Sports
No. 17 A&M-Commerce volleyball drops hard-fought five-set battle with No. 24 Tarleton
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sep 8, 2018
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Stephenville, Texas -- The No. 17 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team lost in five sets to No. 24 Tarleton State on Saturday afternoon. The Lions held a 2-1 lead but could not pull out the final two sets on the road. The set scores were 25-22, 26-28, 25-21, 21-25, 8-15.
 
The loss brings the Lions to 7-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Lone Star Confernece. The TexAnns improve to 8-2 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.
 
The Lions will host their home opener on Sept. 11 when they face Texas Woman's. The match will be played at 6 p.m. at the Field House.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

- TSU had 23 blocks in the match, compared to A&M-Commerce's four. The TexAnns hit .300 in the match while the Lions hit .182.

- Bina Njikam (Keller) had a career-high 18 kills in the match, hitting .394. She also had four blocks

- Jaslyn Wacker (Austin Vista Ridge) had 13 kills, Shelley Chapron (Houston St. Pius X) had 12 kills and Nicole Gonelli (Round Rock Stony Point) had 10 kills.

- Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) led the team with 32 assists. Carolina Machado (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had 23 assists and Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) had nine.

- Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands College Park) led the team with 28 digs. Fuentes had 19 digs and Daniela Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) had 12.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED

After the TexAnns scored three points in a row to open the first set, the Lions answered back with four in a row to take the lead early. Two early aces from Fuentes gave the Lions a five-point lead at the midpoint of the set. TSU battled back to within one point before the Lions went on a 7-2 run to take a six-point lead. TSU battled back late to cut the Lion lead to two points but A&M-Commerce held on to take the first set.
 
The TexAnns led early in the second set, taking a three-point lead before the Liosn scored four in a row to regain the lead. The second set was a back and forth battle that was forced into extra points. The Lions had set-point but were unable to win it and TSU scored four of the final five points of the set to win 28-26.
 
With the third set tied at six, the Lions scored four points in a row, including two kills from Njikam, to take a 10-6 lead. The Lions held that four-point lead for the majority of the set before TSU made a late rally to tie the set at 20. However, the Lions rallied to score five of the final six points of the set to win 25-21.
 
The fourth set was back and forth early as well, with neither team able to pull ahead. The TexAnns were finally able to break the tie, scoring five points in a six-point span to build a five point lead. The Lions battled back to within two points but could not regain the lead and lost the fourth set 25-21, forcing a deciding set.
 
TSU scored four of the first six points of the set before the Lions went on a 3-0 run to take the lead early. The TexAnns then took control of the set, scoring five points in a row to take a 10-5 lead. The Lions scored three of the next four points to get within three but TSU took the final four points to win the set and the match.