A&M-Commerce Lions at Eastern New Mexico Zias
Friday, October 19 • 8 p.m.
Greyhound Stadium • Portales, N.M
Records: A&M-Commerce (15-6, 6-5 LSC); Eastern New Mexico (6-14, 1-9 LSC)
Live Video • Live Stats
A&M-Commerce at No. 11 West Texas A&M Lady Buffs
Saturday, October 20 • 2 p.m.
WTAMU Fieldhouse • Canyon, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (15-6, 6-5 LSC); West Texas A&M (17-3, 8-2 LSC)
Live Video • Live Stats
A&M-Commerce opens up its final extended road trip of the season with a trip out west, beginning with a meeting with Eastern New Mexico on Friday, October 19 at 8 p.m. The Lions then visit 11th-ranked West Texas A&M on Saturday, October 20, getting underway at 2 p.m.
Neal, Spicer Earn Lone Star Conference Weekly Accolades
After leading the Lions to three-straight 3-0 sweeps over the past week, setter Jordan Neal and libero Michaela Spicer picked up Lone Star Conference Player of the Week honors. Neal was named the Co-Setter of the Week, dishing out 119 assists with nine kills, three aces and 32 digs. Spicer anchored the A&M-Commerce defensive unit, digging 62 attempts and averaging 6.89 per set. The duo are both ranked among the LSC and national leaders in their respective categories as the Lions have now picked up seven Player of the Week honors on the year.
Scouting the Zias
2012: 6-14 overall, 1-9 Lone Star Conference (11th), 2-3 home
Last Three Matches: L at West Texas A&M (3-0), L at Abilene Christian (3-0), W vs. New Mexico Highlands (3-0)
Head Coach: Mike Maguire (Mesa State, 1981). 24th season at Eastern New Mexico (417-324, .563); 25th season overall (430-345, .555)
• #9 Lindsey Barron (R-Jr., OH): 183 kills, .116 hitting pct., 10 aces, 119 digs, 12 blocks
• #11 Kaitlyn Maddams (Jr., MB): 144 kills, .157 hitting pct., 24 aces, 69 digs, 21 blocks
• #16 Courtney Bolton (Jr., MB): 107 kills, .196 hitting pct., 28 blocks
• #1 Evelyn Escobar (Sr., OH): 71 kills, .075 hitting pct., 74 digs, 8 blocks
• #8 Kennedi Catano (So., S): 481 assists, 25 kills, .151 hitting pct., 19 aces, 144 digs
• #2 Hayley Couch (Jr., L): 343 digs, 19 assists, 20 aces
Synopsis: After starting off the year with a 4-2 mark, Eastern New Mexico has struggled, winning just two of their past 16 matches. The Zias are 1-9 in Lone Star Conference play, defeating Cameron 3-2 in Portales on Sept. 25, but have since dropped their last six LSC matches.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Eastern New Mexico meet for the 44th time Friday evening with the Lions holding a 25-18 edge in the all-time series, including a three-match winning streak. A&M-Commerce defeated Eastern New Mexico 3-0 back on September 22 and is 8-8 all-time at Greyhound Arena.
Scouting the Lady Buffs
2012: 17-3 overall, 8-2 Lone Star Conference (3rd), 9-2 home. Ranked 11th in this week's AVCA Division II poll
Last Three Matches: W vs. Eastern New Mexico (3-0), L at Abilene Christian (3-0), W at Texas A&M-Kingsville (3-0)
Head Coach: Jason Skoch (Oklahoma State, 1998). Fourth season at West Texas A&M (114-19, .857); Eighth season overall (254-41, .861)
• #1 Halie Harton (Jr., OH): 230 kills, .228 hitting pct., 10 aces, 175 digs, 42 blocks
• #11 Erin Dougherty (Sr., MB): 203 kills, .366 hitting pct., 93 blocks
• #9 Kameryn Hayes (So, OH): 188 kills, .186 hitting pct., 23 blocks
• #4 Stormi Lancaster (Sr., OH): 117 kills, .271 hitting pct., 14 aces, 177 digs, 45 blocks
• #6 Lacy Hayes (Sr., S): 786 assists, 36 kills, .171 hitting pct., 16 aces, 202 digs, 52 blocks
• #12 Lauren Beville (Sr., L): 344 digs, 14 assists, 5 aces
Synopsis: West Texas A&M continues to establish itself as one of the Lone Star Conference elites, winning 13 of its first 14 matches. But the Lady Buffs have dropped a pair of LSC meetings, falling 3-2 at home against Tarleton State and 3-0 at Abilene Christian, sitting in third in the Lone Star Conference standings. West Texas A&M and Texas Woman's, who is currently second in the standings, square off Friday evening before the Lady Buffs' match against the Lions Saturday.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 45th meeting between A&M-Commerce and West Texas A&M with the Lady Buffs holding a commanding 32-12 lead in the all-time series. West Texas A&M has won the last five meetings, including a 3-0 sweep at the Field House on September 21, and have taken 13 of the last 14 meetings between the two. A&M-Commerce has historically struggled at "The Box," posting just a 2-15 record in Canyon with its last win on West Texas A&M's home court coming in a 3-1 victory in 1994.
The Week That Was
A&M-Commerce is coming off a big week, which saw three 3-0 sweeps at the Field House. The Lions stepped out of conference play one last time, routing Henderson State 25-19, 25-12, 25-20 with three players notching 10-plus kills on the evening, led by 12 from Ezon Onditi. A&M-Commerce then welcomed a pair of Lone Star Conference opponents, sweeping Texas A&M-Kingsville 25-12, 27-25, 25-19 behind 14 kills and eight blocks from Rachel Robertson and 41 assists and 15 digs from Jordan Neal. The Lions closed out the weekend with a 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 victory over Incarnate Word as Robertson recorded 12 kills with Michaela Spicer adding 22 digs.
Lions Among Lone Star Conference Leaders
A&M-Commerce continues to rank among the Lone Star Conference leaders both as a team as well as individually. As a unit, the Lions rank in the top half of nearly every statistical category, including leading the LSC in service aces per set (1.62) while sitting fourth in hitting percentage (.203), assists per set (11.81) and kills per set (13.03). Individually, five Lions are among the top-10 in seven statistical categories, led by Rachel Robertson ranking first in both hitting percentage (.373) and points per set (4.42) while Breanne Snyder continues to lead the league in service aces per set (0.39).
Lions Among National Leaders
Not only has A&M-Commerce made its mark on the conference landscape, it has made its mark on the national scene as well. Rachel Robertson ranks 18th nationally in hitting percentage (.373) and 22nd in points per set (4.42) while sitting 41st in kills per set (3.67). Jordan Neal is 21st nationally in assists per set (10.69) while Michaela Spicer is 27th in digs per set (5.11).
A&M-Commerce wraps up its three-match Lone Star Conference road swing at Abilene Christian on Tuesday, October 23, facing the Wildcats at 7 p.m. The Lions then get exactly what they want heading down the stretch, playing five of their final six matches of the season in the friendly confines of the Field House, beginning with a showdown with Cameron at 5 p.m. Friday, October 26, before taking on Midwestern State at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 27.