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Volleyball: TCU battles top-ranked teams during Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge

The Horned Frogs tipped off the 2023 season with losses against No. 7 Minnesota and No. 2 Wisconsin.


The TCU women’s volleyball team tipped off the 2023 season with two tough matchups against ranked opponents during the Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge in Minneapolis over the weekend. Looking to build off an NCAA Tournament appearance under new head coach Jason Williams last season, TCU faced No. 7 Minnesota on Friday before concluding the challenge against No. 2 Wisconsin on Saturday. The Horned Frogs fell in both contests, falling to the Golden Gophers 3-1 and conceding a 3-0 sweep against the Badgers. TCU (0-2) will travel for the Coastal Carolina Tournament from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2.

TCU 1, No. 7 Minnesota 3

The Horned Frogs started strong against the Golden Gophers, clinching the first set despite playing without All-Big 12 Preseason hitter Audrey Nalls. TCU received impressive showings from Missouri transfer Riley Buckley (33 assists) as well as Denver transfer Bri Green, who totaled two kills and three blocks in the match. Newcomer Melanie Parra, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, compiled 13 kills along with four aces and four blocks. Outside hitter Jalyn Gibson recorded her first career double-double with 13 kills and 11 digs.

TCU took the first set 25-20, but Minnesota adjusted and fired right back with dominant second-set and third-set victories over the Horned Frogs, who conceded the sets by scores of 16-25 and 15-25. TCU nearly extended the match with an excellent effort during the fourth set, where the Horned Frogs battled but fell a few points short in a 23-25 defeat. TCU held an 8-3 lead early in the fourth set before the Golden Gophers fought back with an 8-1 to retake control of the set. TCU worked its way into an 18-15 advantage before five straight points from Minnesota enabled the Golden Gophers to clinch the fourth-set victory. Julia Adams finished with eight kills and five digs, while Cecily Bramschreiber anchored the defense with a team-high 18 digs and Taylor Raiola contributed 12 digs in the match.

TCU 0, No. 2 Wisconsin 3

In a rematch from the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, Wisconsin showcased its talents as one of the strongest programs in the country with a clean three-set sweep over the Horned Frogs. The Badgers took control in each set, breaking off an 8-3 run to start the first set and a 9-3 run to open the second set. TCU came within two points of the Badgers late in the third set, but the Horned Frogs were unable to avoid the sweep. Riley Buckley commanded the offense with 24 assists, while Jalyn Gibson and Taylor Raiola combined for 14 digs on defense. Melanie Parra fired a team-leading eight kills, with Gibson and Julia Adams each adding seven kills. TCU was once again without All-Big 12 Preseason honoree Audrey Nalls for the matchup against high-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday. The Horned Frogs conceded the three-set loss by set scores of 16-25, 19-25 and 21-25.