No. 11 Texans sweep St. Mary’s for second straight LSC win


STEPHENVILLE – No. 11 Tarleton won its second straight Lone Star Conference match with a sweep of St. Mary’s on Saturday in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.

The Texans took down the Rattlers in straight sets: 25-16, 25-14, 25-23, moving to 7-3 overall and 2-0 in LSC play. The Texans hit .292 as a team and held the Rattlers to a .158 hitting percentage.

A day after powering 22 kills, Tatyana Tuialii-Umi delivered with 15 kills while hitting .464 in the match. Lauren Kersey landed 10 kills on a .615 hitting percentage and tied a career high with six blocks in the win.

Tarleton led 19-15 in the opening set before closing the door with a 6-1 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match. Tuialii-Umi had two of the final three points on kills while Carmen Kinsey started the run with a block at the net. Amari Franklin, who had a team-leading 22 assists, kept the set-clinching run alive with a service ace.

In the second set, the Texans put the Rattlers away early with a 10-1 run and a double-digit lead at 14-4. Kersey had four blocks and two kills during the stretch to put Tarleton ahead. Adriana Darthuy also contributed on offense and defense during the run, posting two blocks, a kill and an ace. Darthuy finished with six kills and six digs in the match. Tuialii-Umi scored four of the final five points on kills to give the Texans a 2-0 lead in the match.

As the Texans looked to put the match away in three sets, St. Mary’s gave the Texans a battle in the third set. Tied at 14-14, the Texans scored six of the next eight points for a 20-16 advantage and forced St. Mary’s to call a timeout. Kersey had two kills during the run, while Natalya Chatham added another to pad the lead. As St. Mary’s climbed back to within a point 23-22, Tuialii-Umi was there to close the match out again with a kill that pushed it to match point. The Texans closed out the win on a service error by the Rattlers.

Offensively, Sofia Tonga was one of three Texans with at least five kills and a .450 hitting percentage or better as Tonga added six kills and hit .500 for the match. On the defensive side, Michaela Rodriguez added a game-high 17 digs.

Tarleton will hit the road and head south to Kingsville to play Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday, Sept. 27 and Texas A&M International on Saturday, Sept. 28 in Laredo.


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