E-T Staff Report
Tarleton State (23-10) set a school record for wins in a season with their 23rd in an upset of Midwestern State in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Volleyball Championship at the WTAMU Fieldhouse in Canyon Thursday.
But the TexAnns still can't beat West Texas A&M.
After the fifth-seeded TexAnns upended the fourth-seeded Mustangs in five sets for their record 23rd victory, they were swept in three sets top-seed host WTAMU in the tournament semifinals.
The Lady Buffs, who fell in the national championship match last year, have never lost to Tarleton, winning all 33 head-to-head matches.
The TexAnns ran away with the first set Thursday, winning 25-10 before MSU got the better of them in a pair of back-and-forth games that both finished with the Mustangs on top 25-21.
Tarleton came roaring back, scoring the first six points of game four on their way to a 25-16 win to even the match.
The TexAnns trailed 6-2 early in the short fifth set, but responded with a 6-1 surge to take the lead on their way to a 16-14 win.
Rachel Wolf led Tarleton with 21 kills while Irelis Ilarraza added 13. Most of that damage was set up by Jessie Hartman and Danielle Barker, who had 32 and 19 assists, respectively.
Monica Hamel had a defensive double-double with 16 digs and an impressive 11 blocks. Shea McBrearty led the TexAnns in digs with 21.
Tarleton was blown out of two sets and edged in the third against WT, which advanced to Saturday's championship with the 25-10, 25-13, 25-22 victory.
Tarleton gave up long runs in each of the first two sets, being outscored 11-5 to start game one before surrendering a 14-2 run in game two.
The match ended the career of Tarleton all-time digs leader McBrearty, who posted 14 digs to finish her career with 1,847.
Flynn Harrell had 12 kills to lead the TexAnn offense, while Ashley Davis paced WT with 13 kills.
Other Tarleton seniors completing their careers were Catherine Cutbirth, Margaret Luedecke and Wolf.