As the TCU volleyball team enters the final stretch of its regular season, it was graced with a rare full week of practice between its last matchup, a 3-0 loss to West Virginia, and a home date with Iowa State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Coach Prentice Lewis has used the time off to get the team back to the basics, and she said it has her players in a great place going into the final three games of the season.
“It’s been nice to have that full week, because you have a couple of days that you can work on straight-up fundamentals, so that’s a lot of stuff we’ve done the past few days,” she said.
These final games are critical to the Horned Frogs’ chances at postseason play. The Big 12 does not have a conference tournament because it features a home-and-home, round-robin style conference season.
The Horned Frogs (15-13, 3-10 Big 12) sit No. 79 in the NCAA Ratings Power Index, but Lewis said she believes wins over No. 21 Iowa State, No. 60 Kansas State and No. 220 Texas Tech would give her team a great chance to move into the top 64 and earn an NCAA Tournament berth. Two wins would also give the Horned Frogs a decent chance, she said.
The matches against Iowa State and Kansas State are home matches for the Frogs.
TCU dropped its previous match to Iowa State 3-0 in Ames, but Lewis said she hopes senior Yvonne Igodan can put up another performance as she did in the first bout.
She recorded four blocks for the Frogs after being moved into the middle for a good portion of the match.
“Yvonne played in the middle and did a great job and blocked a lot of balls, moved really well. She’s in the middle for us in several rotations now, so that’s of benefit to us,” Lewis said.
Strong play from Igodan combined with quality passing will allow TCU to play at the high level Iowa State brings every game and could lead to a much more desirable outcome for TCU, Lewis said.
TCU sophomore and NECA All-American Erin Gillette advanced to the second round of the AQHA Horsemanship Challenge on Wednesday after beating West Texas A&M’s Julia Roberts by tiebreaker.
Gillette was selected to participate in the event, held in Oklahoma City, as one of eight riders from the National Collegiate Equestrian Association.
Roberts was a member of the 2013 IHSA National Champion high-point western team with West Texas A&M.
Gillette would later fall in the second round to Ohio State’s Austin Griffith 141.5-141.
TCU equestrian (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) returns to action for a home match against No. 4 Georgia at 11 a.m. Saturday.