A&M-Commerce Lions vs. No. 9 Angelo State
Friday, November 9 • 7 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (20-8, 11-7 LSC); Angelo State (24-3, 17-1 LSC)
A&M-Commerce vs. Tarleton State
Saturday, November 10 • 7 p.m.
The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (20-8, 11-7 LSC); Tarleton State (20-8, 13-5 LSC)
A&M-Commerce closes out the 2012 regular season with a pair of big home matches at the Field House this weekend. The Lions take on ninth-ranked Angelo State Friday evening before welcoming Tarleton State Saturday evening, with both matches getting underway at 7 p.m.
Lion Seniors Take Final Bow
Saturday's match against Tarleton State marks the regular season finale, which is the final time that four A&M-Commerce seniors will take to the floor at the Field House. Morgan Moeller, Haley Richburg, Rachel Robertson and Chelsea Simonton comprise the Lions' senior class of 2012 and will be recognized prior to the opening serve against the TexAnns.
Lions on the Web
Lion volleyball fans unable to make it to the Field House this weekend can still stay up-to-date on every A&M-Commerce point. Live video of the matches against both the Rambelles and TexAnns will be available at LionAthletics.com, powered by Stretch Internet. The video feed does require a subscription, running $7.95 per match. Live statistics are also available at LionAthletics.com as well as Twitter updates @Lion_Athletics.
Scouting the Rambelles
2012: 24-3 overall, 17-1 Lone Star Conference (1st), 9-1 road. Ranked ninth in this week's AVCA Division II Coaches Poll
Last Three Matches: W at Texas A&M-Kingsville (3-1), W at Incarnate Word (3-0), W vs. Eastern New Mexico (3-0)
Head Coach: Chuck Waddington (Rensselare Poly, 1993). Fifth season at Angelo State (113-49, .698)
• #14 Shelbi Goode (Jr., MB): 350 kills, .240 hitting pct., 9 aces, 160 digs, 42 blocks
• #3 Maddie Huth (Jr., MB): 257 kills, .353 hitting pct., 20 aces, 99 digs, 85 blocks
• #12 Kaelen Valdez (Jr., OH): 225 kills, .188 hitting pct., 346 digs, 19 blocks
• #17 Chelsea Gibson (Sr., OH): 163 kills, .232 hitting pct., 70 digs, 40 blocks
• #6 Alex Woolsey (Sr., S): 1,093 assists, 62 kills, .228 hitting pct., 14 aces, 269 digs, 33 blocks
• #1 Shelby Wilt (So., L): 489 digs, 97 assists, 21 aces
Synopsis: Angelo State heads into the weekend looking to clinch the regular season Lone Star Conference title, needing just one win to overtake West Texas A&M. The Rambelles are ranked ninth in this week's AVCA Division II Coaches poll, sitting at 24-3 overall and 17-1 in Lone Star Conference play. Angelo State has won 11-straight matches with their only LSC blemish a 3-2 loss at West Texas A&M on September 29th.
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Angelo State clash for the 50th time Friday night, with the Rambelles holding a 30-19 edge in the all-time series including a 3-0 sweep of the Lions in San Angelo on October 6th. Angelo State has won the last six meetings between the two, dating back to the 2007 season when the Lions upended the Rambelles 3-1 for its last win between the two. Angelo State also holds the edge in matches played at the Field House, holding a 9-7 mark in Commerce.
