By BRAD KEITH
STEPHENVILLE (November 16, 2017) — Tarleton State barely broke a sweat in the quarterfinal round of the Lone Star Conference Volleyball Championship Thursday evening, sailing through a 25-15, 25-11, 25-17 sweep of Eastern New Mexico at Wisdom Gym.
LSC regular-season champ and No. 1 seed Tarleton was dominant from the onset, scoring 10 of the first 11 points and never looking back. Tarleton held double-digit leads in all three sets, even the third when No. 8 seed ENMU scored seven of the final 11 to make it a big more respectable.
Tarleton advances to face No. 4 seed West Texas A&M, a 3-1 winner over, No. 5 Texas A&M-Kingsville, in the semifinal round at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The championship Saturday begins at 3 p.m.
LSC Player of the Year and and Offensive Player of Year Hailey Roberts almost doubled-up with 15 kills and nine digs in a match lasting barely more than an hour. It lasted about the same time as the regular season finale between the same teams here last Saturday.
Roberts’ dominant performance was part ofa .440 attack percentage by the TexAnns. Amber Strange hit .571 with 8 kills on 14 sets and no errors, and Hannah McManus was also error free on the attack with six kills on eight sets, hitting .750. Both middles, Strange, a freshman from Granbury, and McMannus had two blocks each, and Roberts also blocked one.
Putting such effective offense in motion was the role played to near perfection by Jordyn Keamo, just the second player in LSC history to win multiple LSC Setter of the Year honors. Keamo had 25 assists as part of an all-around line showing why she was an All-American last season and as a junior college star prior to her Tarleton career. She aced five serves dug five balls and killed four, scoring nine points herself and having a hand in 34, just nine points less than ENMU had as a team.
Keamo’s setting also helped Adriana Darthuy to four kills, while Adrianna Knutson spearheaded the back of the defense with 12 digs and lent a hand to the offense with two assists . Blanca Izquierdo came up profitable when rotating in to the setter’s role with 11 assists and four digs.
ENMU hit just .134 and was led by Jasmine Gannon with eight kills, Brooklyn Biel with six kills and three blocks and Sara Tuioti-Mariner with five kills, six digs and a block. Alexis Aguirre and Kaitlyn Kluna made 12 and 10 assists, respectively, while Kluna dug five balls. Andrea Aguilar was strongest in the back with 13 digs.