STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton is all alone at the top of the Lone Star Conference standings as the No. 11 TexAnns secured the outright league championship with a sweep of Cameron on Senior Day in Wisdom Gym Saturday afternoon.
It’s the third regular season title in program history and the second straight.
With the championship, Tarleton also owns the right to host the Lone Star Conference Championship Tournament in Wisdom Gym on Nov. 8-10. The TexAnns are also the top team in the South Central Region and in the driver’s seat to host the NCAA Regional Tournament on Nov. 15-17.
In addition to the team championship, it was also a memorable day for Tarleton’s four seniors – Elizabeth Muliaga, Blanca Izquierdo, Hannah McManus, and Adrianna Knutson – who were recognized after the match for their contributions to the Tarleton Volleyball program.
Knutson also enjoyed a milestone match as the senior libero from San Antonio passed Shea McBrearty for the program’s all-time lead in career digs. Knutson tied and broke the record with two digs during the volley of the 27th point of the second set.
Tarleton came out swinging the first set as Adriana Darthuy landed the first point of the match with a kill shot and the TexAnns never looked back. Tarleton built a quick 9-3 lead and then extended it out to 14-5. The Aggies only got as close as seven at 20-13 before McManus landed a kill to start a 5-1 run to close out the set.
The TexAnns carried the momentum into the second set by jumping out to a quick 6-1 lead.
After Cameron pulled within three, Amber Strange landed a kill to start a 6-0 Tarleton run that extended the Tarleton lead out to 13-4. Tarleton pushed the lead out to 20-8 and then finished off the set with a 5-4 run to take a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Cameron tried to stave off a sweep by leading through the first 29 points but Darthuy blasted a kill shot to even things up at 15-15 and start a 7-0 Tarleton run to put the TexAnns up 21-15. Tarleton scored four of the next seven points with Muliaga landing the final point of the match.
Strange and Tatyana Tuialii-Umi led the team with 10 kills each while Darthuy had eight. Tuialii-Umi landed her 10 kills on a career-high .588 hitting percentage. Izquierdo led the team with 22 assists while Kayla Brannon added 18. Knutson had 21 digs in the sweep on her record-setting afternoon.
Tarleton will close out the regular season next weekend with a road trip to Western New Mexico and UT Permian Basin on Friday and Saturday.