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TCU Olympic Sports Update: Big XII Play Has Begun

Volleyball, golf, soccer and cross country got off to solid starts to begin the season in September, while several other sports were just about to start competition. Let's check back in on them and see how their seasons are going.

Yes, it is beautiful, but not so much as the TCU rec center after a win
Yes, it is beautiful, but not so much as the TCU rec center after a win
Warren Little/Getty Images

When we last left our beloved Olympic sports competitors the volleyball team was 8-1, soccer had gotten off to a solid 4-4 start and the golf and cross country teams had posted some exciting results to start their respective seasons.  Once again, as the nation is fully engulfed in college football, the NFL and playoff baseball (go Rangers!), we will take a walk on the wild side.  Venturing into the unknown, untamed and undercovered world of athletic competition in sports that don't benefit from having their own cable channels.  What undiscovered wonders await us on our journey?  Read on, if you are brave enough to find out.

VOLLEYBALL SHOWS METTLE IN BIG XII PLAY On Wednesday night TCU Volleyball defeated Oklahoma 3-2 at home.  This was the second game in a row in which TCU won a fifth-set tie breaker to claim a victory.  After two sets, TCU was up 2-0 before Oklahoma battled back to tie it 2-2.  In the tie breaker, TCU was down 12-9, but bolstered by an energized home crowd, they came back to win the fifth set 18-16, pushing their Big XII winning streak to three games.  With the win, our Lady Frogs improved to 3-2 in Big XII play and 13-4 overall. Early non-conference play basically just consisted of TCU destroying every opponent 3-0 while dropping a 0-3 decision against ranked San Diego and a 3-1 decision to, unfortunately, SMU.  Still, that left the team with a 10-2 record entering league play.

As well the volleyball team played leading up to Big XII play, they had the unfortunate draw of taking on #2 Texas  in their first league match on 9/23/15 and #15 Kansas in their second on 9/26/15.  They dropped both of those matches 0-3, but closed out September strong by going up to Morgantown and coming back with a 3-1 victory on 9/30/15.  At home against Kansas State last Saturday, the Frogs got off to a 2-0 advantage after two close sets.  After two more competitive sets, KSU fought back to tie it up at 2-2.  Showing toughness and resilience, the Lady Frogs handily won the fifth set 15-9. The volleyball team travels to Lubbock this weekend to take on Texas Tech on Saturday 10/10/15.

SOCCER RATTLES OFF FOUR GAME WIN STREAK WHICH ENDS IN MORGANTOWN While the volleyball team started a win streak in Morgantown, the soccer team saw theirs come to an end against WVU.  When the soccer team headed to Dallas on 9/18/15 to take on SMU they were 4-4.  That game against SMU kicked off a four game win streak that brought their record to 8-5 and 2-1 in Big XII play.  To start a four game win streak, TCU soccer beat SMU 2-0, then on 9/20/15 they took down UTSA 4-0.  On 9/25/15 they kicked off conference play with a 5-0 victory over Iowa State and they continued to steamroll the competition by beating Oklahoma State 3-0 on 9/27/15.

Yes, they finally took a loss in Morgantown on 10/2/15, but they won four straight games without ever allowing the other team to score a goal.  That's INSANITY!  During those four games they outscored their competition 14-0, so even if you count the loss last Friday they have scored 15 goals and allowed only one in the last five games.  That's what I love about soccer.  In football, if you win a game 5-0 you baaarely squeaked out a win.  In soccer, if you win 5-0 you annihilated them.  So yeah, you can't win 'em all, but when you're on a roll like these girls are you gonna feel pretty confident as they are also heading to Lubbock to take on the Lady Raiders on Friday 10/9/15.

TCU GOLF CONTINUES FALL PLAY The TCU men's and women's golf teams have both played two tournaments since we last checked in on them, with mixed results.  The men's team finished ninth in both the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate Tournament  (out of 16 teams) on 9/25/15-9/26/15 and the Nike Golf Collegiate Invitational (out of 15 teams) on 10/4/15-10/6/15.  The top finishers for the Frogs were Chelso Barrett (16th) and Paul Barjon (24th) in the Tucker and Giulio Castagnara (24th) and Chelso Barrett (28th) in the Nike. The next tournament for the men will be The Connecticut Cup on 10/12/15-10/13/15.

