DALLAS – Sam Houston State jumped on TCU early, taking the first set before the Horned Frogs rallied to capture three consecutive, downing the Bearkats 3-1 (25-21, 16-25, 19-25, 20-25) in the squad’s final match prior to Southland Conference play.
Jordyn Vaughn and Taylor Cunningham led the Kats (3-9) with 14 kills and 10 kills respectively while Jaclyn Ward contributed 36 assists and Addison Miller added 12 digs. TCU (8-3) received a strong effort from Ashleigh Martin who accounted for 19 kills in the win.
Sam Houston posted a .393 attack percentage in the first set and used some key offensive output down the stretch hold off the Horned Frogs including a kill from Caroline Sheaff to push the Kats’ advantage to 22-19 and force a TCU timeout.
After being held to a .091 attack percentage in the opening set, TCU rebounded in the second. The squad jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never trailed the remainder of the frame. Sam Houston was able to bring the set within three, scoring six of seven points to make it 18-15. After a TCU timeout, the Horned Frogs rolled off seven of the final eight points to take the second set, 25-16 ad even up the match.
The squads went back and forth in the third set, a frame that included four tied scores and a pair of lead changes. A Brooke White kill put Sam Houston within one at 7-6 but the Horned Frogs scored four of the next five to take an 11-7 lead as the Kats called timeout.
Despite that, Sam Houston managed to post another comeback, scoring five of six points capped by a White service ace to bring the set within three at 19-16. After keeping deficit at three on a Cunningham kill at 22-19, TCU put home the final three points for the set win.
Fast starts from the Horned Frogs continued to plague the Bearkats in the fourth. Consecutive kills from Martin provided TCU an 8-3 edge. Sam Houston hung close, keeping the deficit at two on a Cunningham kill at 11-9 but the Frogs managed six of seven points to push the advantage to 17-10.
After pulling within three at 18-15, Sam Houston could draw no closer in an eventual 25-20 loss. The Bearkats will return to action next Saturday in the league opener at Abilene Christian. First serve is slated for 12 p.m. Sam Houston is back home one week from Tuesday against Nicholls at 6:30 p.m.