Offensive onslaught leads No. 19 Tarleton past MSU Texas

WICHITA FALLS – Tarleton’s offense was a force to be reckoned with Saturday afternoon as the TexAnns landed kills at a rate of 32-percent and had three different players in double digits while cruising past MSU Texas for their sixth straight sweep and a 13th straight victory Saturday afternoon.

As a team, Tarleton hit .320 for the match including a .428 clip in the final set.

Adriana Darthuy and Lauren Kersey tied for the team lead with 11 kills. Darthuy landed her 11 on a .417 hitting percentage while Kersey tied Amanda Wallace and Kenya Alexander for the third-highest hitting percentage (.667) in a single match with at least 15 attempts. Darthuy and Kersey combined for 22 kills on a .513 percentage for the match while Amber Strange added 10 kills of her own.

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Blanca Izquierdo and Kayla Brannon paced the offense with 22 and 15 assists, respectively, while Adrianna Knutson continued her pursuit of the all-time record for digs at Tarleton with a team-high 11. Knutson topped the 1,700-dig plateau for her career and now has 1,706.

With five total blocks, including four assisted, Hannah McManus continued to climb the all-time leaderboard at Tarleton. The senior from Caldwell tied Nicole Conques (328) for the seventh-most total blocks in program history and passed Lacey Adkisson (265) for No. 3 all-time in assisted blocks with 270.

The opening set was a back-and-forth affair deep into the game and MSU Texas even took a late 22-21 lead, but Tarleton scored four unanswered points to put the set away – including two kills from Sofia Tonga and Tayana Tuialii-Umi.

The second set started out with a 10-10 tie after the opening 20 points, but a service ace from the Mustangs opened the door for Tarleton, who broke it open with an 8-5 run to force an MSU Texas timeout. Out of the break, the teams split the next 14 points 7-7 but it was enough for Tarleton to claim the second set 25-22.

After MSU Texas opened the third set with another 10-9 lead, Darthuy landed a kill shot that started a dominant 14-3 Tarleton run to put the TexAnns up 23-13. The Mustangs added two more pride points before Tarleton put the match away on an error and a match-ending kill from Strange.

Tarleton will be back home next weekend to close out the first round of Lone Star Conference play with matches against UT Permian Basin and Western New Mexico on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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