Vela's triple-double leads No. 23 Lions to 3-1 win over Texas Woman's in home opener
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sep 11, 2018
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Commerce, Texas The No. 23 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team dropped the opening set to Texas Woman's University on Tuesday night before rolling through the next three sets to take the 3-1 victory. Set scores were 22-25, 25-15, 25-20, and 25-16.
The Lions are now 8-4 overall and 1-2 in the Lone Star Conference with the win in the home opener, while the Pioneers fall to 6-5 overall and 0-3 in league play.
A&M-Commerce's next action comes on Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Lions host Texas A&M-Kingsville.

- Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) earned her second triple-double of the season with 14 kills, 17 assists, and 12 digs. Vela hit .345 in the match with only four errors.

- Jaryn Wacker (Austin Vista Ridge) was the Lions' offensive leader, throwing down 21 kills against only three errors for a .419 hitting percentage.

- Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands College Park) had 22 digs to lead four Lions with double digit kills.

- Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) passed out 31 assists.

- The Lions had a .240 hitting percentage in the match with 63 kills, compared to TWU's .124 percentage with 40 kills.

The guests came out with early momentum, as Texas Woman's took an early 7-4 lead with four straight points. The Lions cut the lead to 11-10 before another TWU rally. The Pioneers went from a one point lead to a five-point edge at 19-14. A&M-Commerce battled back and brought the deficit back to one point as late as 22-21 before TWU took three of the last four points in the set and went up 1-0. Texas Woman's hit .306 in the set, while the Lions were limited to a .098 percentage. TWU made five blocks in the frame to neutralize the Lion offense.
A&M-Commerce responded by taking control of the second set early and never relenting. From a 4-4 tie, the Lions scored nine straight points on Vela's serve. A&M-Commerce used seven kills, a block, and an ace to roar out to a 13-4 lead. The Pioneers could not manage to get their deficit back under eight points through the rest of the set as the Lions rolled to a 25-15 win. A&M-Commerce hit .361 with 17 kills in the set, while holding the Pioneers to a minus-.074 set with five kills to seven errors four of which came on Lion blocks.
The third set was closely played down the stretch, although A&M-Commerce started out with an early five-point advantage at 13-8. The Pioneers showed fight by going on mini-surges, but the Lions held them at arm's length, never letting the margin narrow to fewer than three points, and holding on for a 25-20 set win. The Lions had 16 kills against seven errors in the set, and five of those came on TWU blocks.
The Lions closed the match with authority, leaving little doubt which team would earn its first LSC victory. A&M-Commerce took nine of the first 10 points on the serves of Santos and Rutledge. The early advantage deflated the Pioneers' hopes, as the visitors could not cut the lead to any fewer than eight points, and Vela's emphatic kill to end the night sealed a runaway victory. The Lions hit .298 in the set, and held TWU to a .109 percentage.
After allowing TWU to throw down 15 kills in the opening set, the Lions held the Pioneers to 25 combined kills in the next three sets.