No. 23 Texans open road trip with sweep of St. Mary’s

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SAN ANTONIO – No. 23 Tarleton started its weekend road trip off in dominating fashion with a sweep of St. Mary’s (25-15, 25-19, 25-16).

The win moves the Texans to 12-6 overall and 6-4 in the Lone Star Conference. Lauren Kersey led all players with 10 kills on a .500 hitting percentage while Sofia Tonga added nine kills and also hit .500 for the match. As a team, the Texans hit .255 while holding the Rattlers to a .087 hitting percentage.

In the first set, Tarleton used a 4-0 run to take a 9-6 lead and never looked back. A 6-2 push extended the lead to 17-10 when Nataylya Chatham posted three kills and Kersey added two while both players combined for a block to take control of the set. Chatham, who had five kills in the match, gave the Texans the opening-set win with a kill to win 25-15.

The Texans started off hot in the second set with a 7-1 advantage behind a pair of kills from Amber Strange. The Rattlers fought back to make it a one-point game at 11-10, but Tarleton went on a 6-1 run with a pair of kills from Kersey and Tonga to go up 17-11. The two teams would alternate points for the final nine points until the Texans went up 2-0 in the match on a service error by the Rattlers.

With a road sweep in sight, Kersey took over in the third set with three straight kills to start a 6-0 Texan run to go up 13-8. Adriana Darthuy, who had six kills in the match, also added three straight kills to extend the lead to 16-10 at the halfway point. The Texans never trailed by less than six the rest of the way en route to conference road sweep.

Five different Texans posted at least five kills in the sweep with Amber Strange (5 kills) joining Chatham (5), Darthuy (6), Tonga (9) and Kersey (10). The offense was set up by Kayla Brannon’s match-leading 22 assists with Amari Franklin adding 13 assists.

Defensively, Michaela Rodriguez led with a game-high 24 digs while Darthuy added 14 digs and Franklin had 11 for the double-double. Kersey led all players with four blocks.

Tarleton will close out the conference road trip with an afternoon match at St. Edward’s in Austin on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.


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