GREELEY, Colo. – Tarleton fell in three sets to Northern Colorado on Thursday evening at the Bank of Colorado Arena to open the Northern Colorado Classic.
The defending Big Sky champions and NCAA Tournament team proved to be a tough challenge for the Texans (8-4) as they were kept off-balance all evening, hitting just .143 to UNC’s (5-4) .322.
Tarleton fell behind quickly in set one, with the UNC lead growing to as much as 12 when they took a 14-2 lead. The Texans kept fighting and ultimately went on a late 4-0 run to cut the deficit to single digits at 24-17. The run saw Matti Theurer land a service ace and Emma Burka and Haley Flanagan get in on a block. The Bears ultimately took the set 25-17.
Set two was much closer from the start as the Texans and Bears traded points on the way to a seven all tie. Four different Texans earned a kill in the stretch. Immediately following the Texans knotting the set at seven, UNC went on a 5-0 run and never gave up their lead, winning the set 25-18. Tarleton hit a match-best .233 in the set.
UNC led for much of the third set, with Tarleton’s last lead being 4-3. Trailing 23-13, Tarleton scored seven of the next eight points to trim the lead to 24-20 thanks in part to kills from Ailie Hair and Megan Haynes and a service ace from Megan Hodges. UNC took the set 25-20 with a kill from Isabel Bennett.
Grayson Schirpik finished with seven kills, three blocks and two digs. Emma Burke posted a career-high seven blocks after previously finishing with a career-high five blocks a match ago vs. Idaho. Theurer and Ana Costas each had seven digs and Hodges added 13 assists.