No. 23 Lions defeat TWU 3-1

Photo Courtesy | Ashley Tuppen

By Tyler McDonough | Senior Sports Reporter

The No. 23 A&M-Commerce Lions volleyball team returned home after losing to Angelo St. and Tarleton St over the weekend. The Lions won their first Lone Star Conference game of the season on Tuesday defeating Texas Women’s University 3-1.

TWU started the game hot taking an early 7-4 lead over the Lions. Shortly after the Lions cut into the Pioneers lead making the score 11-10, but another run by TWU made the score 19-14. After a timeout by Head Coach Craig Case the Lions fought back to make the score 22-21, but the Pioneers won three of the next four points to take the set.

The Lions bounced back early in the second set firing on all cylinders and never looking back. The Lions took a 13-4 lead after scoring nine straight points on serves from Celeste Vela. The Lions ultimately took the set 25-15 with 17 kills and a hitting percentage of .361.

The third set was close all the way to the stretch. The Lions opened up with an early 13-8 lead, but the Pioneers never went away going on mini-runs throughout the set. Despite the runs from TWU the Lions never let the Pioneers within three points clinging to a 25-20 to take set three.

The Lions dominated the fourth set claiming nine of the first ten points on serves from Savannah Rutledge and Daniela Santos. The Pioneers never rebounded from the early deficit and were never able to get within eight points of the Lions. The Lions finished the set with a .298 hitting percentage.

Celeste Vela led the Lions with her second triple-double of the season as she recorded 14 kills, 17 assists, and 12 digs. Jaryn Wacker led things on offense as she recorded 21 kills and a .419 hitting percentage. Savannah Rutledge anchored the defense with 22 digs, and Rylie Fuentes dished out 31 assists.

The Lions extend their record to 8-4 (1-2 LSC) on the season. A&M-Commerce will be back in action again this Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Field House as they take on A&M-Kingsville.