No. 13 Tarleton wins 20th straight match with sweep of West Texas A&M

STEPHENVILLE – 20 straight wins.

Only 14 NCAA Division II volleyball teams have 20 total wins this season.

Nine teams in the Lone Star Conference haven’t even won 20 games all year.

Tarleton has won 20 matches in a season nine times in the NCAA era – all under head coach Mary Schindler.

But 20 wins in a row? That’s never been done before in program history.

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That’s how impressive No. 13 Tarleton’s historic season has been as they have now won 20 consecutive matches after sweeping rival West Texas A&M (25-8, 25-18, 25-21) on Saturday in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.

The TexAnns improve to 23-2 overall and hold a three-match lead for first place at 15-0 in the Lone Star Conference. It’s also the 15th sweep of the season for Tarleton.

Hannah McManus had one of the best individual offensive performances in program history this afternoon as the senior landed 14 kills on 19 attempts for a .737 hitting percentage. That’s the second best hit percentage (minimum 15 attempts) in school history, trailing only Rachel Wolf’s .783 percentage set in 2010.

Adriana Darthuy landed 11 kills while Amber Strange added nine and Lauren Kersey posted eight to lead an offensive attack that hit .312 for the match. Defensively, Tarleton held West Texas A&M (15-9, 10-6) to a .117 hitting percentage with Adrianna Knutson recording a game-high 17 digs, while Darthuy had 16 digs and Blanca Izquierdo finished with 11. Lauren Kersey and Sofia Tonga each tallied three blocks to lead the team.

Tarleton started the game on a roll, jumping out to an 11-0 advantage over the Lady Buffs as McManus landed three kills in the early run. The margin would grow to as much at 22-5 on three straight kills from Darthuy. Tatyana Tuialii-Umi and McManus delivered the final points to take a 1-0 lead in the set.

After splitting the first 18 points in the second set, Tarleton regrouped and went on an 11-2 run to take control over WT, 20-11. The Lady Buffs would get back to within three points at 20-17, but Tarleton was too much at the end as Tuialii-Umi had three of the final four TexAnn points to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

West Texas A&M put up a fight in the final set, holding 13-9 lead – their largest of the match – before the TexAnns came storming back. The two teams were tied at 17-17 when a kill from Kersey put Tarleton back out in front for good. Darthuy’s kill and ace on back-to-back possessions put them at match point where McManus capped off a career game with a kill that completed the sweep.

Tarleton will travel to Texas A&M-Kingsville on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. before returning home for its final homestand of the regular season on Oct. 26-27.

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