Tonga’s record match not enough as No. 22 Texans fall in five

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DALLAS – Despite a record-setting afternoon for Sofia Tonga, No. 22 Tarleton suffered a five-set loss in its rematch with DBU in Dallas Saturday afternoon.

Tonga recorded her first career double-double with 10 kills and 17.0 total blocks, which broke Marissa Galich’s 24-year old record of 15.0 blocks in a single match against Winona State on Sept. 8, 1995. With Tatyana Tuialii-Umi almost matching her double-double effort with nine assisted blocks, Tarleton accounted for 34.0 total blocks as a team – topping the previous record of 27.5 against Winona State in 1995.

After DBU rode a hot start to a 25-18 win in the opening set, Tarleton bounced back in the second set on the strength of an 8-2 start in the first 10 points. Tarleton followed up that 8-2 run with runs of 4-0 and 5-0 to spread over the next 15 rallies to extend their lead out to 17-8.

Tatyana Tuialii-Umi landed a kill shot on the 28th point of the set to start a set-clinching 8-3 Tarleton run to even up the match at 1-1 with a 25-13 win.

Tarleton fought back from a 6-1 deficit to set up a 26-25 set-point in the third set but DBU answered with three unanswered points to take the third set 28-26.

The fourth set also required extra points, but the Texans were able to keep the match alive with back-to-back blocks from Sofia Tonga – one with the assist of Adriana Darthuy – to close out a 26-24 win in the fourth set. DBU went on to take the fifth set 15-8.

Tuialii-Umi paced the offense with 20 kills while Kersey (12) and Tonga (10) also cracked double figures. Kersey’s 12 kills came on a .409 hitting clip. Amari Franklin led the team with her second 30-assist performance of the week (34) while Kayla Brannon chipped in 14.

Michaela Rodriguez (22) and Darthuy (17) combined for 39 digs in the match.

Tarleton will stay on the road next week for two more divisional matches against the saints – St. Mary’s and St. Edward’s. The Texans will square off with the Rattler on Friday at 6 p.m. in San Antonio and the Hilltoppers Saturday at 1 p.m. in Austin.


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