Tarleton led from the opening serve to the final kill of the opening set. Tarleton held a slim 10-9 lead before taking a 14-10 advantage behind a pair of Hailey Roberts kills. Chandler Gow coming off a career-high 66 assists, set the table again for the TexAnns, allowing Xzache Mathis to deliver the final blow and give Tarleton a 25-20 win in the first set. The TexAnns had 19 kills on a .378 attack percentage in the opener.
The second set, however, was more of a grind for Tarleton as the two teams battled with 11 ties and six lead changes. Tarleton and St. Mary’s split the first 16 points of the set before the Rattlers took their biggest lead of the match at 9-12. Tarleton went on a 4-0 run behind kills from Gow, Kenya Alexander and Roberts to regain the lead at 13-12. After a 17-17 tie, the TexAnns’ defense shifted gears, led by Alexander and Kelsey Raglin on the front row. The duo blocked back-to-back attacks by St. Mary’s Maddi King and Alexander added another block after a pair of kills from Mathis to take a 21-18 advantage. Roberts closed out the second set with a kill to win 25-20.
Roberts delivered the first three points on kills for the TexAnns for a 3-0 lead in the third set. Meg Umbel, who returned to the lineup from an injury, followed Roberts’ lead with a pair of kills and another Alexander block to give Tarleton a 7-4 lead. The Rattlers climbed ahead 8-10 when Tarleton responded with an 8-1 run off four kills from Roberts to take their biggest lead of the set at 16-11. Although the third set only had three ties and two lead changes, St. Mary’s remained close at 22-20. A pair of St. Mary’s errors and another Roberts kills closed the door and Tarleton finished the sweep in a 25-20 win.
It’s the seventh sweep of the season for the TexAnns, who improved to 10-3 on the year and 9-2 in non-conference games. Tarleton’s now 3-0 at Wisdom Gym with sweeps in all three games.
After setting the Tarleton volleyball record with 37 kills against Texas Woman’s, Roberts added 24 kills in the win to give her 20 straight double-digit kill games. The sophomore from Cedar Park also added eight digs.
Alexander, who had a game-high six blocks, and Mathis each, had eight kills for the TexAnns.
Senior Raglin had six kills and eight digs. Gow assisted on 40 of Tarleton’s 55 kills while adding eight digs. Adrianna Knutson also registered eight digs, gives the TexAnns four players with eight digs.
Umbel had five kills with a .667 hitting percentage and a pair of blocks in her return.
Tarleton returns to LSC play with a pair of conference games in Wisdom Gym to close out the week against West Texas A&M on Friday at 6 p.m. and Eastern New Mexico at 2 p.m. on Saturday.