A&M-COMMERCE RALLIES TO DOWN DALLAS BAPTIST IN FIVE
A&M-Commerce 3, Dallas Baptist 2
Location: The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (5-10); Dallas Baptist (7-11)
Up Next: at No. 14 West Texas A&M • Thursday, Oct. 6 • 7 p.m.
COMMERCE, Texas -- Three players notched double-digit kills, led by Rachel Robertson's 20, as A&M-Commerce rallied from a 2-1 deficit to topple Dallas Baptist 25-21, 17-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8 at the Field House Tuesday night.
Robertson's 20 kills came on 38 attempts with just two errors, giving her an impressive .474 hitting percentage. She nearly posted her first career double-double, finishing with nine digs and a pair of blocks. She was joined in the double-digit kill column by the freshmen duo of Breanne Snyder and Ezon Onditi. Snyder did notch a double-double on the night, finishing with 14 kills and 17 digs, while Onditi nearly punched a double-double of her own, posting 13 kills and eight digs.
Chelsee Hudson continued her solid play, contributing nine kills on the night for A&M-Commerce. Jordan Neal, the Lone Star Conference Setter of the Week, finished with 56 assists on the night, one shy of her career-high, while notching four service aces, giving her 21 on the season. Dakota Crockett recorded 17 digs as well, tying Snyder for the team-high.
The Lions, who came into Tuesday night having won two of their last three matches, looked good from the start as Neal logged back-to-back-to-back service aces to open the match and get A&M-Commerce rolling. The Lions would lead by as many as four before a Patriot run in the middle of the opening set put the Patriots up by three at 19-16. But A&M-Commerce would respond with a 7-1 run of its own, pulling in front 23-20 before holidng off DBU for the 25-21 opening set victory.
In set two, the Patriots responded by taking the lead at 2-1 and never looked back. Dallas Baptist used a pair of extended runs to break open a five-point advantage at 15-10, then another down the stretch to close out the match, recording the final four points to take set two 25-17 and even things up heading into intermission.
That momentum carried into the third for Dallas Baptist scored the first three points of the set and lead wire-to-wire. A 6-2 run broke the set open, giving the Patriots a 14-7 lead and Dallas Baptist would keep the Lion rally at bay, taking the third 25-21.
It appeared the Patriots were in control in the fourth as well, using another extended run to build a comfortable 11-4 lead. But spurred on by an energetic crowd, A&M-Commerce found its second wind, stringing together an 8-0 run of its own to take the lead for the first time in nearly three sets at 12-11. A&M-Commerce and Dallas Baptist then exchanged points with the Lions holding a slim lead throughout the set. With the set tied at 21, Onditi logged a pair of timely kills and Hudson closed out the fourth with a thundering kill, giving the Lions the 25-21 victory.
That momentum then carried into the decisive fifth set as with A&M-Commerce trailing 3-2, the Lions outscored the Patriots 6-2 to lead 8-5 at the midway point. The Lions extended their advantage to five at 10-5, then forced a pair of Dallas Baptist attack errors to close out the set 15-8 and earn the hard-fought home victory.
The Lions earned the victory despite being out-hit (.213 to .187) by the Patriots as well as out-dug (89 to 83). But A&M-Commerce had the advantage in kills (64 to 60), service aces (9 to 4), assists (61 to 55) and blocks (7 to 4), leading them to the win.
Dallas Baptist had four players record double-digit kill totals on the night, led by Erika Papadeas' 17 to go along with 22 digs. Christina Steinkruger also had a double-double for the Patriots with 11 kills and 10 digs, while Dallas Baptist had three players record 20-or-more digs on the night.
A&M-Commerce now heads back on the road, closing out the first half of the Lone Star Conference slate with the always difficult trip west. The Lions face 14th-ranked West Texas A&M at 7 p.m. Thursday in Canyon, Texas, before heading to Portales, N.M. for a showdown with Eastern New Mexico at 8 p.m. CT Saturday. Live stats of both matches will be available at LionAthletics.com.