Sports
No. 21 Lions battle back from down two to knock off West Texas A&M in five-set thriller
By Texas A&M University-Commerce
Oct 6, 2018
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Commerce, Texas -- The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team defeated West Texas A&M in five sets on Friday night. The Lions lost the first two games but battled back to win the match. The set scores were 23-25, 23-25, 25-21, 25-23, 15-5.
 
The win brings the Lions to 15-4 on the season and 7-2 in the Lone Star Conference. The Lady Buffs fall to 10-7 and 5-4 in conference play. It was the 19th consecutive home win for A&M-Commerce and the Lions' eighth win in a row.
 
A&M-Commerce returns to the court on Saturday for a 2:00 p.m. match against Eastern New Mexico. The match will be played at the Field House. Tickets for the match are available at WeAreLionsTix.com or by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office in the Field House.
 
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

- It was the first time all season the Lions had trailed 2-0 in a match. The Lions are now 4-3 in five-set matches this season.

- There were a total of 37 ties in the match, with 28 of them coming in the third and fourth sets.

- Jaslyn Wacker (Austin - Vista Ridge) led the team with a season-high 19 kills in the match, hitting .432. She also led the team with three blocks.

- Jaryn Wacker (Austin - Vista Ridge) had 17 kills and Bina Njikam (Keller) had 15 kills, hitting .407.

- Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) achieved her fifth triple-double of the season. She set career-highs with 34 assists and 20 digs while also adding 10 kills.

- Madison Luther (Sealy) had 12 kills, giving the Lions five hitters with double-digit kills. The Lions also had four players with double-digit digs and four players with double-digit assists.

- Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands - College Park) led the team with 25 digs while Daniela Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) and Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) had 16 digs apiece. Carolina Machado (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had 11 digs and 21 assists.

- A&M-Commerce had 30 more kills than the Lady Buffs (86-56). WT had 13 blocks and was aided by 31 Lion attack errors.

- It was the 19th consecutive home win for the Lions, the second longest home-win streak in program history.
 
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions got off to a 5-1 start in the first set. While trailing by three at the midway mark of the set, WT began to chip away at the Lion lead and then went on an 8-0 run to take a 19-14 lead. The Lions battled back to within one point late but WT won the final point to take the first set 25-23. Luther had five kills in the set while the Wacker twins each had four kills.
 
It was a back-and-forth affair to begin the second set as the teams split the first 12 points of the set. WT then went on an 11-3 run to take a commanding lead in the set. Trailing 22-14, the Lions flipped a switch. Jaslyn Wacker had four kills as part of an A&M-Commerce 8-0 run to tie the set at 22 and ignite the Lion faithful. It was not meant to be as WT scored three of the final four points to win 25-23. WT had six blocks in the set.
 
The teams went back and forth throughout the third set as well. The teams traded leads to start as the teams were tied at 10 early. The Lions went on a 4-0 run to take a lead and built their lead to as many as five. The Lady Buffs answered back to get within one point. The Lions would not be denied however, winning the set 25-21. Jaslyn Wacker had five kills in the set. The score was tied 10 times and there were six lead changes in the set.
 
The fourth set was an even closer affair as the teams were tied a total of 18 times with five lead changes. Jaslyn Wacker had six kills while Njikam had five in seven attacks. Neither team scored more than three consecutive points or led by more than three points in the set. With the score tied at 15, A&M-Commerce scored three in a row before WT scored four of the next five points to take the lead. The teams were tied at 21, 22 and 23 before the Lions scored the final two points to push the game to five sets.
 
The Lions dominated the fifth set. After splitting the first four points, A&M-Commerce scored six of the next seven points to take an 8-3 lead at the midway mark. They would not relent, scoring seven of the final eight points to win the set with ease.