans with no doubt that TCU will not struggle at the setter position this season.
“They both [Nichols and Uçar] did great,” Kramer said. “I really think we’ve seen what we’ve seen out of them in practice, and that was kind of good.”
Uçar finished with 14 assists in the game, while Nichols produced 11 of her own.
The game was back and forth for two sets. Anytime TCU would extend their lead to even a few points, HPU would respond with a run of their own to keep the Horned Frogs on their toes.
TCU ended up winning the
first two sets 25-22 and 25-23, respectively.
The third set was a different
story though, as the Horned Frogs had found their groove. Two-straight aces by defensive specialist
Dani Dennison put TCU up 10-5, and they never looked back.
The Frogs won the third set 25-14 to complete the 3-0 sweep of the Panthers. This is the fifth-straight season for TCU to win their season opener.
“I think our chemistry
was really good [in] this game,” Manyang said.
“We’re all growing and can learn more.”
TCU will face Lipscomb (0-2 in the Cowtown Classic) at 2 p.m. in the Rickel.
“Every match is important,
equally important,” Kramer. “Every match
sets you up for postseason, one way or another.”