FORT WORTH, Texas — Confidence and momentum are at an all-time high for the TCU beach volleyball team as it enters the 2018 season.
“We are excited and ready to compete,” TCU beach coach Hector Gutierrez said. “I think we are getting tired of just practicing. Our preseason is very long and everyone is looking forward to starting. They have been working really hard, and I’m excited and looking forward to it.”
The Frogs closed out the 2017 season ranked in the AVCA Top 15 first the first time in school history (13th); tied a school record with wins (18); and they won 10 of their last 11 matches. In the final month of the season, the Frogs posted three wins of their five wins over top 15 programs.
“That is huge for the confidence of our players,” Gutierrez said. “We know we can compete with the best, and that’s what they are looking forward to. Having the good season last year is pushing us to keep going. With the confidence they have, they are getting on the court with a different mentality.”
In addition, the Frogs, who were in the conversation to earn their first-ever bid to the NCAA Championships last year, received an invitation to play in the CCSA beginning in the 2019 season.
“Getting into a conference is another great opportunity for us to compete, and I think the CCSA is one of the strongest conferences in the country. There are a lot of good teams in it,” Gutierrez said. “It’s something the girls need to experience.”
Fans will get their first look at the Frogs this Saturday at noon at the annual Purple & White scrimmage at the TCU Beach Courts. The Frogs will then host home meets on the following two weekends in the Horned Frog Challenge on Feb. 24-25 (FIU, ULM, Houston Baptist, Texas A&M-Kingsville) and the Fight in the Fort on March 3-4 (Cal Poly, Arizona State, Tulane).
“Playing at home and winning will give us a huge advantage for when we are on the road,” Gutierrez said. “We are trying to get a tougher schedule each year because we need to know what it’s like to compete with the best in the country and to get better. That’s what we are hoping for — to get better each time we compete.”
The 2018 Frogs return four players who recorded 10 wins for more in 2017 led by Jaelyn Greene (21), followed by Jillian Bergeson (16, 35 career), Claire Doyle (12) and Haven Hill (10). Also returning are Molly Scheel (28 career wins), Olivia Canales (15 career wins) despite missing almost all of last season, and Jordan Terral (10 career victories).