By David F.P. [Modest Image Gallery]
STORRS, CT- The opening match of the UConn Toyota Volleyball Classic would bring the Horned Frogs of Texas Christian University into opposition with the University of New Hampshire Wildcats and TCU would get on a roll quickly starting off on a 7-1 scoring run thanks to a quick point a TCU2 spike, another kill just in bounds, a Irene Hester attack through the Wildcat block, another kill, a Megan Munce put over, and a Irene Hester kill as well. UNH managed just one spike kill during this time, and they called a time out.
When play resumed TCU spiked two shots out of bounds to get New Hampshire two more points, but Kristen Hester’s block, a UNH antenna error, a Irene Hester Ace, and another Frog attack that went unreturned put TCU up 11-3. The Wildcats would pick up another kill, but TCU scored two quick points of a UNH error, and a Hannah Fort and Hudson tandem block. UNH slammed the ball through the purple and white blockers, but Kristen Hester returned fire with a smash and the score was 14-5.
UNH continued to battle despite the hole they were in, but the end result would be a 25-11 set win for TCU. The Horned Frogs obtained the rest of their points off a kill from Sloane Sunstrum following good a good dig by Irene Hester and despite a good defensive save by Sara Heldman,TCU2 had a quick hit over Sunstrum hammered an attack in, two UNH attack errors, Kristen Hester had a solo block, Irene Hester whapped the ball off the defenders to the floor, Kristen Hester and Christy Hudson combined on a block, the Frogs benefited from a UNH miscue, Irene Hester picked up a service ace, and Kristen Hester closed it out with a kill. UNH had scored off Kate Uitti tipping the ball over as she turned, a block, a TCU attack error, another block TCU was unable to return, a TCU net violation, and a four contact error on the Horned Frogs. TCU 1, UNH 0
When Set 2 began it was all Horned Frogs at they picked up five straight points off a TCU2 attack, a TCU2 and Munce shared block, another TCU2 kill, Meghan Horio’s service ace, and Sunstrum’s block. A serve into the net ended the run with a point for UNH, but the Wildcats served out of bounds, though TCU would commit an attack error of their own soon after. Irene Hester unleashed a rocket in for a point, but Amy Keding responded with a kill of her own to bring the score to 7-3.
Unlike in the first set however, UNH was able to catch up. After a Kristen Hester tap over for a point, Taylor Dressing responded with two kills in a row, Kristen Hester and Hudson’s block followed by Kristen Hester and Sunstrum’s block as well extended the lead again, but a serve into the net, and two Lindsay Fogarty kills put the score at 10-8.
While TCU still had the lead, UNH was in hot pursuit. Sunstrum thrashed a kill through the block attempt, though following a good dig by Munce it would be Uitti who tapped a ball over for a point, TCU responded with a point, but Justine Elliott’s spike was unreturnable in three hits, and Lauren Laquerre tapped over an errant TCU pass that had sailed over the net. TCU picked up a point on a UNH mishit, but a serve out of bounds followed, putting the score at 13-12. The Wildcats served out of bounds as well, but Dressing tapped over an attack and the TCU defense did not get to it. The lead was still down to one, though TCU extended it again, only to have Fogarty smash it home. This was followed by five straight New Hampshire points thanks to Fogarty and Uitti’s block, two failed TCU attacks, a block from Dressing, Fogarty, and Uitti, and an ace served up by Jayde Huxtable. TCU understandably called a time out with the score now 15-19.
When play resumed UNH served out of bounds, but got right back to scoring afterward with a Uitti tap to a gap in the purple and white defense. Fogarty then found a second gap to send an attack into on the next play. The blue and white would serve into the net to turn a point over to TCU, but Laquerre launched a shot off the net and off the defense out of bounds to regain the advantage. Fort and Munce each responded with kills to cut the lead to 19-22 and prompt a Wildcats time out.
Laquerre emerged from the time out with a skill, and then a cross court shot just in bounds to put her team within 1. Munce put over a ball to keep her team alive, but UNH closed the door on the set one rally after. 20-25. TCU 1, UNH 1.
As Set 3 began TCU started fast as well pulling out to a 13-7 lead though UNH had initially kept up with them. Horned Frog points came from a TCU2 kill, a block, a UNH attack out of bounds, another TCU2 kill, another TCU2 smash, a miscue by UNH, and later two Wildcat further miscues on the serve and attack. Irene Hester then put over the ball into a gap. (UNH had called their first time out at the 9-5 mark), though TCU picked up another point on a Wildcats miscue, and Kristen Hester’s kill, another UNH error, and a Kylie Pont block accounted for the 13 points. UNH scoring came from a pair of TCU serves out of bounds, a missed set, and a Fogarty put over following a good dig by Heldman. Keding also came up with a kill, a TCU serve into the net, and another kill had the ‘cats at 7.
TCU kept rolling however to an 18-10 lead and another UNH time out. A TCU attack error gave a point to TCU, but Kristen Hester came up with a blast, and TCU2 and Pont shared a block, Laquerre momentarily broke the scoring run with a blast off the block, but turned over a point on a missed set out of bounds, Laquerre then thundered a kill over, but TCU2 and Munce each picked up kills in rapid succession.
The Frogs served into the net following the time out, but TCU2 quickly grabbed a point with a tip to where the defense wasn’t. UNH responded with a tandem block, but Irene Hester kept up the pace with her own kill, though a Texas Christian serve out of bounds turned another point to UNH and this started a TCU run consisting of a Uitti put over, a Laquerre kill, Fogarty block, an interruption by Irene Hester scoring a point, but then Uitti used a fake set and instead knocked it over. The score was now 21-17.
TCU picked up points off a UNH serve out of bounds, Sunstrum and TCU2 also shared a block. Following a good save by Huxtable they Wildcats picked up a point as well, but TCU2 responded with a kill blasted by the defense. UNH staved off a loss with Keding’s kill, but TCU2’s block ended the set 25-19. TCU 2, UNH 1.
Set 4 would not be as auspicious for the Wildcats, as Texas Christian pulled out to a 19-4 lead and eventually at 25-8 set and match win.
TCU’s points came from a TCU2 kill, two UNH attack errors, a massive Sunstrum kill, a two hit contact error on UNH, another kill, a big time Irene Hester block, a Irene Hester kill, another kill the defense was unable to return, a kill just in bounds, a service Ace, a Irene Hester blast off the blockers and out of bounds, a UNH antenna contact, a Katelyn Blackwood service ace, Kristen Hester’s big smash, Irene Hester’s smash off the block to the arena floor, Irene Hester’s tap over, Pont’s smash off the block, Irene Hester’s block, and a smash by her later following a dig by Sarah Joeckel, a missed attack by UNH, a Kristen Hester ace, two UNH spikes out of bounds, and an attack error by UNH to end it.
The Wildcats picked up their points, off a kill, a TCU net violation, another kill, a TCU attack error, a Dressing big kill, a TCU serve out of bounds, an attack out of bounds, and a block.
TCU 3, UNH 1