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Frog Feature: New TCU setter Riley Buckley steps into starting role

The sophomore transfer from Missouri is making an immediate impact for the Horned Frog volleyball team.


The TCU women’s volleyball team added several new players to the roster for the 2023 season. One of those newcomers is sophomore setter Riley Buckley, who’s already making an immediate impact for the Horned Frogs. Buckley earned the starting setter role and commanded the TCU offense during the Big Ten vs. Big 12 Challenge over the weekend, dishing out 33 assists against No. 7 Minnesota and 24 assists against No. 2 Wisconsin.

Buckley arrived in Fort Worth after spending her freshman season at Missouri, where she started at setter for all 28 matches and finished with 958 assists, which ranked third among all Power 5 freshmen. Buckley led the Tigers in assists as well as sets played and double-doubles, recording nine during her freshman campaign. She also totaled 40 or more assists 10 times and served a career-high 52 assists during Missouri’s match against Ole Miss on Oct. 22, 2022. The 6-foot-1 setter from Raleigh, North Carolina is the highest-ranked setter TCU has ever signed and has immediately filled the role vacated by graduate transfer Callie Williams, who was TCU’s starting setter last season under new head coach Jason Williams. Williams recorded 1,031 assists across 111 sets after transferring in from Baylor.

The Horned Frogs are reloading as they look to reach the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. Buckley is one of several new players on the TCU roster, which also features Texas transfer and Big Ten/Big 12 All-Tournament Team honoree Melanie Parra as well as Denver transfer Brianna Green. But if the weekend results are any indication, TCU’s offense will run through the sophomore setter Buckley, who was an all-around performer as a freshman, compiling 233 digs along with 104 kills and 46 blocks across 107 sets with the Tigers. Buckley will have multiple weapons to feed on the offensive end including Parra as well as All-Big 12 Preseason honoree Audrey Nalls and fifth-year senior hitter Julia Adams.

Buckley enjoyed a highly successful prep career at North Raleigh Christian Academy, receiving the Gatorade North Carolina Player of the Year honor twice and leading her team to four straight NCISSA Class 4A State Championship titles. After amassing over 1,800 assists as a prep athlete, Buckley will look to become the quarterback of the Horned Frog offense this season. The sophomore setter was efficient against both the Golden Gophers and the Badgers over the weekend, committing only four total errors while wrapping the weekend up with 57 assists, nine digs, five kills and two blocks. TCU went 17-11 and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, eliminating Washington before falling against Wisconsin in Madison. Buckley and the Horned Frogs will look to score their first win of the 2023 season at the Coastal Carolina Tournament this coming weekend.