TCU volleyball benefits from off-season stint in Italy

Posted Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
A
More information

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Typically, the weeks leading up to the TCU volleyball team’s first game of the season involve knocking off the rust.

This year, the players hit two-a-days already united and physically prepared after spending 12 days playing across Italy this summer. They open their season Friday night at defending NCAA champion and No. 1-ranked Penn State.

“I think when we came into two-a-days we weren’t getting out the kinks,” sophomore Ashley Smith said.

Every four years teams can take an overseas trip to play international competition. As part of the trip, the teams can spend two weeks practicing.

A team enters the NCAA season with an extra three weeks of preparation.

In Italy, the Frogs played six matches against club and youth national teams. Along the way, Frogs players went sightseeing and learned firsthand about the history and culture.

“My favorite part was Rome,” senior Mattie Burleson said. “I’m a history minor, so I’m a big history buff. Rome was super fun. I learned a lot of stuff. Being on the original cobblestone was really cool.”

Players woke up at 7:30 a.m. every day, sometimes still adjusting to the time change, and prepared for several matches. At the end of the trip, TCU faced its toughest challenge in Italy’s top-ranked under 18 national team.

Coach Prentice Lewis, in her 13th season at the Frogs’ helm, said she was happy with her team’s performance and excited about the maturity that was developed.

“I think this group has made plenty of great, great decisions with what they want to do with this season, but there is execution that has to happen,” Lewis said.

The last time TCU traveled abroad, in 2009, the Horned Frogs reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Lewis said the trip doesn’t guarantee a great finish to the season, but it starts the season on the right foot.

“I’ve got to say out of all of my seasons I’ve been here, I feel like our chemistry is the greatest this year,” Burleson said. “I really feel confident in my team and what we are wanting to do as a TCU volleyball program.”

TCU volleyball

key dates

Friday at Penn State, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 5 vs. Grambling St., 12:30 p.m. and vs. Miami, 8 p.m. (home openers, TCU Nike Invitational)

Sept. 12 at Notre Dame, 7 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. (First Big 12 game)

Oct. 22 at Texas, 7 p.m.

Nov. 26 vs. Texas, 6:30 p.m.

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Portland131st Qtr 6:51 | Box
Charlotte8TV: CSN-NW, SPSO
Washington91st Qtr 7:40 | Box
Cleveland10TV: CSN-DC, FSN-OH
Golden State121st Qtr 7:15 | Box
Orlando6TV: CSN-BA, FSN-FL
Brooklyn161st Qtr 6:43 | Box
Philadelphia10TV: YES, CSN-PHI
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Atlanta TV: SN 360, SPSO
New York 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN, MSG, FSN-SW
LA Clippers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: FSN-PT, FSN-DET
Sacramento 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CSN-CA, ROOT-SW
Milwaukee 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-WI, FSN-N+
Utah 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: FSN-OK
Indiana 11/26 8:30 PM ET
San Antonio TV: FSN-IN, FSN-SW
Denver 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Phoenix TV: Altitude2, FSN-AZ
Memphis 11/26 10:30 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: NBA TV, SPSO, TWC SN
Full Scoreboard
Week 13Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Chicago 12:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Seattle 8:30 PM ET
San Francisco TV: NBC
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: FOX
NY Giants 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: FOX
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: CBS
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: CBS
Arizona 4:05 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
New England 4:25 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Denver 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: NBC
Monday
Miami 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, November 26Full Scoreboard
Washington01st Prd 12:31 | Box
NY Islanders1TV: CSN-DC+, MSG+
Winnipeg11st Prd 14:01 | Box
Buffalo0TV: SN1, MSG-BUF
Philadelphia 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: NBCSN, TCN, FSN-DET+
NY Rangers 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: MSG 2, SUN
Carolina 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Florida TV: FSN-CAR, FSN-FL
Toronto 11/26 7:30 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: TVA Sports, SN, ROOT-PIT
Los Angeles 11/26 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-W, FSN-N
Chicago 11/26 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, CSN-CH, Altitude
Calgary 11/26 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: SN-W, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard