Lions fall to UT Tyler in four sets


DJ Spencer

The Lions await the serve

DJ Spencer, Sports Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lion volleyball team lost to the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots 3-1 March 3, in a Lone Star Conference North Division showdown. 

During the first set, the Lions and Patriots went back and forth, mostly trading leads. However, after the score was tied at 5-5, the Lions went on a 9-5 run, with the score 14-10. 

The Patriots fought back, tying the set at 22 points. The Patriots would score three more points and win the set 25-22.

The second set started out similarly to the first, with both teams continuously trading leads early on. The highest tie of this set was 14-14.

After that, the Patriots went on an 11-5 run, winning the second set 25-19. 

The third set looked to be the end of the match, as the Patriots jumped out to an early 11-6 lead. However, the Lions would fight back to even the score at 23. 

The Lions had three chances to finish the set, with 24-23, 25-24, and 26-25 leads, but the Patriots tied the set each time. The Lions finished the set on their fourth set point to win 28-26 and forced a fourth set. 

The Lions would open the fourth set strong, jumping out to a 3-1 lead. But, as they had in previous sets, the Patriots again caught fire, ultimately tying the set at 13. 

From that point, the Patriots would go on a 12-9 run, winning the fourth set and match 25-22. With the loss, the Lions were swept by the Patriots for the season. 

The Lions hit .134 during the match, totaling 54 kills, compared to the Patriots .191 with 54 kills.

Keziah Williams hit .333, while contributing 13 kills and three blocks. 

Celeste Vela posted a double-double, totaling 27 assists and 12 digs. Vela also had nine kills, finishing one kill short of a triple-double.

Riley Davidson had 22 digs and Lyric Hebert contributed 18 digs of her own. 

The Lions, now 2-6, will have their first non-winning season since 2014. The Patriots, meanwhile, won the LSC North Division title for the first time since joining the LSC in 2019.

This is the Lions’ sixth loss in a row after starting the season 2-0. The Lions will have two more games this season on March 9 and 10 when they take on the Dallas Baptist University Patriots at the Burg Center in Dallas.