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WVU Claims Comeback Win over TCU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 15, 2020) – Playing in its fifth straight five-set match, the West Virginia University volleyball team rallied to take a 3-2 win from TCU on Thursday evening, at the WVU Coliseum, in Morgantown.

The Mountaineers move to 4-3 on the season by winning in set scores of 25-18, 18-25, 18-25, 25-22 and 15-11 over the Horned Frogs (1-4). With the win, WVU improves to 5-4 against TCU at home, taking down the Horned Frogs at the WVU Coliseum for the first time since 2017.

“It was a good win for us, and I guess, they (the team) like playing five sets,” sixth-year coach Reed Sunahara said. “The second and third sets were bad for us. We couldn’t point score. Our defense wasn’t coming through. We weren’t digging balls. We weren’t transitioning. We weren’t scoring. It started at the service line. It changed a little bit in the fourth, and I thought we built some momentum heading into the fifth.

“TCU is a good team. I thought they played well, and it could have gone either way. We have to get some rest. They are doing recovery right now, and we will practice light tomorrow. It’s a quick turnaround, especially with an earlier start time. We have to be ready. That’s the competitive nature of it. Anytime you play sports, no matter what is thrown at you, you have to be ready.”

Junior outside hitter Natali Petrova collected her fifth straight double-double, notching a team-high 15 kills and 19 digs to go along with a pair of blocks. Petrova’s 19-dig performance matched her career high last set on Oct. 2.

Junior outside hitter Kristin Lux also had a solid outing down the stretch, tallying 13 kills, followed by redshirt senior middle blocker Audrey Adams with 10 swings. Adams finished the night with a .350 hitting efficiency and tied for the team lead in blocks, with five, to match her season high. Senior middle blocker Briana Lynch also had five block assists on the evening.

Junior setter Lacey Zerwas registered 38 assists, and senior libero Alexa Hasting had 18 digs.

West Virginia hit .183 with 48 assists on 56 kills. 

Hitting .256 with 14 kills in the first set, the Mountaineers took a 25-18 win over the Horned Frogs. WVU used a 5-0 scoring run to jump out to an 11-2 lead and never looked back. TCU burned its second timeout of the frame, but the Mountaineers continued to roll, as a late kill from Adams increased West Virginia’s lead to seven at 20-14. Petrova found the floor to make it 24-18 before a TCU attacking error handed the Mountaineers the first-set victory.

West Virginia dropped the second and third set, but prevailed in the fourth, tying the overall match score at 2-2 to force a fifth set.

The fifth set belonged to the Mountaineers, who out-hit the Horned Frogs .467 to .273 in the tiebreaker. An ace, followed by an unexpected kill, from sophomore defensive specialist Natalie Winter gave WVU an early two-point cushion at 7-5. Four late kills from Lux increased the Mountaineers’ lead to three at 13-10, but a TCU attack brought the Horned Frogs back within two. WVU capitalized on a TCU service error to reach set point, as sophomore middle blocker Emmy Ogogor and Adams teamed up for the block on the next ball to win the set, 15-11, walking away with the 3-2 victory.

The Mountaineers return to the court on Friday for another match against the Horned Frogs. First serve is set for 6 p.m. ET inside the WVU Coliseum. The contest will be carried live on Big 12 Now on ESPN+, with Jason White and Andrew Caridi on the call. For more information, or to sign up for the digital platform, visit WVUsports.com/Big12Now.

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