AN ANGELO – In a matchup of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in the Lone Star Conference, No. 13 Tarleton once again proved why it’s the top team in the league with a road sweep of Angelo State (29-27, 25-19, 25-20) in the Junell Center to run its program-best win streak to 18 straight matches.
It’s the first home loss of the season for Angelo State, who entered the game 9-0 in San Angelo. Tarleton (21-2, 13-0) holds a three-game lead over Texas A&M-Commerce, who the TexAnns swept the season series with, for first place in the LSC. Tarleton’s 18 consecutive wins are more than nine LSC teams have total wins all season. 14 of Tarleton’s 21 wins this season have resulted in a sweep.
Tarleton hit .227 in the match with only 15 errors while Angelo State (17-7, 10-4) was held to a .150 hitting percentage and committed 24 errors. Lauren Kersey stepped up big for the TexAnns as the freshman from Norman, Oklahoma led all players with 12 kills on a .435 hitting percentage. Amber Strange added seven kills and Adriana Darthuy posted six kills towards the offensive attack. Blanca Izquierdo dished out 23 assists to lead the team while Adrianna Knutson recorded 11 digs and Hannah McManus added a team-leading four blocks to control the defense.
The opening set was the closest of the match as the two teams had eight ties and nine lead changes with most of the back-and-forth action occurring late in the set. Angelo State built a 15-10 lead before Tarleton would work its way back with a 5-0 run to take a 22-20 lead – it is first since they led 6-5 early on. In the final seven points, the LSC rivals were tied at 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 before Amber Strange had the final two points on a kill and service ace to take the first set.
The following set resembled the first set to start before Tarleton pulled away late. Tarleton and Angelo State were tied at 17-17 when the TexAnns fired off eight straight points to build a 24-17 lead. The Rambelles had six errors during the run while Adriana Darthuy had two kills. Another Angelo State error gave Tarleton the final point of the set for a 2-0 lead in the match.
Angelo State built a 15-11 lead to open the third set before Tarleton came rallying back once again to steal the road win. This time it was an 11-0 run by the TexAnns that put them out in front 22-15. Lauren Kersey had three kills during the stretch while Amber Strange had a pair of kills and Hannah McManus controlled the net with two blocks. An Angelo State attack error ended the match and gave the TexAnns the crucial road win.
Tarleton will return home for homecoming week to take on Eastern New Mexico on Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. and West Texas A&M on Saturday, Oct. 20 at noon.