No. 13 beach volleyball starts 2018 season with two dominant victories


Sharon Ellman

TCU vs Houston Baptist Beach Volleyball in Fort Worth, Texas on February 24, 2018. (Photo/Sharon Ellman)

By Jonathan Abraham

N0. 13 TCU beach volleyball team opened the 2018 season Saturday by collecting a pair of 4-1 victories over Houston Baptist and Texas A&M Kingsville on the first day of the Horned Frog Challenge.

“It’s a great start for us,” coach Hector Gutierrez said. “The girls did a terrific job in the beginning, but we did have some of the mistakes that you have in the first tournament of the season, but I think overall, we are really happy with how we played.”

The Horned Frogs have won five straight matches and 12 of their last 13 dating back to the 2017 campaign.

In the first match of the day against the Huskies, the Frogs received a pair of three-set wins from the duo of Haven Hill and Cassie House (21-19, 17-21, 15-10) over HBU’s Aeriel Horton and Jessica Wooten, and the pair Hannah Rogers and Molly Scheel (20-17, 19-21, 15-13) over Bailey Banks and Katya Silveira.

Jordan Westendorff and Brooke Sassin won in two sets over Megan Carter and Kali Fluke (21-19, 21-11), while Jensyn Bledsoe and Avery Arellano pulled off a nail-biting victory over Danielle Wheeler and Brennnan Miller (21-17, 21-19).

In the victory over the Javelinas, the Hill/House combo moved to 2-0 with a win over Gabby Atchley and Whitney Walker (21-10, 21-14). Westendorff/Sassin defeated Madeline Sims and Kyra Henderson (21-16, 21-16) and Bledsoe/Arellano were victorious over Haley Hutchinson and Maelee Sowa (21-17, 21-13), improving their records to 2-0 as well.

The duo of Jaelyn Greene and Jillian Bergeson received their first win of the season by defeating Madison Brabham and Macy Berg (21-16, 21-10).

TCU will finish the Horned Frog Challenge Sunday when it hosts No. 11 Florida International Panthers at 11 a.m. and the ULM Warhawks at 1 p.m.

“It’s going to be hard for us on Sunday in our two matches,” Gutierrez said. “FIU is a good team and they are ranked. We will have to play our best to beat them.”