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Beach Volleyball: TCU finishes 3-1 in Center of Effort Challenge

TCU’s unbeaten streak comes to an end at 29; Bruins hand Frogs first loss of the season

Photo Courtesy TCU Athletics

It had to happen eventually, but it still stings to report that TCU Beach Volleyball’s longest-ever winning streak finally concluded last weekend in California at the hands of the #3 UCLA Bruins. 29 matches in a row; the Frogs made it to the final tournament of the regular season unscathed. A bump in the road, but TCU bounced back in one of their toughest weekends of the season to finish the Center of Effort tournament 3-1 and 31-1 on the season.

Day 1:

TCU kicked off the weekend against tournament host Cal Poly, where the Frogs’ routine of dominance was apparent once again and they downed their opponent 4-1 after winning 9 of the 11 sets. Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno were untouchable once again as they won in straight sets 21-14, 21-13. Additionally, Rochelle Scott and Hailey Brockett extended their perfect pairing, winning in straight sets and extending their record setting streak to 21 straight match wins.

After knocking off the Mustangs, TCU was up against top-3 ranked UCLA and for the first time all season, the Frogs met their match. Still, the matchups were tight across the board and both schools fought in extended games and sets, grappling for position. After dropping the first match of the day, TCU bounced back and tied it up after another straight-set win. Then, the seemingly impenetrable Scott and Brockett pairing fell by slim margins in straight sets. Daniela Alvarez and Tania Moreno grittily evened the score in a thrilling three-set match. At 2-2 with one matchup remaining, TCU simply couldn’t hang on in a back-and-forth, three-set match that clinched UCLA’s victory after dropping the third set 10-15.

It was the first loss of the season, and while you hate to see any loss it stings to have the first loss come in the second to last tournament day in the regular season; just ahead of the postseason run. Still, TCU is well equipped to establish dominance in the postseason, and we’re hoping if they get another shot at UCLA, the team is able to earn their retribution.

Day 2:

There was simply no time to grieve the end of the longest winning streak in program history, as TCU was matched up against two more highly-ranked opponents in #19 Pepperdine and #4 Florida State. Facing Pepperdine for the second time in as many months, TCU was back to the winning ways, earning their sole sweep of an opponent on the weekend and their 23rd of the season. Once again Alvarez and Moreno were especially dominant as they won in straight sets by 8 and 9 points respectively.

To wrap up the weekend and the regular season, TCU faced off against the #4 Seminoles, and were in the sandy trenches again with back and forth matches. Unlike their head-to-head with UCLA, the Frogs found a way to grit their way to a win, 3-2. Alvarez and Moreno secured their unbeaten weekend with a win in straight sets that secured the second point for TCU. The Frogs were up 2-0, but TCU couldn’t hold on in the next two matches and in a repeat of the prior day, it was down to the final matchup. Sutton MacTavish and Hailey Hamlett scrambled through the closest scoring match of the weekend, needing 22 points to win. The third and final set was not wrapped up in 15 points, as MacTavish and Hamlett clung to every rally and finally closed out the season with a win after securing the 2-point margin, 22-20.

Up Next:

With the regular season wrapped up, TCU will have two weeks to prepare for the CCSA championships in Alabama before the NCAA tournament starts the first weekend of May. We’ll take a look at the brackets as they are announced and cover what could be a historic postseason run for a program-defining TCU Beach Volleyball team.