ST. GEORGE, UT – For the first time since 1978, the Tarleton Volleyball program has an all-time winning record.
Tarleton handled Adams State in straight sets and Arkansas-Fort Smith in five to bring the all-time program record to the winning side. With the two wins, the all-time record of the program improves to 668-667. The last 268 of those victories have come under the coaching tenure of Mary Schindler.
Match 1: No. 18 Tarleton 3, Adams State 0
In the first match of the final day of the tournament, Tarleton dominated from the get-go and swept Adams State.
Tarleton came out firing and jumped out to a 15-9 lead before Adams State called its first timeout of the set. Out of the break, Tarleton continued to pour it on with four more points on a Blanca Izquierdo service ace, a Lauren Kersey kill, and two Adams errors. Tarleton scored five of the next nine before three straight kills from Amber Strange (2) and Tatyana Tuialii-Umi capped of the opening set.
The points continued to pile up as Tarleton jumped out to another 10-point lead in the second set, building a 22-12 advantage over the first 34 points. After a 4-2 pride run for Adams, Tarleton put the set away with a kill from Adriana Darthuy.
In the final set, Tarleton opened up with a 12-9 advantage and then won a see-saw battle 13-11 the rest of the way to earn the win. Kersey capped off the match with a kill shot.
Tarleton hit .341 as a team, led by 11 kills and a .524 hit percentage from Darthuy. Izquierdo (21) and Kayla Brannon (14) combined for 35 assists while Michaela Rodriguez (13) and Adrianna Knutson (11) combined for 24 digs.
Match 2: No. 18 Tarleton 3, Arkansas-Fort Smith 2
In the tournament finale, Tarleton survived its second five-set scare in as many days by staving off a rally from Arkansas-Fort Smith.
After leading the whole way and winning the opener 25-19, the Lions jumped out to a 15-11 lead in the second set before a block from Hannah McManus and Lauren Kersey started a run of four straight points for Tarleton to even things up at 15-15. After a point from UAFS, Kersey landed back-to-back kills to give Tarleton a 17-16 lead.
Tarleton scored eight of the final 14 points of the set, which was capped by a kill from Darthuy, to take the second set 25-22.
UAFS answered back with wins in the third and fourth sets to force a winner-take-all fifth.
The Lions led over the first 16 points at 9-7 but Amber Strange sparked the go-ahead rally with a kill and a combo block with Sofia Tonga – with a service ace from Brannon in between – to give Tarleton a 10-9 lead.
The teams traded points to a 12-12 tie but Tarleton pulled away with back-to-back points from McManus and Kersey before Darthuy put the match away two points later with a kill.
Darthuy and Kersey led the way with 16 kills each while McManus had seven kills and seven blocks for the match. Izquierdo paced the offense with 32 assists while Brannon added 22 off the bench. Knutson led the defense with 20 digs while Rodriguez added 19 and Darthuy had 18 to give her a double-double for the match.
Tarleton will be back home next weekend to begin Lone Star Conference action with a 6 p.m. match against Texas Woman’s Friday night in Wisdom Gym.