Tarleton State 3, A&M-Commerce 0
Location: The Field House · Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (20-10, 11-9 LSC); Tarleton State (22-8, 15-5 LSC)
Up Next: Lone Star Conference tournament quarterfinals · Thursday, November 15 · San Angelo, Texas
COMMERCE, Texas – A&M-Commerce was looking to send out the 2012 seniors in style in their final match at the Field House Saturday evening, but Tarleton State played the spoiler, handing the Lions a 10-25, 15-25, 22-25 defeat. A&M-Commerce wraps up the regular season 20-10 overall and 11-9 in Lone Star Conference play, finishing fifth in the conference standings.
The Lion offensive attack struggled to find it's rhythym all evening, hitting -.083 against the TexAnns. Senior middle blocker Rachel Robertson led the way with six kills on the night, only the fifth time all season she failed to reach double digits. Chelsee Hudson posted four kills and Kayla Bond added a pair, but were the only Lions to record more than one kill on the night.
A&M-Commerce was once again looking for a quick start against Tarleton State, but the match against the TexAnns began eerily similar to the one against Angelo State from the previous night. Leading 2-1, Tarleton would rattle off 16 unanswered points, building a commanding 18-1 lead and never looked back. The closest A&M-Commerce would get was within 13 at 23-10, but it was a case of too little too late as the TexAnns dominated the first set 25-10 as the Lions hit -.214 for the set.
Tarleton State kept that momentum going into the second as the TexAnns once again put together an extended run, taking a 15-7 advantage midway through the set. A&M-Commerce would claw back to within five at 15-10, but Tarleton found its groove once again, outscoring the Lions 10-5 down the stretch to take the second 25-15.
With the match hanging in the balance, A&M-Commerce seemed to finally settle into their traditional gameplan in the latter part of the third set, using a 5-1 run to take its first lead of the set at 19-18. After matching each other point for point, Tarleton State pulled ahead 23-21, then held off one final Lion rally to take the third 25-22.
The win gives Tarleton State its fourth-straight victory over A&M-Commerce as the TexAnns were led by 13 kills from Stacie Murrah and nine kills and five blocks from Nikki McNorton.
But the Lions will have to put this loss behind them quickly as they now turn their attention to the postseason as the 2012 Lone Star Conference tournament gets underway this Thursday in San Angelo. A&M-Commerce will be the fifth seed and will face Texas Woman's in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Stay tuned to LionAthletics.com for all the latest information surrounding the Lions as they look to make some noise at the conference tournament.