This season will be the first in the Jason Williams era of TCU volleyball as the Frogs look to bounce back from a disappointing season a year ago. Williams has already taken steps to get the program back on the right track with a strong offseason bringing in a solid crop of high schoolers as well as transfers.
TCU parted ways with Coach Jill Kramer this offseason and brought in Jason Williams from his previous position at Baylor as Associate Head Coach. Williams has coached in Texas at both the collegiate and high school levels and is an alumni of Plano East High School in DFW. His connections to the junior levels of Texas volleyball should help recruiting of both players as well as assistant coaches if positions need to be filled in the future. There was turnover in the assistant coaches this offseason as Williams brought in Morgan Thomas as an assistant coach and Recruiting Coordinator, former Frog volleyball player Lauren Otto Rao as the Volleyball Director of Operations, Preslie Anderson as a volunteer assistant coach, and Imran Niazi as a graduate assistant. Thomas has coached at Texas Tech, Pitt, and Texas A&M Corpus Christi while Anderson is a former Baylor volleyball middle blocker.
The new coaching staff will have a lot of returning talent to work with next season as the roster is filled with experienced players. The Frogs will get back their 2021 leading offensive threat in outside hitter Julia Adams. The senior was named to the preseason All Big 12 second team after a very strong 2021 season where she totaled 285 kills and averaged over 3 kills per set. Adams as well as the rest of the top 5 leaders in kills for the Frogs will be back for the 2022 season with Taylor Raiola, Mykayla Myers, Afedo Manyang, and Audrey Nalls all returning. Leading setter McKenzie Nichols will also be back to quarterback the offense in her senior season after a strong 924 assist campaign in 2021. Nichols was also second on the team last year in service aces with 16 and will be counted on to help replace some of the production lost with the graduation of Dani Dennison who led the team in aces as well as digs in 2021. Cecily Bramschreiber was second, behind Dennison, with 212 digs last season and is in a position to take a step forward in her sophomore season. TCU returns a ton of production from 2021 which will help with the transition to a new coaching staff and a more successful 2022 season.
Williams and his staff had a very strong offseason recruiting bringing in 4 transfers and 4 true freshmen. Through the transfer portal, the Frogs secured commitments from Fort Worth native and former UNT setter Ashlyn Bourland, former Texas A&M defensive specialist Sabrina Sustala, former Georgia outside hitter Lyric Stewart, and Williams’ daughter and former Baylor and Tennessee setter Callie Williams. Bourland redshirted her only year at UNT and will have all 4 years of eligibility left. Sustala averaged 1.73 digs per set over 3 years in College Station while Stewart will come in with 3 years of eligibility after her freshman year where she appeared in 29 sets for Georgia. Williams had a strong two years at Tennessee and was third on the team in assists in the 2021 season for Baylor. The incoming freshman class should be very strong as well with two top 100 ranked recruits by prepvolleyball.com. Jalyn Gibson, an outside hitter from San Antonio, Texas, was ranked the number 68 recruit in her class while Sarah Silvester, a middle blocker from Livonia, Michigan, was ranked the number 66 recruit in her class. Joining them in the class is a former 2nd team all district defensive specialist from Austin, Texas, Riley Weigelt, and a former 1st team all conference defensive specialist from Aurora, Colorado, Gabrielle Mass. A strong freshmen class and a solid crop of transfers joining a very solid returning roster should propel the Frogs to a solid 2022 season.
The Frogs will open the season at home against the defending champion Wisconsin Badgers on Friday, August 26th. This along with another tough home matchup against number 5 ranked Minnesota the very next day are a part of the 2022 Big 12/Big 10 challenge. Both games are scheduled to start at 7 pm and with classes back in session at TCU should have exciting environments in the Scholly. The following Friday, Coastal Carolina visits Fort Worth for another night game against the Frogs. A double header follows on Saturday with games against Memphis and Texas A&M at 11 am and 6 pm respectively. The Frogs will then take their first road trip of the regular season as they travel to Raleigh, North Carolina for games against Western Carolina, Indiana, and the host, North Carolina State. The Frogs close their non conference schedule with three straight home games. Alabama is first on Friday, September 16th at 7 pm followed by games against Abilene Christian and Texas State on Saturday at 11 am and 6 pm.
The Big 12 returned to the home and home style of schedule this season for volleyball giving Frog fans an opportunity to see a game against each Big 12 team in Fort Worth. Conference games will be played on Wednesdays and Saturdays (for the most part) instead of the Friday Saturday series format of past seasons. The Frogs open their conference slate with a road trip to Waco to face 16th ranked Baylor. Home games against two unranked teams in Iowa State and West Virginia follow. Next, TCU will travel to UT to play the Longhorns in Austin before a home game against Texas Tech. Two games in the state of Kansas follow with road matchups against preseason top 25 Kansas and unranked Kansas State. The Frogs will then have a two game homestand against Oklahoma and Kansas visiting Fort Worth. A trip up to Ames precedes a big home game against the Longhorns before a game against the Red Raiders in Lubbock. A rivalry night game at home against the Baylor Bears will take place on Saturday, November 12th. The conference schedule ends with three games at West Virginia, at home against Kansas State, and at Oklahoma.
The Frogs had a tough season in 2021 but returned almost all of their top performers from a year ago and made some big time hires in the offseason in the coaching staff. A solid class of incoming freshmen and transfers should help to boost the Frogs to a bounce back season in 2022.
AVCA Coaches Poll used for rankings.