Lions Sweep TWU in Regular Season Finale


John Parsons

Student-athletes salute their university and their fans after defeating TWU

DJ Spencer, Sports Editor

The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team defeated the Texas Woman’s University Pioneers in their final regular season game March 17 in a Lone Star Conference North Division showdown. This win was their fourth in a row to end the season, finishing 6-6 after sitting at 2-6 through their first eight games.

Head coach Craig Case said he was pleased with the team performance and for them maintaining a great attitude during the game.

“Some things had a direct impact on the efficiency and effectiveness we would normally have,” Case said. “I am hopeful that we can keep getting better and moving towards our team goals.”

During the first set, the Lions established an early 3-0 lead. The Pioneers fought back, ultimately tying the set at 15-15.

Both teams continued to play hard offensively and defensively, with the set being tied at 23-23. From there, the Lions scored the final two points and won the first set 25-23.

The second set would see constant lead changes, as neither team could establish a lead of more than two points early on. Eventually, with the score tied at 15-15, the Lions went on a 4-1 run, making the score 20-16. 

The Pioneers still battled hard, cutting the deficit to 24-23. However, the Lions would again score the final point, winning the second set 25-23. 

The Lions opened the third set strong, appearing to be in control after opening with a 7-3 lead. However, the Pioneers played even harder, eventually tying the set at 22-22. 

The Pioneers had a chance to finish the set while the score was 24-23, but the Lions would tie the set. The Lions had a chance to finish at set point with the score 25-24, but the Pioneers would tie once again.

With the score at 26-25, the Pioneers had a second chance to finish the set, but the Lions managed to tie the set. Then, the Lions had three opportunities to end the set with 27-26, 28-27 and 29-28 leads, but the Pioneers answered the Lions each time, leading to a 29-29 tie. 

The Pioneers had opportunities to end the set with 30-29 and 31-30 leads, but the Lions would continue to tie each time, leading to a 31-31 tie. 

The Lions and Pioneers would then trade failed opportunities to end the set with 32-31 and 33-32 leads, resulting in a 33-33 tie. 

Then, on their fifth chance, the Lions would capitalize on the opportunity and score the final two points of the set, winning the set 35-33 and completing the sweep. 

With the victory, the Lions and Pioneers finished their season series at 2-2, with TWU winning the first two games and A&M-Commerce winning the last two.

The Lions won all three sets despite having the lower hitting percentage, hitting .138 to TWU’s .164.

Three Lions – Sydney Andersen, Taryn Cast and Maiya Dickie all had double-digit kills, 10 from Andersen and 12 each from Cast and Dickie. Cast and Dickie would also post three and four blocks respectively.

Two other Lions, Aislynn Shore and Celeste Vela posted double-doubles, as Shore posted 21 assists and 10 digs, while Vela totaled 24 assists and 10 digs.

Riley Davidson and Lyric Hebert led the team in digs, totaling 16 each.

Assistant coach Steven Flowers stated he was proud of the response to adversity during the game.

“The team showed the heart of a champion,” Flowers said. “We are excited to get into a very tough tournament and hopefully play our best volleyball.”

The Lions will now prepare for the LSC Tournament. They will take on the Oklahoma Christian University Eagles in the opening round of the tournament March 23 at 6 p.m. in Steinke Center in Kingsville.

Student-athletes salute their university and their fans after defeating TWU (John Parsons)