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PORTALES, NM (October 30, 2015) – Trailing 20-22 in the third set and down 0-2 in the match, Tarleton head coach Mary Schindlercalled a timeout to discuss things with her team.
“I think they saw a little bit of crazy in my eyes (during that timeout),” said head coach Mary Schindler. “Ultimately, I just told them we have nothing to be afraid of, we’re in the position we’re in because we’ve been aggressive, and now is not the time to back off. We respect our opponent, and Eastern New Mexico is good team, but at the same time we go into every match expecting to win. My girls are tough and they are just incredible.”
The motivational speech from the head coach certainly paid dividends as the TexAnns tacked on four straight points on back-to-back kills from Hailey Roberts and Meg Umbel before back-to-back blocks from the tandem of Umbel and Kelsey Raglin to take a 24-22 lead. After an ENMU point, Roberts put the game away with a kill shot for a 25-22 win, forcing a fourth set.
Tarleton carried the momentum into the fourth set by taking a quick lead and holding on to a slim advantage at 10-8 before Xzache Mathis blasted a kill shot to start a 6-0 TexAnn surge to extend the lead to 16-8. Eastern New Mexico pulled back within five on several different occasions but Tarleton put the game away at 25-19 to even the match and put the match into a deciding fifth set.
In the fifth set, the game opened up in a tight battle as the TexAnns took eight of the first 15 points to hold a slim 8-7 lead before three Greyhound errors, three Roberts’ kills, and a Roberts solo block gave Tarleton the comeback win.
Roberts recorded a team-high 27 kills to go along with 13 digs while Mathis poured in 14 kills of her own on a .286 hitting percentage. Kenya Alexander added nine kills and nine blocks, just missing her second double-double of the season.
Chandler Gow continued her run of 40-assist efforts by dishing out 45 assists. Ayssa Garcia led the way with 19 digs while Raglin had 10 of her own to go along with eight kills.
The win marks the 200th of Schindler’s illustrious career, which began in 2005. She is already the school’s all-time leader in wins.
“Honestly, I’m just lucky to have great kids,” said Schindler. “It’s exciting for sure, but it’s more exciting because of the way we won the game. I told them this is a situation we can learn from and they did learn from it. They’re tough and they competed so well tonight.
“As far as winning 200 games, it’s been a blessing to have been here for so long in a place where I have so much support. I was given time to build the program the way I wanted to and that is a credit to the incredible support. I’m excited to see how the culture has changed about volleyball since I took over in 2005. It’s just be absolutely incredible.”
Schindler and the TexAnns will go for win No. 201 tomorrow evening with a 5 p.m. showdown with West Texas A&M in Canyon.