A&M-Commerce Lions at Texas Woman’s Pioneers
Tuesday, October 30 • 7 p.m.
Kitty Magee Arena • Denton, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (19-7, 10-6 LSC); Texas Woman’s (18-6, 12-4 LSC)
A&M-Commerce hits the road for the final time in the 2012 regular season, making the trip west on Highway 380 for a showdown with long-time rival Texas Woman’s on Tuesday, October 30th at 7 p.m.
What’s On The Line
Tuesday night’s match against the Pioneers is key for both teams as the 2012 Lone Star Conference Championships loom on the horizon. Currently, Texas Woman’s sits in fourth in the LSC standings at 12-4, two matches better than the fifth-place Lions at 10-6. A win by A&M-Commerce would pull the Lions to within one match of the Pioneers, while a win by Texas Woman’s would give the Pioneers a three-match cushion as they would have the season tiebreaker over the Lions.
Scouting the Pioneers
2012: 18-6 overall, 12-4 LSC (4th), 9-1 home
Last Three Matches: W vs. Cameron (3-0), W vs. Midwestern State (3-1), W at Eastern New Mexico (3-0)
Head Coach: Shelly Barberee (Stephen F. Austin, 1994). 10th season at Texas Woman’s (165-154, .517); 15th season overall (367-235, .610)
• #5 Viktorija Jablonska (Sr., RS): 298 kills, .321 hitting pct., 17 aces, 174 digs, 55 blocks
• #4 Chloe’ Tate (Jr., MB): 211 kills, .291 hitting pct., 9 aces, 52 digs, 83 blocks
• #10 Marcela Alves (Jr., MB): 210 kills, .299 hitting pct., 40 digs, 66 blocks
• #2 Josie Santos (Jr., RS): 146 kills, .231 hitting pct., 142 digs, 19 blocks
• #14 Kayla Rivero (So., S): 581 assists, 17 aces, 191 digs, 4 blocks
• #3 Morgan Wilson (So., L): 341 digs, 17 aces, 21 assists
Synopsis: Texas Woman’s has emerged as one of the top teams in the Lone Star Conference in 2012, posting a 12-4 mark and has won five of its last six LSC matches. The Pioneers remain in the hunt for the conference’s top seed, sitting three games back of top-seeded Angelo State and one back of both Tarleton State and West Texas A&M. Texas Woman’s has been one of the conference’s toughest teams at home, posting a 9-1 record at Kitty Magee Arena.
The rivalry between A&M-Commerce and Texas Woman’s is the longest standing in Lion program history with Tuesday night’s match marking the 70th meeting between the two. A&M-Commerce holds a 40-29 edge in the all-time series, winning four of the last six meetings between the two. But the Pioneers had the upper hand in the first meeting of the season, sweeping the Lions 3-0 in A&M-Commerce’s home opener on September 18th. The Lions are 15-11 all-time in Denton, having won the last two meetings at Kitty Magee Arena.
The Week That Was
A&M-Commerce had one of its best weeks in recent history, notching three 3-0 sweeps over a trio of Lone Star Conference foes. The week began with a sweep of Abilene Christian, marking the Lions’ first win in Abilene since 1995, highlighted by a career-high 25 kills from Rachel Robertson. A&M-Commerce then returned to the Field House, notching a pair of sweeps over Cameron and Midwestern State. The Lion offensive attack was on par all weekend as A&M-Commerce hit .364 against the Aggies and .301 against the Mustangs.
A trio of Lions continue to close in on some impressive season and career milestones. Rachel Robertson had no hitting errors for the second-straight match Saturday against Midwestern State, hitting .591 against the Mustangs. For the season, she leads the Lone Star Conference with a .394 hitting percentage, ranking second all-time in program history behind Amy Wallace's .422 in 2001. Robertson increased her career kill total to 1,297, sitting just 31 kills back of Alice Fortes (1985-88) for third all-time in Lion program history. Michaela Spicer's eight digs against Midwestern State upped her season total to 459, which ranks as the ninth-best single-season performance in school history and just 41 shy of becoming the seventh player to surpass 500 digs in a season. Jordan Neal's 36 assists against the Mustangs upped her season total to 968, leaving her 32 helpers shy of becoming just the fourth player in program history with back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons. She also improved her career total to 2,888, leaving her 112 shy of 3,000 career assists.
Lions Among the National Leaders
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, a trio of Lions continue to find themselves among the national leaders, moving up the standings over the past week. Rachel Robertson sits in the top-20 in a pair of categories, sitting 13th nationally in hitting percentage (.394) and 18th in points per set (4.63) while ranking 26th in kills per set (3.92). Jordan Neal sits among the national top-20 in assists, sitting 16th in assists per set (11.00) while Michaela Spicer is 26th in digs per set (5.22).
Lions Among the Lone Star Conference Leaders
Two weeks remain in the Lone Star Conference season and A&M-Commerce continues to establish itself among the leaders in a number of statistical categories. As a team, the Lions continue to lead the LSC in service aces per set (1.61) while ranking fourth in hitting percentage (.209) and kills per set (13.23). Individually, five Lions rank among the LSC leaders in six statistical categories, highlighted by Rachel Robertson ranking first in hitting percentage (.394) and points per set (4.63) with Jordan Neal leading the conference in service aces (0.38).
|Hitting Percentage:||Rachel Robertson||1st||.394|
|Service Aces:||Jordan Neal||1st||0.38|
Following the match at Texas Woman’s Tuesday night, A&M-Commerce closes out the 2012 regular season with three-straight home matches, beginning with their final series meeting against Abilene Christian this Friday, November 2nd, at the Field House. Opening serve against the Wildcats is set for 7 p.m.