STEPHENVILLE — No. 20 Tarleton Volleyball extended its winning streak to 10 with a pair of sweeps over Texas A&M-Kingsville and St. Mary’s on Saturday in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.
With the wins, the TexAnns improve to 13-2 overall and add a Lone Star Conference victory to remain undefeated and atop the standings at 6-0.
Match 1: No. 20 Tarleton 3, Texas A&M-Kingsville 0
Led by 10 kills from Amber Strange and the Tarleton offense hitting .326 for the match, the TexAnns made quick work of Texas A&M-Kingsville with a straight sets win (25-10, 25-21, 25-14).
Adrianna Knutson, who had a game-high 15 digs in the match, moved into sole possession of second place on the Tarleton all-time digs list with 1,659 career digs, passing Emily Klein. Knutson, a four-year starter, trails only Shea McBrearty’s 1,847 digs.
The opening set was highlighted by an 11-2 run to close out the set. The TexAnns led 14-8 before Strange delivered three kills in the next 11 points while Hannah McManus added a kill and service ace during the stretch. The TexAnns closed the set on a 6-0 run.
Tarleton led from start to finish in the second set that featured a 6-0 lead to start behind a pair of kills from Lauren Kersey. The lead would grow as large as eight on a McManus kill, but the Javelins worked the set back to within two at 22-20. Adriana Darthuy and Tatyana Tuialii-Umi put the final points on the board with kills to go up 2-0 in the match.
The TexAnns opened the final set like they did the second set, this time with an 8-0 start. However, there was no comeback by the Javelinas in this one. The TexAnns quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead on a kill from Strange to make it 15-5. Sofia Tonga’s kill made it 20-7, the largest lead of the set.
Elizabeth Muliaga and Strange put the finishing touches to the sweep with back-to-back kills to end the match.
Match 2: No. 20 Tarleton 3, St. Mary’s 0
The TexAnn defense was no match for St. Mary’s in the final game, holding the Rattlers to only 31 points in the three-set sweep (25-7, 25-14, 25-10).
Adriana Darthuy and Lauren Kersey led the TexAnns with nine kills each while Hannah McManus followed with eight kills and five blocks.
Tarleton opened the game on a commanding 13-0 run before St. Mary’s scored its first point. McManus powered down four kills in the first 13 points. The lead grew to 20-5 and later 23-6 on two straight kills by Darthuy en route to a 1-0 lead in the match.
Photos By Dr. Chet Martin
St. Mary’s had its only lead of the match in the second set at 1-0, but it was short lived as the TexAnns jumped out in front 7-1 with kills from Amber Strange, Lauren Kersey and a service ace from Darthuy. Darthuy delivered another ace to give the TexAnns a double-digit lead at 21-11. Kersey’s kill gave the TexAnns the second set win.
The TexAnns jumped ahead early once again, this time an 8-1 lead that grew as large as a 14-point advantage at 23-9. The TexAnns closed the final set on a 10-2 run to complete the sweep.
Blanca Izquierdo led the way with 18 assists in the match, while Adrianna Knutson posted 14 digs and Michaela Rodriguez followed with 12 in the defensive-led game.
No. 20 Tarleton will remain at home to take on Dallas Baptist in a non-conference match on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m