STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Volleyball is getting hot at the right time, as the Texans swept Texas A&M International to win its season-best fifth match in a row.
The Texans downs the Dustdevils 25-15, 25-17, 25-22 in straight sets while hitting .275 for the match and holding TAMUI to a .161 clip. Tatyana Tuialii-Umi led all players with 16 kills on a .480 hitting percentage.
Tarleton improves to 17-9 overall and 10-5 in the Lone Star Conference as the Texans, who were ranked ninth in the initial NCAA South Central regional rankings, continue their push towards making the postseason.
In the opening set, the two teams split the first 14 points before the Texans switched gears and went on a 14-4 run to build a double-digit lead at 21-11. Tuialii-Umi had back-to-back kills to start the run while Carmen Kinsey landed two of her eight kills during the stretch. The squads traded points for the next six points before Tuialii-Umi added a kill for set point and Michael Rodriguez took the set with a service ace.
Four sets of 3-0 runs in set two helped the Texans to a 2-0 lead in the match. The Texans held a slim 7-6 lead before four straight points led to an 11-6 advantage. Sofia Tonga had two straight kills and a block during the stretch. Maci Matherne had two straight service aces to push Tarleton’s lead to 18-12. The aces continued later in the set, this time from Kayla Brannon who had two aces during a 4-0 run for a 23-16 lead. Brannon also posted a game-high 31 assists. Tuialii-Umi had the final two points on kills to take the second set.
Tarleton had its toughest test in the third set as A&M International battled back from a 15-11 Texan lead to tie the set at 22-22. However, it was the Texans who closed the match with a 3-0 run to complete the sweep. Lauren Kersey had two of the final three points on kills, including the final point, to push the Texans to the end. Kersey posted nine kills on a .368 hitting percentage in the win.
Tarleton will take on Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday for a Max Point Game on the Fan Rewards App at 2 p.m. in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.