Special to The Flash
DALLAS (October 10, 2016) – Tarleton’s all-time kills record of 1,545 stood for over a decade before Hailey Roberts etched her name at the top of the list in the TexAnns’ sixth straight win Monday night.
Roberts, a two-time All-American who has been setting records since her freshman year, topped the school’s top offensive mark with her first kill of the second set against Dallas Baptist. That kill moved her past Desiree Reed (2002-05) for the top offensive spot in Tarleton history with her 1,546th career kill shot. She went on to total 15 kills on the night to lift the TexAnns to a sweep of Dallas Baptist and a 15-2 mark on the season.
“It’s a huge blessing – not just the record but that we got the win and everyone played so well,” said Roberts. “The win was huge for us as a team and it was a plus that I broke the record and got to experience it with my team and our fans.”
Roberts has started 83 matches since coming to Tarleton in 2014 and now has a total of 1,556 career kills and is currently leading the nation for the second consecutive year in kills per set (5.50).
“Hailey is the best player in Division II, as far as I’m concerned, and by far the best player I’ve been able to coach,” said head coach Mary Schindler. “On top of all that, she’s a great person, a great teammate, a great leader, and she has a tremendous volleyball IQ. It’s fun to see her excel and bring people up with her as she’s come on.
“A record like this, which we knew would happen, is so exciting because it’s happening so early in her career and I can’t wait to go home and celebrate with her,” she continued. “And as much as we want to talk about it, I know that the best thing about the whole thing for Hailey is the fact that our team won tonight.”
The win was Tarleton’s sixth straight of the season and 15th overall this year. It was Tarleton’s final non-conference showdown of the season as they return home this weekend to start the stretch run of the league campaign.
After the TexAnns opened the match by scoring five of the first six, Dallas Baptist struck for two straight to cut the Tarleton lead to 5-3 after eight points.
Cue the Tarleton takeover.
The TexAnns scored 18 of the next 23 points while holding Dallas Baptist without consecutive points en route to building a 23-8 lead. The Patriots delayed the inevitable with three straight before a Patriot error and a set-ending kill shot from Autumn Taylor put Tarleton up 1-0 in the match with a 25-11 win.
In the second set, the Patriots jumped out to a quick 6-4 lead after the first 10 points of the set but a Taylor kill shot turned the tide in Tarleton’s favor. The Taylor kill started a run where the TexAnns claimed eight of 10 points to take control of the game 12-8. It was a lead Tarleton would not relinquish as the TexAnns went on to win the set 25-18 with Roberts accounting for the set-ending kill.
Tarleton opened up the final set with the first three points and went on to build a 12-8 advantage. After the Patriots tied things up at 13-13, Roberts put Tarleton back in control and started a 12-5 Tarleton run that Rebecca Dauenhauer capped off with the match-ending kill shot at 25-18.
Roberts led the way with 15 kills on a .257 hitting percentage while Chandler Gow, Hannah McManus, and Autumn Taylor each landed six kills on the night. Taylor put down six kills on 15 swings with one just miscue for a .333 hitting clip. Over her last three games, Taylor has put down 25 kills on a .479 hitting percentage off the bench for Tarleton.
Jordyn Keamo continued to lead the way from the setter spot as the junior from Hawaii dished out 29 dimes while boasting five digs and five kills. Adrianna Knutson led the way with 15 digs from the libero spot in the Tarleton defense.
Tarleton will return home this weekend with a Friday night showdown against Eastern New Mexico at 6 p.m. before hosting Western New Mexico Saturday at 2 p.m. on Pink Out Day in Wisdom Gym.