86° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Season preview: TCU beach volleyball looks to have another great season

Look ahead to the Spring 2024 beach volleyball season beginning this weekend with head coach Hector Gutierrez.
TCU+beach+volleyballs+Purple+Team+in+the+2024+pre-season+scrimmage.
Courtesy of TCU beach volleyball
TCU beach volleyball’s Purple Team in the 2024 pre-season scrimmage.

Embracing New Talent and Transition

Looking ahead to the 2024 beach volleyball season that begins February 23, head coach Hector Gutierrez is optimistic about a team seasoned with a mix of players and a promising class of freshmen.

“We have a new class of freshmen that are doing really well,” Gutierrez said. “The team has effectively guided them in learning the ropes and adapting to the culture, instilling confidence in their progress.”

 

Navigating the absence of veteran athletes

This focus on nurturing the next generation of talent bodes well for a seamless transition, as Gutierrez said. Additionally, the team must transition from past success, including winning the CCSA conference champions in 2023 and multiple NCAA appearances. They’re entering a new era, with new players taking the spotlight.

Still, he acknowledges the challenge to face this season with three veteran athletes: Daniela Alvarez, Maria Gonzalez and Tania Moreno – opting for a gap year to pursue Olympic qualification. The absence of these top performers will require strategic reorganization and the emergence of new leaders on the sand. According to Gutierrez, losing Alvarez, Gonzalez, and Moreno not only eliminated high-caliber athletes from the roster but also caused the team to miss personalities. One of the biggest obstacles will be finding a new identity for the team without these athletes, said Gutierrez.

Gutierrez is confident about the team’s potential, particularly highlighting the pairing of Hailey Hamlett and Anhelina Khmil. In November, they clinched the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Pairs National Champions title. Division 1 schools send a single pair to compete in this high-level tournament. The duo, seeded No. 3, claimed the championship undefeated.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by TCU Beach Volleyball (@tcubeachvb)

Upcoming season and early challenges

A notable highlight of the upcoming season is the matchup against USC at Florida Atlantic University on March 15-16. This clash will give TCU a chance to test their skills against a powerhouse program.

Moreover, the team’s first tournament is at Houston Christian University (HCU). Over the course of two days, the Horned Frogs will face HCU, LSU, the University of Washington, and the University of Central Arkansas as part of the Third Coast College Classic. This early tournament will provide the team an opportunity to gauge its strengths, address areas of improvement, and set the tone for the season ahead.

Gutierrez reassured, “We’re still learning, of course, but I have no doubt that the team will find a way.”

More to Discover