No. 12 Tarleton returns to LSC Championship game with sweep of West Texas A&M

STEPHENVILLE – No. 12 Tarleton is back in the Lone Star Conference Tournament title game for the fifth straight season after sweeping West Texas A&M in the semis in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.

The TexAnns will look to make it back-to-back tournament titles as they face the No. 2 seed Texas A&M-Commerce, who the TexAnns swept the season series with. The LSC’s top two teams will play for the championship on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. Tarleton improves to 29-3 on the season and tied last year’s school record for wins in a season.

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Tarleton hit .342 in the match with only seven errors and held West Texas A&M to a .136 percentage with 20 errors. Lauren Kersey led all players with 12 kills, while Tatyana Tuialii-Umi had nine kills on a .692 percentage and Hannah McManus added seven kills. McManus also added four assisted blocks, moving her only four assisted blocks away from breaking Marissa Galich’s record of 334.

Photos by Dr. Chet Martin

The TexAnns went right at WT and held a 13-4 lead early in the opening set. McManus gave the TexAnns a double-digit lead at 18-8. The TexAnns closed out the set with six straight points as Kersey had three kills during the run to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, Tarleton and WT split the first 26 points before the TexAnns went on a 4-0 push behind a pair of kills from Sofia Tonga, who had four kills in the match. Tarleton led 21-17 before taking four of the final five points of the set with kills from McManus, Kersey, and Adriana Darthuy.

WT took the early advantage in the third set with a 10-5 lead. The TexAnns rallied nine of the next 10 points to go up 14-11 as Tuialii-Umi had three kills during the stretch. WT got to within one at 14-13, but that was as close as the Lady Buffs would come to a lead as the TexAnns poured in five straight points to coast to the victory.

Adrianna Knutson led the TexAnns defense with a game-high 18 digs while Darthuy added 11. Blanca Izquierdo had 23 assists to lead all players and Kayla Brannon added 14.

For more information on Tarleton Volleyball and the LSC Tournament, visit TarletonSports.com.

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