Tarleton sweeps Chicago State on the road for fifth straight win

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CHICAGO, Illinois – Tarleton Volleyball continued its winning ways with a five-set victory at Chicago State to complete the two-game road sweep.

The Texans have now won a season-high five straight matches and eight of its last nine with a 26-24, 25-19, 25-19, 25-16, 15-9 victory on Tuesday at the Jacoby Dickens Center. The Texans improve to 9-7 overall on the season.

In Tarleton’s second sweep of the season, both of which have come on the road, the Texans hit .153 for the match while Chicago State connected on .167 of its attacks. Five Texans had at least five kills, with Lauren Kersey leading the charge by landing 15 kills. Amber Strange added 11 kills as the only two Texans in double figures.

Kayla Brannon paced the offense once again, recording 41 assists for her fourth 40-assist game of the season. She also had 13 digs for her third straight double-double and sixth of the season. Ana Costas led all players with a career-high 34 digs, her first 30-dig performance of the season, and Emma Halcomb added 11 digs for her fifth double-digit dig game of the year.

The opening set was a battle like the rest of the matched played out to be as neither team led by more than three points. Chicago State led 19-17 when Hali’a Swartman-Hogan landed one of her five kills and Lorin McNeil and Hogan added a block at the net to even the set at 19-19. The two teams would exchange points until the Cougars faced set point at 24-23. Tarleton then reeled off three straight points to steal the set behind a kill from Strange and two straight attack errors by Chicago State. The Cougars had 62 attack errors in the match.

The Cougars won the ensuing two sets 25-19, 25-19 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Tarleton battled back in a big way in the must-win fourth set. Tied at 12-12, McNeil’s kill started an 8-2 Texan run to pull away from the Cougars. McNeil finished with seven kills on the afternoon and led the Texans with a .333 hitting percentage. She also added five blocks. Halcomb had two service aces and Brannon added another during the run to go up 20-14. The Texan defense forced the Cougars into four straight attack errors to close out the set and force a fifth and deciding set.

Trailing 6-5 in the fifth, Tarleton put together five straight points to pull away. Kersey and Brannon each had kills to get the momentum going while Brianna Rhodes added a pair of blocks, as she led the team with six blocks in the match along with five kills. The Cougars made it a three-point difference at 12-9, but the Texans scored the next three points with Kersey adding her 17th and final kill and Matti Theurer completed the sweep on match point with a service ace.

Tarleton will return home for three straight matches as they host Dixie State on March 8-9 and then Texas Tech on March 11.

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