Texans sweep UTRGV for second straight win


STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton Volleyball won its second straight match with a convincing sweep over UTRGV at the Wisdom Volleyball Gym (25-17, 25-15, 25-13).

With the win, the Texans move to 12-11, 5-8 WAC and guarantee themselves at least a .500 overall record in its inaugural Division I season while playing a full D1 schedule. With a win tomorrow, the Texans would also clinch fourth place in the Western Athletic Conference with a winning record.

In a game after landing a career-high 22 kills in a road win at TCU, Amber Strange led the Texans once again, posting a game-high 17 kills on a .469 hitting percentage. Strange was the only player in double figures in kills on the game.

As a team, the Texans hit .338 with 35 kills and only eight errors. The defense limited UTRGV to a .052 hitting percentage and forced 22 errors.

The Texans led from start to finish in the opening set and used a 7-0 run midway through the opening frame to lead 14-6. Lauren Kersey and Strange each had a pair of kills during the run, as Kersey totaled six kills and hit .455 for the match. The lead would grow as high as 21 after a 5-0 Texan run moved the score to 19-8 on an Ana Costas service ace.

In the second set, UTRGV had its only lead of the match at 2-1 before the Texans scored nine of the next 11 points to lead 10-4. The Vaqueros would get to within 11-9 before the Texans pushed the lead back to seven on a pair of kills from Strange to start a 6-1 run. Tarleton would close the set on an 8-3 run as Amari Franklin had a pair of kills to push the advantage to double digits down the stretch. Franklin finished with 5 kills while hitting .333.

With a chance to close the match out in three sets, it was all Tarleton in the end. The Texans led 12-2 to start and never let up as they maintained a double-digit advantage for the majority of the set. The Texans scored four straight points to close the match out with blocks from Strange and Lorin McNeil followed by a kill from Melina Maldonado. McNeil had a match-leading four blocks on the night.

Kayla Brannon led the offense with 19 assists while Emma Halcomb posted a match-leading 15 digs as the only Texans in double figures in each category.

Tarleton will host UTRGV for the final game of the season on Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym.

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