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TCU Olympic Sports Update: Mid-Season Report

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A couple TCU teams are off to some hot starts as conference play gets underway.

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Volleyball

Jill Kramer and her Horned Frogs volleyball team came into the season with lofty expectations after upsetting national runner-up Texas 3-0 in Fort Worth during Big 12 play and making the NCAA Tournament. The team was picked to finish 4th in the conference by Big 12 coaches and senior Ashley Smith was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team.

TCU opened the season with four straight wins, including victories at home against NC State and over Duke at Cameron Indoor. The Horned Frogs then dropped two consecutive 3-0 matches on the road to North Carolina (ranked #12 at the time) and Creighton. They got back on track with wins over Chattanooga and Sam Houston State before dropping a home match to SMU. TCU closed out its non-conference schedule with an impressive 3-2 win at home in a rematch with now #8 North Carolina.

The Horned Frogs opened Big 12 play last week in Fort Worth with a 3-0 win over Texas Tech and followed that up with a 3-2 win at Iowa State on ESPNU. The Cyclones were picked to finish 3rd in the preseason Big 12 poll, one spot ahead of the Frogs. TCU lost 3-2 yesterday to Kramer’s former team, West Virginia, dropping them to 2-1 in conference play, good for 3rd place still, and 9-4 overall.

Soccer

In Eric Bell’s fifth season at the helm of TCU soccer, the Horned Frogs have gotten off to their best start in school history. The team blazed through their non-conference schedule undefeated, going 8-0-1. They opened the season with five consecutive wins, outscoring opponents 18-2 in those five games. These games were highlighted by wins at Maryland and at home against Illinois. The winning streak ended with a home draw against Washington State on 9/9/16, but they followed that with wins over Oral Roberts and Austin Peay.

TCU traveled to Oklahoma last Friday, where they dropped their conference opener on a converted PK in the first half by the Sooners. The team then returned home to round out their non-conference slate against SMU. The Horned Frogs managed to find a 1-0 win in 2OT on a header by junior Allison Ganter with 1:36 left in the match.

Considering this team was finished to pick 8th in the preseason Big 12 coaches poll, this team has shattered their expectations. The Frogs are currently 43rd in RPI and with a strong showing in conference games and the Big 12 tournament, they could wind up in the NCAA Tournament. TCU will face Kansas tomorrow at home at 7 looking for their first conference win of the year.

Equestrian

TCU Equestrian, fresh off their finish as runners-up at the NCEA National Championship, has entered their new campaign with some high expectations. They were ranked #3 in the nation to start the year behind defending national champ Auburn and Georgia. They opened up their season on 9/16/16 with a 10-9 win in an exhibition over Texas Tech. The Horned Frogs were dominant, bringing home all four MOP honors for the day. Freshmen Jamie Cook and Carly Lombard, as well as juniors Julia Finn and Mady Fithian, brought home the honors.

On 9/23/16, TCU dropped their first official match with #7 SMU 9-8, despite bringing home 3 MOP honors. Junior Carley Barnett and seniors Rylee Morgan and Brooke Boyle brought home the honors against the Mustangs. The Horned Frogs will now have some time off until 10/21/16, when they travel to California to face #9 Fresno State.

Cross Country

Both TCU men’s and women’s cross country teams have competed in three events thus far this season. Both teams opened their seasons at the Bear Twilight Invitational in Waco on 9/1/16. The event was delayed by lightning and did not keep a team score but the TCU teams were led by junior Matthew Brown, who finished 23rd on the men’s side with a time of 12:51.8, and sophomore Anna Cozart, who finished 12th in the women’s race with a time of 14:30.9.

The next event for both teams was the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton on 9/17/16. The men finished 6th overall as a team, led once again by Brown, who finished 22nd overall. The women were able to finish 2nd as a team, which according to GoFrogs.com, is their best team finish at a meet since the 2012 season. They were led by Cozart once again who finished 8th overall. Freshmen Lindsay Tomaini and Kirsten Johnston also both finished in the top 12 overall.

The most recent event for the Frogs was the Texas A&M Invitational. The men’s team finished 13th, led by junior Henry Butz, who finished 87th overall. The women’s team fared much better, finishing 6th as a team. They were led by Johnston who finished 20th overall. Next up, TCU will travel to Fayetteville this coming Saturday to compete in the Chile Pepper Festival.

Swimming and Diving

TCU’s swimming and diving teams officially opened up their seasons on 9/24/16 at home against Texas-Permian Basin. The men’s team came away with a 119-78 victory and the women were victorious 121-76. The women’s team was led by freshmen, as Nicqueline Rettberg won the 100 and 200-yard freestyles, Hannah Burt won the 200 IM and 500 free, Claire Munster won the 50 free, and Elise Forzley won the 100 fly. The men’s team also had a couple victorious freshmen, as Migs Martin won the 200 IM and 100 fly and Radu Duican won the 100 back. The next match will be for the men’s team against SMU on 10/19/16 in Mansfield.

Golf

The men’s golf team opened up their season in Pebble Beach, participating in the Carmel Cup in a loaded 8-team field. The Frogs were in 2nd place after the first day, but fell to 7th on day two, which is where they finished on the third and final day. TCU finished a -3 for the weekend and was led by senior Chelso Barrett, who finished the tournament at -7. TCU then traveled to San Francisco to compete in the USF Olympic Invitational. The Frogs finished 3rd out of 14 teams, shooting a +16 in the tournament. The highlight of the tournament was sophomore Italian Stefano Mazzoli getting his first career win by shooting a -3 to take home the individual crown. The team’s next tournament will be the Nike Collegiate Invitational here in Fort Worth from 10/2/16-10/4/16.

TCU’s women’s golf team opened up their 2016-2017 campaign at the Minnesota Invitational in Minneapolis. The Frogs finished 5th, 13 strokes behind co-champions Furman and Purdue. The team was led by sophomore Brooke Graebe who finished the tournament at +4. They then traveled to Vail, Colorado this past weekend to compete in the Golfweek Conference Challenge. TCU finished 11th out of 18, but it was close in the middle of the pack, as they were only eight strokes out of a tie for 4th place. The Frogs were once again led by Graebe, who finished the tournament at +3. TCU’s next tournament will be the Jim West Challenge on 10/9/16 and 10/10/16 in The Woodlands.