STEPHENVILLE – An all-around impressive performance that saw Tarleton control the match from start to finish helped complete an exciting and memorable opening weekend for the Texans.
Tarleton (3-0) completed a three-set sweep (25-15, 25-20, 25-16) of ULM (0-3) for their second sweep of a Louisiana foe in as many days.
“We are so fortunate for the support our administration showed in hosting this tournament and for the fans that packed the gym in each of our matches,” said head coach Mary Schindler. “It was a fantastic environment and our freshmen got a tremendous introduction to college volleyball.”
The capacity crowd of 876 that crammed into Wisdom Gym saw the Texans put on a clinic, hitting at a clip of .330 and holding ULM to just a .163 hitting percentage on the night.
The Texans got off to a hot start, never trailing in set one while hitting .429. Four of their six service aces in the match came in the first set with senior Ana Costas adding two of her own. Tarleton went on an early 4-0 run to push their lead to 8-2, fueled by back-to-back kills from sophomore Megan Haynes who had four kills in the set. ULM hung around, staying near a five-to-seven-point deficit until Tarleton unleashed a 5-0 run to take the air out of the Warhawks sails with a 23-11 lead.
Tarleton grabbed an early 5-2 lead in set two with kills from four different Texans helping them get there. ULM fought back though, taking the 7-5 lead off a 5-0 run that had them feeling some momentum. The teams exchanged leads, with Tarleton leading 10-9 and ULM going back on top 13-10. Haynes and senior Brianna Rhodes each landed kills that helped pull Tarleton closer, and a ULM service error knotted it up at 16. From that point on, Tarleton never trailed again. A solo block from Haynes, service ace from freshman Ailie Hair and another solo block from Rhodes fueled the fire and helped Tarleton take set two.
Set three looked to be similar to set two in the beginning, with ULM hanging around and even leading, 7-6. The Texans instantly answered with three straight points on kills from junior Grayson Schirpik and freshman Breanna McDonough and a ULM attack error. ULM tied it back up at nine, but that was the last time they would see a lead in the match. Tarleton later pulled away with a 6-0 run to take a nine-point lead, 22-13.
Haynes led the way with 10 kills, her second double-digit kill outing of the young season. Freshman Emma Burke had eight kills and two block assists. Schirpik and McDonough each landed seven kills of their own, and Hair had 6. Costas dug up 12 Warhawk attacks and freshman Megan Hodges had 21 assists to lead the Texans for a second consecutive match.