Scouting the TexAnns
2012: 20-8 overall, 13-5 Lone Star Conference (4th), 6-4 road
Last Three Matches: L at Incarnate Word (3-1), L at Texas A&M-Kingsville (3-1), L vs. West Texas A&M (3-1)
Head Coach: Mary Schindler (Tarleton State, 2002). Ninth season at Tarleton State (138-111, .554)
• #13 Katie Covell (R-So., OH): 289 kills, .145 hitting pct., 14 aces, 351 digs, 32 blocks
• #16 Nikki McNorton (Sr., MB): 282 kills, .333 hitting pct., 11 aces, 83 digs, 141 blocks
• #1 Stacie Murrah (Jr., OH): 265 kills, .265 hitting pct., 67 digs, 56 blocks
• #18 Meg Umbel (Fr., MB): 165 kills, .211 hitting pct., 72 blocks
• #3 Danielle Barker (Jr., S): 1,003 assists, 74 kills, .217 hitting pct., 35 aces, 238 digs, 19 blocks
• #11 Emily Klein (Jr., L): 516 digs, 22 aces, 40 assists
Synopsis: Tarleton State appeared in the hunt for the Lone Star Conference regular season title for the majority of the season, but three-straight losses for the TexAnns have dropped Tarleton back to fourth in the LSC standings. Tarleton State plays at Texas Woman's Friday, and its match against A&M-Commerce could be a first round LSC tournament preview as the Lions have already clinched the five-seed.
Series Information: Saturday marks the 28th meeting between A&M-Commerce and Tarleton State with the Lions holding a 15-12 edge in the all-time series. But the TexAnns have won the last three, including a 3-2 decision over the Lions on October 5th in which Tarleton rallied from an 11-6 deficit in set five to steal the deciding set 15-11. A&M-Commerce is 5-4 all-time against Tarleton State at the Field House, notching a 3-2 win in 2010 for its last victory over the TexAnns.
Lions Sweep Wildcats To Notch 20th Win
A&M-Commerce opened up its three-match season-ending homestand with a 25-10, 25-23, 25-27, 25-12 victory over Abilene Christian, sweeping the season series against the Wildcats and notching its 20th win of the season. The Lions were once again led by Rachel Robertson's 17 kills and .412 hitting percentage as she added eight digs and three blocks. Kayla Bond also came up big for A&M-Commerce, recording eight kills and a career-best eight blocks. With the victory, the Lions notch their final victory in the series against Abilene Christian, which will make the move to Division I next season, as well as clinching the five seed in the Lone Star Conference tournament later this month.
Robertson Poised To Move Into Third in Career Kills
With her 17 kills against Abilene Christian, Rachel Robertson upped her career kill total to 1,325, sitting just three kills shy of passing Alice Fortes (1985-88) to move into third place all-time in Lion volleyball history. Robertson, who has 373 kills in 2012, ranks among both the LSC and national leaders in a number of categories, and his hitting .391 on the year, the second-best performance in school history.
Neal, Spicer Hit Season Milestones
Junior setter Jordan Neal and sophomore libero Michaela Spicer have both made their marks on the Lion single-season record books. Neal posted 37 assists against Abilene Christian, upping her season total to 1,031 and making her the fourth player in program history with back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons. She sits 44 helpers shy of cracking the season top-10 list. Spicer recorded 20 digs against the Wildcats, upping her season total to 491, which is the seventh-best single-season total in program history. She is just nine digs away from becoming the fourth player in Lion volleyball history to record 500 digs in a season.
Lions Among the National Leaders
Heading into the final week of the regular season, a trio of Lions remain among the national leaders in a number of categories. Rachel Robertson ranks in the top-20 in a pair of categories, sitting 13th nationally in hitting percentage (.391) and 16th in points per set (4.63), leading the Lone Star Conference in both categories. She also sits 23rd overall in kills per set (3.93), sitting second in the LSC. Jordan Neal is 22nd nationally in assists per set (10.85) while Michaela Spicer ranks 27th in digs per set (5.17).
The 2012 regular season concludes this Saturday with A&M-Commerce setting its sights on the 2012 Lone Star Conference Championships next weekend. The tournament will be held at the site of the regular season conference champion, which appears to be San Angelo at the present time. The Lions have clinched the five seed and will face the fourth seed in the quarterfinals Thursday afternoon, which if the tournament began today would be a rematch with the TexAnns of Tarleton State. The semifinals will be held Friday, November, 16 with the championship match Saturday, November 17. Full brackets and seedings will be posted as they become available at LionAthletics.com.