TCU Volleyball will be returning to action for their 2023 season on Aug. 25 in Minneapolis against Minnesota after an exhibition game against SMU in Dallas on Aug. 19. Following a 2022 season that saw the Frogs make it to the round of 32 in the NCAA tournament, second-year head coach Jason Williams appears poised to lead TCU to an even deeper run in the postseason through a combination of solid returning production and a talented batch of newcomers.
TCU will face a large challenge in the second game of the season when they face off against the Wisconsin Badgers who are projected to be a major national championship contender once again. The Badgers eliminated the Frogs from the NCAA Tournament last season but TCU will have an opportunity to secure a tone-setting win and to get revenge for last season in the Big 12/Big 10 challenge.
TCU will also face off against Georgia in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Aug. 31 to kick off the next tournament of the nonconference slate. Texas A&M will host the following tournament which presents another SEC foe for the Frogs in the nonconference schedule. The last pre-conference tournament will take place in Fort Worth for the Fight in the Fort. Frog fans will have a chance to see TCU face off against Florida State, Hawaii, and Western Carolina in the tournament.
The conference schedule for the Frogs features three teams that finished in the top 25 of the final 2022 AVCA rankings. The Frogs will face the first of those teams in the defending national champion Texas Longhorns in Fort Worth on October 18th in the Scholly. Texas is a perennial powerhouse in volleyball and this game represents an opportunity for the Frogs to get a defining win in front of the home crowd that could springboard the program to new heights.
TCU will only play Texas once next season as part of the new scheduling format to accommodate the additions to the Big 12. The next team on the schedule that was ranked at the end of last season is one of those newcomers, the UCF Knights. The Frogs will play two away games against the Knights on back-to-back days, Oct. 26 and 27, in Orlando. TCU also drew the short end of the stick with two away games against Baylor, who was ranked 15th at the end of the 2022 season. The games in Waco will also take place on back-to-back days on November 10th and 11th.
The Frogs are led this season by star outside hitter Audrey Nalls. The unanimous preseason All-Big 12 selection had an outstanding 2022, racking up 424 kills and 470.5 points, averaging 3.85 kills per set. Nalls was selected to the AVCA All-Southwest Region Team and to the first team All-Big 12 in 2022. Nalls led the Big 12 in kills, with 266, kills per set, with 4.39, and points, with 239, during conference play. The Frogs enter 2023 with the luxury of having an absolute stud holding down an outside hitter position to build the team around.
TCU will return their second-place finisher in kills as well as kills per set in outside hitter Julia Adams. Adams finished a very solid 2022 season with 329 kills, averaging 3.05 kills per set, second on the team only behind Nalls. The fifth-year player from Plano brings continuity and experience at outside hitter opposite Nalls.
Zoe Hall provides some returning versatility for the Frogs as she has spent time at both outside hitter and middle blocker during her time at TCU. Hall was fourth on the team in kills in 2022 with 162 and second on the team in blocks with 74. Hall saw increased action as the season went on in 2022 as she earned a starting spot in the Frogs’ last 17 matches. Wherever Hall ends up playing in 2023, she projects to be a major contributor for the Frogs.
With the departure of 2022 first-team All-Big 12 selection Callie Williams due to graduation, TCU was in need of a setter heading into this season. Coach Williams did an excellent job filling that need through the transfer portal with the signing of Riley Buckley from the University of Missouri. Buckley was a very highly-ranked player coming out of high school and had a very good freshman year for the Tigers in 2022. She racked up 233 digs, 104 kills, and 958 assists her freshman year and should be an immediate contributor at setter for TCU.
The Frogs bolstered their middle blocker position through the transfer portal this offseason as well with the signing of Brianna Green from Denver. Green was selected to the All-Summit League First Team in 2022 with 157 blocks, good for 1.41 blocks per set. Green also provides value for the Frogs in the service game as she tallied 30 service aces in 2022. The Dallas native will be an immediate contributor for Jason Williams and the Frogs.
After an NCAA Tournament bid and win in the round of 64 over Washington, the Frogs look ready to make the next jump into contention for a Big 12 title as well as on the national stage. The Frogs were picked to finish 4th in the Big 12 preseason poll as Nalls, Hall, and Adams provide solid experience and continuity at the outside hitter position while Buckley should take over the setter position well, getting better with more time at the collegiate level. The addition of Brianna Green adds even more experience to what was already a veteran team looking to catapult themselves into the national spotlight of collegiate volleyball.