Texans push reigning WAC champions to four sets but fall in Las Cruces

TSU Sports Information

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico – Tarleton forces the Aggies the New Mexico State to only their fifth match this year past three sets on Monday night, but falls in the fourth set to the reigning Western Athletic Conference champions.

The Texans got behind early in set one after the Aggies went on a 7-0 scoring run at the beginning of the set to make it 2-10. Tarleton went on a 3-0 scoring run and a 4-0 scoring run to get within six, but the Aggies closed it out and took set one.

In set two the Texans took their first lead of the match down 1-0 to begin the match and following it up with a kill from Lauren Kersey and a block from Brianna Rhodes and Hali'a Swartman-Hogan to take the 2-1 lead. The Texans battled until the end in this one stringing together a 5-2 scoring with kills from Kersey and Carmen Kinsey, a couple of Aggie errors and a block from Brianna Rhodes. The Aggies answered with a 3-0 scoring run of their own before the Texans added four more points, but it wasn't enough to overcome their 19-24 deficit.

The Texans come out swinging in set three jumping out to a 3-0 lead with a block from Amber Strange and Rhodes, a service ace from Kayla Brannon, and a kill from Rhodes. The Aggies get one back before the Texans answer again with a kill from Kersey who is leading the Texans in kills.

New Mexico State ties it up at four before Rhodes records another kill and giving the Texans the lead. Tarleton breaks the third set open going up 17-12 on the Aggies before the Texans force New Mexico State to call their first timeout of the match. The Texans close out the set on a trio of kills from Rhodes, Strange and Kersey to take set three.

Leading by as much as two in the fourth set, Tarleton battled back-and-fourth with the Aggies to begin the set. The Texans were only tailing by two at 12-14 before the aggies took off and only let the Texans score two more points this set.

Lauren Kersey led the team tonight for the Texans with 14 kills and was the only Texan in double digits for kills while hitting .379. Brianna Rhodes tied her season high in blocks tonight with six and added four kills. Rhodes was one of three Texans that compiled four kills tonight along with Lorin McNeil and Amber Strange.

Kayla Brannon led the team tonight in assists and digs, acquiring another double-double with 24 assists and 12 digs.

The Texans took on the Aggies for round two Tuesday in the Pan American Center. Results were not available by presstime.