Special to The Flash Today
STEPHENVILLE – The No. 13 seems to carry a lot of meaning around Tarleton Volleyball lately.
The TexAnns are sitting at a record-best No. 13 spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association national poll and just won their 13th consecutive match, topping the previous best of 12 set in 1991, with a sweep of Texas A&M-Commerce (21-25, 25-11, 25-21, 25-17) Saturday afternoon.
After dropping the opening set of the afternoon, Tarleton stormed back with a vengeance in the second set.
Things are all squared up at 9-9 over the opening 18 points before Hailey Roberts landed a kill shot to start a 9-0 TexAnn run. Adrianna Knutson served up the big TexAnn surge and capped it off with a service ace to put Tarleton on top 18-9. After Commerce pulled within 20-11, Tarleton scored five straight to close things out and even the match.
Commerce took a lead over the opening 21 points of the third game before a Hannah McManus kill shot evened things up at 11-11 and started a 12-5 Tarleton run to put the TexAnns up 22-16. Despite Commerce tacking on five more, Tarleton got the final three points it needed to close out the set with a clinching kill from Amber Strange.
Tarleton came out swinging in the fourth set as Knutson served up four straight points to open the game and put the TexAnns out in front 4-0 early.
Commerce pulled within one at 7-6 but the TexAnns continued to answer, this time with an 11-4 surge that was started by a block from McManus and Chandler Gow and capped off with a block from Strange and Roberts to put Tarleton up 18-10. The teams traded the next 14 points as Darthuy landed back-to-back kill shots to clinch the match for Tarleton.
Led by a 42-assist effort from Jordyn Keamo, Tarleton had three players with double-figure kills. Roberts led the way with 14 while Darthuy added 11 and Strange added 10. The TexAnns hit .259 as a team while holding the Lions to a .099 hitting clip. Roberts went for a double-double as she added 10 digs for the day.
The defensive duo of Michaela Rodriguez (19) and Knutson (17) combined for 36 digs in the effort while McManus and Strange had five blocks each.
Tarleton will wrap up a four-match homestand Tuesday night at 7 p.m. with an AVCA Top-25 showdown against LSC rival Angelo State in Wisdom Gym.