The East Texan

Historic Volleyball Season Comes to an End

Tyler McDonough & Christian Stadie, Senior Sports Reporter

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The A&M-Commerce Lions finish the season 30-6 | Photo by Lion Athletics

By Tyler McDonough & Christian Stadie | Sports Reporters

The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team’s historic season came to an end in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Championship Saturday in Stephenville, as the Lions fell to LSC rival Tarleton St. three games to one.

The most successful season in 31 years for the Lions featured a 30-win season in which A&M-Commerce finished with a 30-6 record and won the Lone Star Conference Tournament. It is the first time since 1987 that the Lions accomplished either feat.

How It Happened

The NCAA Division II South-Central Regional volleyball tournament started over the weekend with Tarleton State hosting the region. The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions entered the tournament seeded second.

The Lions first opponent for the Lions were the Angelo State Rams, who they took the first set against. The Rams handily defeated the Lions 25-14 in the next set, but the Lions matched their score in the third for a 2-1 lead. The Lions pounced on their opportunity to advance in a hard fought, 25-23 victory for the fourth set and the match.

The Lions then turned their attention to Colorado Mesa, and they were in for a fight as it went to the full five sets. The Lions had the early advantage as they won 25-22, but lost by the slimmest possible margin in the second set by a score of 26-24. Looking to take control, the Lions competed as best they could and defeated Colorado Mesa 29-27 for the lead. Colorado Mesa got the biggest victory go the match to that point as they defeated the Lions 25-19, but A&M Commerce came out on top in the end as they won the final set 15-12 to move on to the regional finals, where they would go up against the Tarleton State Tex-Anns.

There was a lot of back and forth in the first set, as Tarleton escaped with the win. The Lions immediately rebounded and won another competitive set 25-23 to even everything up. The Texans then dominated their way to a nine-point victory and held the Lions’ fate in their hand. However, unlike in all their previous matchups, the Lions fell just short by a score of 28-26, bringing a very strong year of play to a close.

Tip of the Cap

The Lions are sure to be back at it next year, better and stronger than ever. The path has been paved by a fantastic coaching staff in Head Coach Craig Case and co. and by a senior core who’s work ethic is second to none.

The Lions will say goodbye to twins Jaryn and Jaslyn Wacker whom I can say if there was an award for work ethic and integrity the Wacker twins would win that unanimously. The Lions will also say goodbye to Preston Lienemann who took a lesser role this season for the better of the team. I cannot say enough good things about Lienemann. She is a true competitor and a true team player.

The Lions will also say goodbye to Carolina Machado. In her lone season with the Lions, Machado provided a spark off the bench as a terrific setter.

This senior class has paved a path for years to come for the Lions. The Lions will be back and hungrier than ever to make the National Championship in 2019.

#LionU 🦁

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Historic Volleyball Season Comes to an End