PORTALES, NM - Tarleton used a balanced offensive onslaught to keep its winning ways alive and sweep Eastern New Mexico in Greyhound Arena Saturday afternoon.
As a team, Tarleton hit .207 and had six players record at least five kills for the match. Adriana Darthuy led the way with seven while Sofia Tonga and Alexis Applewhite added six each. Elizabeth Muliaga, Carmen Kinsey, and Tatyana Tuialii-Umi each added five kills of their own. Muliaga's five kills came on seven swings with no errors for a team-high .714 hit percentage.
Setters Blanca Izquierdo (12) and Kayla Brannon (11) combined for 23 assists to pace the offense while Tonga led the team with five blocks. Adrianna Knutson had a team-high 11 digs to inch her even closer to No. 2 all-time in Tarleton history. With 1,644 digs, she trails Emily Klein (1,656) by 12 for the second-most in program history. Knutson is 203 digs away from the all-time mark set by Shea McBrearty from 2007-10.
Eastern New Mexico came out swinging in the opening set to the tune of a 14-10 lead, but Darthuy, McManus, and Izquierdo stepped up for four straight points - one kill from Darthuy, two from McManus, and a block from McManus and Izquierdo - to even things up at 14-14 and force a Greyhound timeout.
Out of the break, Tarleton went on an 11-6 run to close out the set with a 25-20 win.
Tarleton kept the momentum rolling in the second set by opening up with a 15-9 lead over the first 24 points, but Eastern New Mexico answered right back with a 15-8 run to go to set-point at 24-23. Alexis Applewhite kept the game alive with a kill and, after ENMU retook the advantage at 25-24, Tarleton put the game away with three straight points on kills from Muliaga and Tonga and a bad set from the Greyhounds to win 27-25.
The third set went the same way as the opener as the teams were tied 14-14 after the first 28 points before Tarleton ended the match on an 11-6 with a kill shot from Kinsey closing things off at 25-20.
Tarleton will be back home next Saturday for Family Weekend in Stephenville with an altered schedule. The TexAnns were originally scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in Wisdom Gym, but will now play two games on Saturday, beginning with a 12 p.m. LSC showdown with Texas A&M-Kingsville and wrapping up with a 6 p.m. match against St. Mary's.