Strange’s 16 kills lead Texans to five-set win over UT Tyler


STEPHENVILLE – Three players enjoyed double-digit kill performances, led by 16 from Amber Strange, as Tarleton held off a pesky UT Tyler team in five sets Saturday afternoon in Wisdom Gym.

Tarleton opened and closed the opening set on 4-0 runs to take the advantage in the match with a 25-19 victory. Tatyana Tuialii-Umi started the first run with a kill. The final, set-clinching run was sparked by a Strange kill shot and was polished off by a block from Sofia Tonga.

After the Patriots used a 6-1 run to close out a 27-25 win in the second set, Tarleton answered back in the third with a dominant showing. The Texans maintained a slim lead through the first 30 points before Carmen Kinsey landed a kill to start a 9-1 run to close out a 25-15 win for Tarleton.

The Patriots battled back in the fourth set to force a fifth set. In the final game, the Patriots scored two of the first three points before back-to-back kills from Kinsey and Tuialii-Umi put the Texans on top for, what would be, the final time at 3-2. The Patriots pulled within one at 6-5 but Kaleigh Conger served up six straight points to allow Tarleton to pull away and ultimately win the set 15-8 and the match 3-2.

Strange boasted 16 kills while Kinsey and Tuialii-Umi each had 11 for the night. Kayla Brannon paced the offense with 45 assists while Adriana Darthuy (20), Tuialii-Umi (12), Brannon (11), and Emma Halcomb (10) also had double-figure digs. Tuialii-Umi and Brannon recorded double-double performances.

Tarleton will make a western road trip next week, competing on Thursday night at 7 p.m. in Odessa against UT Permian Basin before heading out to Western New Mexico Saturday.

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