Valiant effort comes up short for Texans against No. 23 Lions

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STEPHENVILLE – Despite a valiant rally from a 2-0 deficit, Tarleton fell to No. 23 Texas A&M-Commerce in four Friday night.

The opening set saw Commerce jump out to a 10-5 lead over the opening 15 points. Tarleton Clawed their way back to bring the match as close as three at 22-19, but the Lions scored three of the final five points to take the opening set 25-21.

Tarleton fought back in a thrilling second set as the Texans jumped out to an 8-6 lead and extended to a match-high three-point lead at 11-8. The teams were deadlocked in a 21-21 tie late in the set, but Tarleton could only point two more over the final six points as the Lions took the second game 25-23.

The Texans dropped the hammer over the opening 21 points of the third set by jumping out to a dominant 16-5 lead. A Lion service error opened the flood gates to a 14-2 Tarleton run that saw kills from Lauren Kersey, Tatyana Tuialii-Umi, and Amber Strange. Tarleton cruised the rest of the way, never leading by less than nine, in a 25-14 win to force a fourth set.

Tarleton’s resiliency continued to be on full display in the fourth set. The Texans led the entire set, by as many as three and as late as 23-21, but Commerce scored five of the final six points to take the set 26-24.

Strange and Tuialii-Umi led the way with 17 kills each. Tuialii-Umi also boasted a double-double with 11 digs. Carmen Kinsey (8), Lauren Kersey (7), and Sofia Tonga (7) combined for 22 kills. Kayla Brannon dished out a career-high 45 assists while Adriana Darthuy led the team with 24 digs in her first start as libero.

Tarleton will look to snap its modest three-game skid tomorrow at 2 p.m. in Wisdom Gym against UT Tyler.


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