STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton split a pair of nationally-ranked matches Saturday afternoon to close out the impromptu 2019 Texan Invitational in Wisdom Gym Saturday.
Match 1: #10 Tarleton 3, #14 Rockhurst
The No. 10 Texans rallied back from a tough first-set loss to knock off the No. 14 Rockhurst Hawks in four sets to begin their final day in the Texan Invitational tournament in Wisdom Gym.
Rockhurst built an early lead and maintained for most of the opening set but a kill from Amber Strange cut a five-point deficit down to 19-15 and started a 5-1 Tarleton run that brought the Texans within one. Tarleton tied things up and took an advantage but Rockhurst reeled off three straight to win the first set 27-25.
Tarleton answered back in a back way in the ensuing set when Strange got Tarleton on the board and landed the first point of a 7-3 run. Tarleton led the entire way in the second and a slide kill from Lauren Kersey sealed the deal and tied things up at one set apiece.
The Texans used another strong start in the third set to take command early. Tarleton opened the third set on a 12-4 run with Kersey accounting for three kills over that early run. Rockhurst pulled as close as three but Tarleton ended the set on a 9-4 run with Strange putting the set away with a kill at 25-17.
In the fourth set, Rockhurst opened up on a 13-10 run to begin the fourth and final set but Kersey landed a kill to start a 7-2 Tarleton run that saw the Texans take a 17-15 lead. After the Hawks tied things up at 18-18, Kersey started the match-clinching run with her 15th kill of the match. The Texans outscored the Hawks 7-3 over the next 10 points to take the match.
Kersey and Tatyana Tuialii-Umi led the team with 15 kills each. Kersey put her 15 kills away on a .371 hitting clip while Tuialii-Umi hit .343 for match. Adriana Darthuy also boasted 11 kills while her 21 digs completed a double-double effort.
Kayla Brannon (25) and Amari Franklin (19) combined for 44 assists while leading the Texans to a .335 team hit percentage. Brannon joined Darthuy in the double-double club with 15 digs while Michaela Rodriguez led the team with 29 digs.
Match 2: #2 Cal State-San Bernardino 3, #10 Tarleton 0
Tarleton went toe-to-toe with No. 2 Cal State-San Bernardino but came up short in the final match of the 2019 Texan Invitational Saturday.
After Tarleton dropped the opening match to the Coyotes, the Texans rebounded with six unanswered points to open the second set. An attack error on the first volley opened the door for three kills – including two from Darthuy – as well as a service ace by Emma Halcomb and a combo block from Sofia Tonga and Tuialii-Umi to take a 6-0 lead.
Tarleton led by as many as four at 22-18, but San Bernardino rallied with a 7-1 run to take the second set. The Coyotes went on to take the third set as well.
Tuialii-Umi led the team with 12 kills on a .417 hitting percentage. Kayla Brannon (16) and Amari Franklin (12) combined for 28 assists while Michaela Rodriguez (12) and Adriana Darthuy (11) cracked double figures in digs.
Tarleton will head to Colorado next weekend to take part in the prestigious Colorado Premier Challenge.