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?





Thursday, September 18Full Scoreboard
Texas 9/18 3:35 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-SW, CSN-CA, MLB Net
Toronto 9/18 7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees TV: SNET-1, YES
Boston 9/18 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: NESN, ROOT-PIT
Washington 9/18 7:10 PM ET
Miami TV: MASN, FSN-FL
Los Angeles 9/18 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: SNet LA, CSN-CHI, MLB N
Cleveland 9/18 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: STO, CSN-HOU
Milwaukee 9/18 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FSN-WI, FSN-MW, MLB Net
Arizona 9/18 8:40 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-AZ, ROOT-RM
Philadelphia 9/18 9:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-SD
Seattle 9/18 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-W
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, September 18Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 3Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Tampa Bay 8:25 PM ET
Atlanta TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
San Diego 1:00 PM ET
Buffalo TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Detroit TV: FOX
Indianapolis 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
New Orleans TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
NY Giants TV: CBS
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: FOX
Dallas 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Kansas City 4:25 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Denver 4:25 PM ET
Seattle TV: CBS
Pittsburgh 8:30 PM ET
Carolina TV: NBC
Monday
Chicago 8:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, September 18Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard