– After cruising to a quick opening set victory, the Arizona (4-3) volleyball dropped the next three sets to fall, 3-1 (25-9, 24-26, 20-25, 13-25), to visiting TCU (7-1) in the nightcap of the Arizona Invitational on Friday night.
Arizona came out spirited in the opening set by going on a 7-2 run to begin the match. The Cats never trailed at any point in the set and cruised to their most lopsided set victory so far this season, 25-9. UA hit an impressive .406 in the frame, while limiting TCU to -.027 hitting. The Wildcats also out-blocked TCU, 5-0. It was the fewest points Arizona has allowed in a set since September 2, 2011 when it also allowed just nine points against Presbyterian.
The second set opened up much like the first set as Arizona jumped out to a 10-4 advantage. However, TCU reeled off six straight points to tie the score 10-10. After the Wildcats jumped back in front 12-11, the Horned Frogs went on a 7-0 run to take a sizeable six-point advantage. With TCU still in front by six at 20-14, Arizona won the next five points to pull within one. After both teams traded the next few points, Arizona turned a 21-20 deficit into a 22-21 advantage. After a kill by Halli Amaro (Los Alamitos, Calif.) gave the Cats set point at 24-23, TCU ran off the next three points to take the wild set, 26-24, which provided a big swing in momentum. The Horned Frogs limited the Wildcats to just .098 hitting in the set, while also out-blocking UA 6-3.
Following the intermission, both teams played back and forth for much of the third set. Then, with the score tied 13-13, TCU ran off five straight points to go in front 18-13. The Wildcats were able to pull within three at 21-18, but that was as close as they would get. TCU went on to take the set 25-20. The Horned Frogs hit .220 in the set and limited the Wildcats to .122 hitting.
The Horned Frogs kept their foot on the pedal in the fourth set. After Arizona jumped out to a 1-0 lead, TCU won the next two points and never trailed again in the set. The Horned Frogs hit .214 and kept the Arizona offense at bay by winning the match clinching set 25-13.
Arizona sophomore Shaquillah Torres (Riverside, Calif.) was a bright spot as she finished with a team-high and career-high 12 kills, while also adding three blocks. Madi Kingdon (Phoenix, Ariz.) was the only other Wildcat with double-figure kills as she totaled 11 on the night. Setter Chanel Brown (Tempe, Ariz.) recorded her third double-double of the season as she dished out 34 assists to go along with 11 digs. Candace Nicholson (Long Beach, Calif.) finished with a match-high 19 digs. Meanwhile, Rachel Rhoades (San Diego, Calif.) had a career-high eight blocks in addition to six kills on the night.
TCU was led by Yvonne Igodan with 14 kills and five blocks. Sloane Sunstrum, Megan Hunce, Alexia Heist and Meghan Horio each recorded double-figure digs to lead the TCU defense.
The Wildcats will face Lipscomb in the tournament finale tomorrow at 12 p.m.
For continued coverage of Arizona Wildcat volleyball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and be sure to follow the team on Twitter @ArizonaVBall.