The TCU Horned Frogs, one of only 3 NCAA beach volleyball programs in the state of Texas, have started to make some headway in their 3rd campaign as a program. After losing to #6 Long Beach State last weekend, the Horned Frogs won two straight against ranked opponents. The beat #15 Cal Poly 3-2 on Thursday, and then on Saturday morning at the Zuma Classic picked off #10 Arizona State by the same score.
While the Horned Frogs would fall later in the day to #2 Pepperdine 5-0, they’ve made a case for a spot in the top 15 in next week’s AVCA coaches’ poll. TCU is now 2-3 in games against ranked opponents this season, with 2 of the 3 losses being to top 6 teams. They also have a 4-1 win earlier in the year over Loyola Marymount, who like TCU received some votes in the last poll, to hang their hats on.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” TCU beach coach Hector Gutierrez said. “All of them are playing well and understanding what it takes and believing in the process. We’re happy. It was a great week for us.”
Pepperdine, meanwhile, continued to remain hot after being named the VolleyMob Team of the Week last week. The Wave had a trio of 5-0 sweeps on Saturday, including over the aforementioned TCU and #10 Arizona State.
#1 USC kept their perfect season in-tact with wins over #7 Arizona and #5 Hawaii, making 41 consecutive victories for the Trojans – in spite of playing the toughest schedule in the country so far. The Trojans still have some uncertainty at the 3 line, though; Terese Cannon and Nicolette Martin went 2-1 on the day, and both wins took them 3 sets to polish off.
With their victories, the Trojans won the Outrigger Invitational by beating Nebraska, Utah, #7 Arizona, #4 Florida St. and #5 Hawaii. They also had a non-tournament 3-2 win over Florida St. on Thursday in Honolulu as well. USC, in spite of the questions, has separated themselves as the clear favorite to defend as champions.
Up the coast, the #14 Cal Golden Bears won their home opener to remain perfect at 7-0 this season. Their schedule toughens up into the end of March, though, with a three-game run against Long Beach State, UCLA, and USC.
Cal’s #5’s Teya Neff and Bridget Gustafson have won all 14 sets they’ve played this season, which extends their school-record streak. Cal hasn’t lost at the 4 or 5 line this season.
Out east, Florida International steadied their ship with 3 wins against unranked opponents. The Panthers had lost 4 in a row heading into the Tiger Beach Challenge in Baton Rouge on Saturday.
FIU took the opportunity to test a new #1 pair of Katie HOgan and Dorina Klinger. While the result wasn’t convincing in their first outing, which took them 3 sets to beat Spring Hill’s Madi Sauzeneau/Julie Vujnovich, they settled in to a pair of sweeps later in the day.
FIU will put their new momentum to the test on Saturday when they play CCSA conference opponents #8 LSU and ARV Tulane to close out their weekend.
At the Stetson Beach Invitational, #8 Georgia State beat #12 Stetson 3-2 in the morning match between two teams with high expectations for the season, but who stumbled early. That should be enough to knock Stetson out of next week’s rankings.
Georgia State stumbled against Florida Atlantic later in the day, however.
|Winning Team||Losing Team||Score||Winning Team Recap||Losing Team Recap|
|#1 USC||#7 Arizona||4-1||Link||Link|
|#1 USC||#5 Hawaii||4-1||Link||Link|
|#1 USC||#4 Florida St.||4-1||Link||Link|
|#2 Pepperdine||#10 Arizona State||5-0||Link||Link|
|#2 Pepperdine||Cal State LA||5-0||Link||Link|
|#3 UCLA||#13 Grand Canyon||5-0||Link||Link|
|#3 UCLA||St. Mary’s||5-0||Link||Link|
|#4 Florida St.||Nebraska||4-1||Link||Linik|
|#5 Hawaii||#7 Arizona||3-2||Link||Link|
|#8 LSU||#10 South Carolina||4-1||Link||Link|
|#8 Georgia State||#12 Stetson||3-2||Link||Link|
|FAU||#8 Georgia State||3-2||Link||Link|
|#10 South Carolina||Tulane||4-1||Link||Link|
|#10 Arizona State||Cal State Los Angeles||5-0||Link||Link|
|TCU||#10 Arizona State||3-2||Link||Linik|
|#12 Stetson||New Mexico||4-1||Link||Link|
|#13 Grand Canyon||Portland||5-0||Link||Link|
|#13 Grand Canyon||San Jose St.||4-1||Link||Link|
|#14 Cal||Sacramento St.||4-1||Link||Link|
|TCU||Cal State LA||5-0||Link||Link|
|Loyola Marymount||CSU Bakersfield||5-0||Link||Link|
|North Florida||Spring Hill||4-1||Link||Link|
|New Mexico||Lincoln Memorial||5-0||Link||Link|
|New Mexico||Jacksonville St.||5-0||Link||Link|
|Jacksonville St.||Morehead State||4-1||Link||Link|
|Lincoln Memorial||Morehead State||5-0||Link||Link|