Volleyball: Team bids farewell to seniors with home match against Rams

The volleyball team has an emotional hurdle to conquer before heading into next week’s conference tournament.As the team welcomes Colorado State to the University Recreation Center on Thursday for its season finale, it will honor its three seniors in their final home game as Horned Frogs.

Head coach Prentice Lewis said she will miss her departing seniors – Calli Corley, LeMeita Smith and Loren Barry.

“For me, I love all my kids, so it’s hard losing any of them,” Lewis said. “But you get another group of new kids you have to take care of, so the pain goes away quicker than if you didn’t get any new kids to work with.”

Corley said the match Thursday will be emotional.

“I’m very thankful to those who are coming here and the people who come and support us,” she said.

Even with tonight’s match being so emotional, the team welcomes one of the conference’s best, Colorado State. The Rams, ranked No. 17 in the nation and tied for first in the conference standings with University of Nevada, Las Vegas, rank atop the conference in hitting percentage, assists, kills and blocks.

The match could also help decide seeding position for next week’s conference tournament. At 8-7 in conference, the Horned Frogs have a half-game lead in the standings, and the team could be seeded anywhere between No. 4 and No. 6 in its first-round matchup. Possible first-round matchups for the Horned Frogs include Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and the University of New Mexico.

The Horned Frogs, who set a team record for most digs in a season last weekend at No. 25 UNLV, rely on defense to keep games close. Sophomore defensive specialist Katelyn Blackwood said the team has worked on its defense all year, which has helped propel them to 21 wins, good for second most in TCU history.

“We’ve been working on touching every ball, and we work on defense a lot in practice,” Blackwood said. “That’s how we get by in games.