By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 21, 2015) — The Lone Star Conference Championship final between the top two teams in the South Central Region rankings and the top two finishers in the LSC regular season race was no disappointment Saturday afternoon, when Angelo State (30-5) won the final two sets take down Tarleton State (27-6) in a five-set classic at Wisdom Gym.
Angelo State controlled the fourth set and dominated the fifth to hand LSC regular-season champ Tarleton its only home loss of the season, 26-28, 26-24, 13-25, 25-21, 15-8. ASU won its seventh LSC tournament crown in its 13th appearance in the final.
Tournament MVP Maggie Jo Kefury doubled up with 55 assists and 15 digs to lead ASU, which should host the South Central Region Championship as the Rambelles were No. 1 and Tarleton No. 2 in the regional rankings entering the tournament.
Kefury quarterbacked a balanced attack, setting up Blauser for 19 kills, Sotello for 15 and Lynn for 10 in the 12th straight ASU win. Sotello doubled up with 15 digs, one of four Rambelles to crack double digits in that category. Morgan Seaton and … Lee Seaton were also strong with seven and six kills, respectively, while Morgan tallied nine blocks and Taylor four.
Tarleton, which had its eight match win streak stopped, was trying to defend its only LSC postseason championship, won when the TexAnns reached the final for the first time last season. ASU and West Texas A&M remain the only teams ever to win back-to-back LSC titles.
National kills leader and Hailey Roberts was dominant, but the TexAnns were not the same after star setter Chandler Gow suffered a left ankle injury with ASU leading 22-18 in the fourth set. Gow was unable to leave the court without assistance, was heavily taped and did not return.
Roberts, named LSC Offensive Player of the Year, earlier this week, appeared for much of the match to be tracking a potential triple-double, something never achieved in Tarleton volleyball history. The sophomore finished with 26 kills, 12 digs, 7 aces and 5 blocks. She scored a match-high 35 points.
Xzache Mathis had 11 kills for Tarleton, Kelsey Raglin made nine with 17 digs, and Meg Umbel totaled seven kills and nine blocks, eight of her blocks coming in the opining two sets. It was the first time Tarleton had been pushed to five sets at home, where the TexAnns finish 13-1 for the season.
Gow racked up 42 assists in the first four sets and also had nine digs, five kills and four total blocks. She joined Roberts on the all-tournament team, along with Ayssa Digs, who led all players with 22 digs in the final.
ASU receives an automatic bid to the regional phase NCAA Division II Championship. Tarleton will still receive an at-large bid to the regional, where the TexAnns won a playoff for the first time last season.