By BRAD KEITH
COMMERCE (November 3, 2015) – Tarleton continued to roll through a tough conference road trip, winning its third game on the road in five days with a 3-1 win at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Tarleton improves to 22-5 and 12-1 in the Lone Star Conference as they continue to sit atop the LSC standings with their 12th straight conference win.
Tarleton had control early in the first set with a 6-1 lead but Commerce went on a 12-6 run to pull ahead 15-14. Tarleton was able to tie the score at 16, one of five ties in the set, but the Lions took the advantage after the first set by closing on a 9-4 run and winning 20-25.
Tarleton turned things around in the second set by jumping out to a 10-4 lead behind kills fromHailey Roberts, Chandler Gow and Kelsey Raglin. The TexAnns went on a 4-0 run to pad its lead to 20-12 and Kenya Alexander delivered the final kill off an assist from Roberts to cruise to a 25-17 set win to tie the match at 1. The TexAnns’ improved its kill percentage from .118 in the first set to .303 in the second while holding Commerce to a .049 clip in the set win.
The two teams split the first 16 points of the third set before Roberts powered a kill from Gow to take a 9-8 lead. A pair of Commerce errors and Marissa Banda‘s kill started a 4-0 run and a 12-8 advantage. Commerce rallied to tie the score at 12 and the teams proceeded to exchange points until the Lions took a 20-17 lead.
As they proved last weekend on the road, no lead is too much to overcome.
The TexAnns fought to make it a 23-24 game when Alexander poured in back-to-back kills for a 25-24 advantage and Alexander, with help from Gow, blocked Commerce’s final attack to win 27-25.Xzache Mathis put the TexAnns in a match-point situation with a kill shot to make it 26-25 before Alexander and Gow put the game away.
The momentum carried over into the fourth set with the TexAnns looking to close out the match for another road win. Tarleton led 10-3 behind four kills from Roberts that forced Commerce to take a timeout. A block by Meg Umbel and Xzache Mathis‘ kill increased Tarleton’s lead to double digits at 16-6. The TexAnns never let the Lions within seven from there and finished off the match with a 25-16 fourth-set win.
Hailey Roberts led the way with a match-high 23 kills and Kenya Alexander followed up with 10 kills on a .318 clip and five blocks. Xzache Mathis was the third TexAnn with double-digit kills, finishing with 11.
Chandler Gow had 41 assists and nine digs, giving the sophomore 1,142 assists on the season and passing Brooke McDowell (1,131) for fourth on the single-season record list.
Kelsey Raglin had seven kills and 13 digs, while Ayssa Garcia had a team-best 15 digs. Meg Umbelmatched Alexander with five blocks and added a pair of kills. Adrianna Knutson had double-digit digs with 11.
The TexAnns return to Wisdom Gym for the first time since Oct. 21 with a match against Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m.