Gold and Blue Nation

WVU volleyball downs TCU in four on Senior Night

Gold and Blue Nation

The West Virginia University volleyball team earned its fourth straight win with a 3-1 victory over Big 12 foe TCU on Friday evening, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown.

The Mountaineers move to 5-3 on the season by winning in set scores of 28-26, 11-25, 26-24 and 25-20 over the Horned Frogs (1-5). The last time the Mountaineers won five or more conference matches was in 2017. With the win, WVU earns a season sweep over TCU for the first time in program history and improves to 6-4 over the Horned Frogs at home.

Following the match, the Mountaineers honored their 2020 senior class: defensive specialists Alexa Hasting and Lindsay Proctor and middle blockers Audrey Adams and Briana Lynch.

“We have a tight-knit group, and they care about each other,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “They didn’t want to see the seniors leave tonight without a victory, so they pulled through. After the second set, I told them that we don’t want to do this to our seniors. They came alive and did a nice job.”

Lynch ended her Senior Night with a team-best eight total blocks, matching her career high last set on Oct. 10, 2019. The Mountaineers’ lone selection on the 2020 Preseason All-Big 12 Team also tallied eight kills with just one error on 19 total attacks for a .368 hitting efficiency.

Adams added a season-high seven block assists to the scoresheet, followed by junior setter Lacey Zerwas with six, who also matched her career high last set on Sept. 14, 2018. The Mountaineers finished the night with 16 total team blocks, good for a season best.

Junior outside hitter Natali Petrova paved the way for WVU offensively, totaling 13 kills and 18 digs for her fifth straight double-double performance. Classmate Kristin Lux also chipped in 12 swings to round out the Mountaineers in double digits.

Zerwas dished out 38 of the team’s 43 assists, while Hasting recorded 18 digs in the match. Additionally, Proctor served up WVU’s lone service ace of the evening.

West Virginia capped the night hitting .137, registering 47 kills on 168 total attempts. Julia Adams had 18 kills to lead TCU, who hit .182 with 65 kills on 181 attacks.

Trailing 17-11 in set one, the Mountaineers used a pair of 3-0 scoring streaks to pull within one at 18-17. Back-to-back errors from the Horned Frogs tied the set at 19-19, but TCU scored three of the next four points to maintain the lead. West Virginia called a timeout, down 22-20, with Lynch finding the floor out of the stoppage to cut WVU’s deficit to one once again. However, a pair of kills from TCU’s Afedo Manyang brought the Horned Frogs to set point at 24-22.

The Mountaineers did not back down though, as sophomore middle blocker Emmy Ogogor and Adams teamed up for the block to extend the set. Petrova followed up with a kill on the next ball, tying the set at 24-all. Both squads continued to exchange points, but a pair of kills from Petrova helped the Mountaineers reach set point for the first time at 27-26. A Mountaineer block sealed the deal on the next serve, as Lynch and Zerwas teamed up for the stop to take the 1-0 match lead.

The Mountaineers bounced back in set three after dropping the second set, 25-11. Both teams traded 3-0 scoring runs late in the third, as the Horned Frogs cut their deficit to one at 22-21. Petrova placed one through the pins on the next ball, increasing the Mountaineers’ lead to two, but TCU recorded a trio of kills down the stretch to tie the frame at 24-all. West Virginia called a timeout to regroup, capitalizing on a TCU attacking error to reach set point for the second time. Adams and Zerwas used their hands on the next play to team up for the Mountaineer block, winning the third set, 26-24, and taking a 2-1 match advantage.

With the fourth set tied at 15-15, West Virginia took advantage of two TCU attacking errors for the lead and never looked back. Back-to-back kills from Lux gave WVU the three-point edge late in the set, forcing TCU to take a timeout, but two more miscues out of the stoppage put the Mountaineers at match point. A TCU kill extended the set at 24-20, but Lux’s hot hands continued, as she laid down her 12th kill of the night for the 25-20 fourth-set victory and 3-1 triumph in the match.

Looking ahead, West Virginia will take the week off before heading to Waco, Texas, for a pair of matches at Baylor on Oct. 29-30.

For more information on the Mountaineers, visit WVUsports.com and follow WVUVolleyball on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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