No. 12 Tarleton sweeps Eastern New Mexico to advance to LSC semis

Tarleton (28-3) will face 4-seed West Texas A&M Friday at 7 PM

No. 12 Tarleton made quick work of Eastern New Mexico in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference tournament and advanced to the semifinals for the fifth straight season with a sweep of the Greyhounds at a sold-out Wisdom Volleyball Gym.

Tarleton (28-3) will face 4-seed West Texas A&M, who they swept the season series with, on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The TexAnns now have the second most wins in program history in a single season and with a win, tomorrow can tie the record of 29 wins set last season.

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The TexAnns hit .315 for the match and held Eastern New Mexico to a .000 percentage, including a -.147 clip in the third set. Tarleton’s defense was a force at the net, blocking 10 attacks to ENMU’s two and forced the Greyhounds into 26 errors while the TexAnns only had seven errors. The TexAnns never trailed in the three-set match.

Amber Strange led the TexAnns with 10 kills while Lauren Kersey added eight and Hannah McManus recorded five. McManus, the LSC Defensive Player of the Year led all players with six blocks at the net and Kersey added four blocks.

Tarleton jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first set and didn’t look back. Although the Greyhounds got to within two at 12-9, the TexAnns reeled off four straight with a kill from Tatyana Tuialii-Umi and a service ace from Adrianna Knutson. The TexAnns scored seven of the final nine points to take the set, 25-15.

In the second set, Tarleton held a slim 14-11 lead before the TexAnns broke free with four straight points. Kersey and Strange powered down kills for a 22-13 lead and the TexAnns took advantage of three Greyhound attack errors to close out the set with another 25-15 victory.

The TexAnns jumped out to an 11-0 run in the third set led by two kills from McManus and a pair of aces from Blanca Izquierdo, who also had a match-leading 13 assists. Tarleton started the third set like the finished, this time with a 9-1 run where Knutson posted a pair of aces, including the match-clinching point. Knutson led the TexAnn defense with 11 digs and three aces.

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