FORT WORTH, Texas (8/27/16) – The Arkansas State volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit, but dropped a 3-2 (14-25, 24-26, 25-22, 25-19, 14-16) match to Texas Christian University Saturday night at the University Recreation Center in Fort Worth, Texas in the Red Wolves’ final match of the TCU Invitational.
A-State (2-1) fell behind by two sets early, but was the first to 10 in set three and held a 15-11 lead after a TCU (2-0) attack error at the media timeout. The Horned Frogs went on a 7-3 run to tie the score at 18-18, but A-State responded to take a 21-19 edge after a block by Kenzie Fields. TCU got within 23-22, but a kill by Drew Jones and block by Carlisa May and Kelsey Reis clinched a 25-22 set win and got the Red Wolves on the board 2-1.
The Red Wolves raced out to a 14-9 advantage in game four after a May kill, but the home team got within two points at 18-16 on a block. A-State extended its lead to 21-16 after a 3-0 run, but TCU fought back to get within 21-18. However, A-State scored four of the final five points and claimed a 25-19 set victory on a kill from May to force the decisive fifth set.
Arkansas State raced out to an 8-4 edge in the fifth game on two consecutive kills by Jones, but TCU went on a 5-1 run to even the score at 9-9. A-State went ahead on the next point, but wouldn’t be able to regain the lead again later in the match. The Horned Frogs earned match point at 14-13, but a kill by Anna Murphy knotted things up at 14-14 with a kill. However, Texas Christian scored back-to-back points on kills by Anna Walsh and Sarita Mikals to win the set 16-14 and match 3-2.
“It’s so tough to lose in five sets, but 2-1 at this tournament is not a bad showing by any stretch,” A-State head volleyball coach David Rehr said. “I felt like we had two great opportunities to win sets two and five and we just didn’t get the job done. Credit to them though, they are a good team with great players, but we are too. We went into the weekend with Brentlee Weaver as our starter on the right side and she wasn’t able to play in any of the matches so that hurt us some.”
Jones led the team with 20 kills, tying a career high set Oct. 24, 2014 against Appalachian State, while May put down 18 kills of her own. Jones also registered her first double-double of the season with 10 digs, while Mallory Warrington tallied her second double-double in three games with 53 assists and 15 digs. Reis recorded 11 kills and had two blocks, while Markie Schaedig (22), Jessica Heuertz (14), and Lindsay Cline (11) all had double-digit digs.
TCU, who is also receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll like A-State, was led by Mikals’ 16 kills, while Ashley Smith led the home team with 19 digs. Mikals also registered eight blocks as the Horned Frogs had 14 blocks to A-State’s four during the match. TCU outhit the Red Wolves .230 to .192.
The first set was all TCU as they jumped out to a 10-5 lead. A-State got within four at 12-8, but not any closer as the home team won set one 25-14. TCU led set two 15-12 at the media timeout, but A-State tied it at 17-17 and eventually took the edge at 24-23 on a May kill. However, the Horned Frogs registered three straight blocks to win 26-24 and earn the 2-0 match advantage.
“We saw a lot of good things though this weekend and also know we have plenty of things to work on as well,” Rehr continued. “It never feels good to lose, but it can be part of the process early in the season to determine what adjustments need to be made. I was proud of how Drew and Carlisa stepped up in this match against TCU. They played really well and we needed them to after that first set.”
Jones and May were named to the all-tournament squad for the event. Jones led the team with 44 kills (4.00 per set) and had 20 digs along with two service aces to tie for the team lead over the three matches. May recorded 43 kills (3.91 per set) on a solid .277 hitting percentage to go along with nine digs and four blocks to earn the recognition.
Arkansas State returns to action next weekend at the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic in St. Louis, Mo. The Red Wolves will face tournament host Saint Louis Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The team will then face Cal Poly (10 a.m.) and Western Kentucky (4:30 p.m.) on Saturday, Sept. 3 to conclude the event.Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@stAteVolleyball) and Instagram (astatevolleyball) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.