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.

- 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.

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.