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Brannon has first double-double of the season in Tarleton’s four set loss at GCU

TSU Sports Information
Kayla Brannon
Natalya Chatham

PHOENIX – The Texans fell in match two of their WAC opening debut against Grand Canyon in four sets on Tuesday night in Phoenix.

Tarleton now 0-2 in WAC play battled hard in the first set outlasting the Lopes 28-26 but fell behind in sets two through four 22-25, 18-25, and 22-25 respectively. Kayla Brannon had herself a match recording her first double-double of the season with 45 assists and 14 digs.

In the opening set, Tarleton was able to get ahead early but then went back and forth with the Lopes for a while. They then went on a 4-point run getting ahead 21-18 late in the first set. Key blocks from Natalya Chatham and back-to-back kills by Amber Strange and Lauren Kersey sealed the deal on the set win.

The Lopes started out set two with an early 8-point advantage over the Texans. Tarleton hit a 5-point run as Amber Strange hit double digits (10) in kills. The Lopes and Texans traded scores back and forth until GCU took the advantage 22-25.

Tarleton had a one to two point lead the whole beginning of the third set but after an 8-1 run by the Lopes they took a three-point lead. Kayla Brannon matched her previous season high of 30 assists in this set. The Lopes were able to take their biggest lead of the match 15-23 and closed out the third set.

Set four started slow for the Texans but they battled back quickly in a 4-point run to go up 10-5 on the Lopes. Tarleton grew the lead to 14 but not enough to stop the Lopes from going on a 9-1 run to regain the lead. The Texans fell in the fourth set 22-25.

The Texans were able to out dig the Lopes 89-84 in the match. Ana Costas was a big-time contributor in digs recording 20 in the match, followed by Matti Theurer with 16 and Kayla Brannon, Isabel Gonzaba, and Emma Halcomb with 14 each.

In Kayla Brannon's standout match she also led all players on both teams in hitting percentage with .600, while Amber Strange led the team in attacks (47) and kills (16).

The Texans return home for the first time this season to face California Baptist at home in Wisdom Volleyball Gym Feb. 1-2 at 6 p.m.