The women's golf team finished second out of 17 teams in the Golfweek Conference Challenge on 9/21/15-9/23/15 with Kelly McGovern placing 2nd overall and Brooke Graebe finishing 12th.  McGovern finished the tournament with a 1-under 215 strokes.  On 10/6/15-10/7/15 the women's team competed in the Edean Uhlanfeldt Invitational finishing 11th out of 13 teams.  Kelly McGovern again led the Frogs finishing 29th overall; she was tied for 29th with fellow Frog Sabina Pena. The women's team will resume play on 10/25/15-10/27/15 at the Alamo Invitational.

CROSS COUNTRY RAMBLES ON THROUGH THE HILLS OF AUSTIN The cross country team has had only one meet since mid-September, but it was one in which a strong showing is a matter of pride.  The Longhorn Invitational took place in Austin on 10/2/15 and the men finished seventh overall while the women's team finished fifth in the 5000-meter race. The standouts on the men's team were sophomore Dillon Smith, junior Ryan Spetnagel and sophomore Dylan Larkin.  All three of them competed in the 8,000 meter race and their finishes helped the team to its seventh place finish with sophomore Matt Brown and freshman Eric Vetere lost to injuries.  Two women, Bailey Sullivan (14th) and Nicole Hicks (18th) placed in the top 20 out of 64 competitors in the 5,000-meters. The team will hit the road again in San Antonio at the Incarnate Word Invite on 10/10/15.

TENNIS BEGINS FALL PLAY Both the men's and women's tennis teams began their seasons on 9/18/15 and have had success to this point in fall play.  The highlight so far for the men's team was probably Cameron Norrie, then the No.15 player in the nation, defeating Nicholas Alvarez of Duke (No. 7 nationally) to claim the singles crown in the Oracle/ITA Masters on 9/18/15 in Malibu California.  For a team that made the Final Four in last year's postseason, Norrie will lead the charge to get back to that level of success.  The women's team has also tasted victory as Seda Arantekin and Caroline Wegner picked up their first title of the fall, defeating Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas State and Wichita State players along the way.

SWIMMING AND DIVING SWEEPS IN HOME OPENER The swimming and diving team began their season on 9/26/15 by sweeping UT-Permian Basin.  The men won 116-81 and the women won 114-77.  In over half of the events, a Frog finished in first place, including both 200-yard IM events, the 100 and 200 yard freestyle events, the 100-yard butterfly, the 100-yard backstroke and both 500-yard freestyle events. After seeing the list of events we got first in I am shocked that we didn't win first place in all of them.  All in all it was a dominating win for the Frogs and they will carry that momentum into hosting Liberty and Incarnate Word in Fort Worth on 10/9/15.

TCU EQUESTRIAN SUCCEEDING AGAINST CHALLENGING EARLY SCHEDULE The #8 ranked TCU equestrian team started off the year on 9/24/15 against #9 SMU Mustangs in Bartonville, TX.  Bartonville is technically closer to Fort Worth than Dallas, but for some reason counts as an away game.  At the Sleepy P Ranch, the Frogs claimed a 3-2 victory against SMU.  After that, on 10/2/15, the team traveled to Blythewood S.C. to take on #2 ranked South Carolina.  The Frogs put together a strong effort, but they fell just short in an 11-8 defeat on the road.  On 10/8/15, TCU won 4-0 in a home contest in Springtown, TX (technically 5 miles closer to Fort Worth than Bartonville) against the #9 ranked New Mexico State Aggies. After facing three straight top 10 teams, the Frogs have come away with a 2-1 record for a great start to the season. On 10/23/15 they will take on the hated Baylor Bears in Springtown.

RIFLE TEAM BLOWING A HOLE THROUGH THE COMPETITION The TCU rifle team opened their season on 10/3/15 at Memphis and had a record breaking day, posting four of the top five scores to crush the competition in air rifle.  Sophomore Mindy Miles took home the individual title in that competition and Rachel Garner won first place in the smallbore competition.  TCU took home first place overall as a team.  In Oxford, against Ole Miss on 10/4/15, they won first place for the second day in a row. Mindy Miles again won first place in air rifle and was named a TCU Muscle Milk Athlete of the Week along with Montrel Wilson of the football team.  At both competitions the team posted a total score of 4,696. Rifle will resume competition this Sunday, 10/11/15 at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C.

Thanks to www.gofrogs.com for most of the stats and information in this article.