ST. GEORGE, Utah – Tarleton headed to Utah with one thing on its mind. Secure the first Western Athletic Conference victory of the season. They did just that, taking down Utah Tech 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-11, 25-17) on Thursday evening in Burns Arena.
Tarleton (9-10, 1-4 WAC) took a set to get its bearings, as Utah Tech (7-7, 1-4 WAC) came out and won set one 25-21. There was a reason for that, however, as Texan kills leader Grayson Schirpik made her return to the court after missing over three straight matches. Megan Haynes also made her return after missing the previous two matches.
The two provided an instant spark as Schirpik finished with a team high 14 kills to pair with nine digs. Haynes followed right behind with 13 kills of her own. It was just what Tarleton needed to claim its first WAC win of the season.
Tarleton led for nearly all of set two after taking the 2-1 lead on a kill from Haynes. Up 19-16 late, they engineered a 6-0 run that saw kills from Haynes, Schirpik and Jaylibeth Garcia-Rosa to tie the match at one. The Texans held the Trailblazers to a 0 hitting percentage in the set.
Set three was total domination from the Texans. They won it 25-11 and hit .407 to Utah Tech’s .129. Breanna McDonough landed three kills in the set while Schirpik added four.
Tarleton once again held the Trailblazers to a 0 hitting percentage in set four. They were also aided by nine errors from Utah Tech, a match high. Utah Tech jumped out to a quick 6-3 lead, but Tarleton was able to knot it up at six when Melina Maldonado delivered a service ace. The last tie came at 8-8, from there on out it was all Tarleton as they never relinquished the lead to earn the 3-1 road victory.
McDonough totaled 11 kills for her fifth double-digit match of the season. Ailie Hair landed seven kills on .400 hitting while also contributing three solo blocks which tied a career high. Megan Hodges had 26 assists and Ana Costas led with 20 digs and four aces followed by Emma Halcomb with 13 digs.
Utah Tech’s Kate Hardy had a match high 16 kills on .609 hitting. Taela Laufiso finished with a match high 34 assists.
Tarleton will look to make it a 2-0 road trip on Saturday when they visit Southern Utah at the America First Event Center. First serve is slated for 2 p.m. CT on ESPN+.