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Volleyball: TCU takes two wins at Texas A&M Invitational

The Horned Frogs improve to 4-4 overall after wins over Utah State and Texas A&M.


The TCU volleyball team turned in another successful weekend, finishing 2-1 over three matches during the Texas A&M Invitational in College Station. The Horned Frogs (4-4, 0-0 Big 12) conceded a tournament-opening loss against Northern Iowa on Thursday before bouncing back with wins over Utah State and Texas A&M on Friday and Saturday. TCU will return home for the Fight in the Fort next weekend, where the Horned Frogs will square off against three nonconference foes in Hawaii, Florida State and Western Carolina.

Thursday: Northern Iowa 3, TCU 2

Riley Buckley recorded a huge double-double with 36 assists and 21 digs as the Horned Frogs fell in five sets against the Panthers on Thursday. Northern Iowa controlled the first set with a 25-15 victory before TCU recovered with a series of clean sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-15 to surge ahead in the match. The Panthers fought back over the fourth and fifth sets, however, defeating the Horned Frogs 25-21 and 15-11 to clinch the match victory. Melanie Parra led the TCU offense with 15 kills, while Jalyn Gibson had 13 kills and Audrey Nalls followed with 10 kills. Cecily Bramschreiber recorded 15 digs on defense for the Horned Frogs, who struggled with service errors (10) and managed only two blocks in the loss.

Friday: TCU 3, Utah State 0

The TCU defense showed up in a big way against the Aggies, with middle blocker Sarah Sylvester totaling a career-high 13 blocks, which is the new school record for blocks in a three-set match. Riley Buckley continued to showcase her all-around abilities, finishing with 26 assists and 16 digs for another double-double outing. Melanie Parra led the offense with 19 kills to tie her season best in her first year at TCU. Jalyn Gibson and Cecily Bramschreiber each had 10 digs for the Horned Frogs, who claimed the opening set 25-15 before taking the second set 25-19 to command a 2-0 lead in the match. With Utah State leading 24-22 near the end of the third set, TCU rallied for a 5-1 run and won the set 27-25 after a kill from Parra and a service ace from Gibson. TCU had six aces and only three service errors while committing only one receive error and zero ball handling errors on 53 digs.

Saturday: TCU 3, Texas A&M 1

The Aggies entered with a 7-0 record on the season, but the Horned Frogs controlled the match from the start and handed Texas A&M its first loss of the year. The front-row defense shined once again, as middle blocker Brianna Green recorded a career-high 12 blocks to lead the Horned Frogs, who compiled 16.5 blocks as a unit. TCU took the first two sets 25-20 and 25-17 before the Aggies fought back in the third set, emerging with a 25-21 win to extend the match into a fourth set, where the Horned Frogs hung tough and closed out the victory with a 25-17 set win. Three TCU players recorded double-doubles including outside hitters Jalyn Gibson (13 kills and 11 digs) and Melanie Parra (16 kills and 11 digs), while Riley Buckley went 3-for-3 in double-doubles for the tournament, dishing out 37 assists with 10 digs. Audrey Nalls had eight kills and five blocks to supplement TCU in the win.

TCU’s offensive and defensive leaders have started to emerge as the Horned Frogs move closer to their Big 12 Conference opener. Riley Buckley has compiled 265 assists (8.83 assists per set), while both Melanie Parra (114) and Jalyn Gibson (103) are already over 100 kills for the season. Cecily Bramschreiber has been TCU’s strongest server, owning 10 aces with only 10 service errors while adding a team-best 98 digs on defense. Buckley’s 80 digs rank second-best on the Horned Frogs, with Gibson (75) and Parra (65) not lagging too far behind. Brianna Green and Sarah Sylvester are leading the TCU defensive wall, with Green recording 39 total blocks and Sylvester following with 36 total blocks over eight matches.