The Commerce Journal
Back on September 7, Southeastern Oklahoma State handed Texas A&M University-Commerce’s volleyball team a 3-2 defeat for the Lions first setback of the year. Tuesday at the Field House, A&M-Commerce made sure there would not be a repeat performance, sweeping the Savage Storm 25-12, 25-20, 25-17.
“We executed very well tonight,” said head coach Craig Case. “Everything we set out to do we were able to accomplish, and I thought we played at a very high level. A lot of that credit goes to the fans, who were amazing tonight. They were loud and with us from the opening set, and even when things weren’t going well, they stuck with us and played a huge role in this victory tonight.”
Breanne Snyder had a solid outing for A&M-Commerce, recording a match-high 11 kills with a .421 hitting percentage, a service ace and eight digs. Kayla Bond added eight kills on a .316 hitting percentage with a pair of blocks while Rachel Robertson and Ciara Holmes each finished with seven kills apiece for the Lions, a career-best for Holmes who also hit a blistering .462 to lead all players.
Ezon Onditi added five kills for A&M-Commerce while Jordan Neal dished out 38 assists, averaging just under 13 per set, to complement her eight digs, two kills and a pair of blocks. Michaela Spicer recorded 14 digs defensively for the Lions while Dakota Crockett had one of her best outings of the season, registering seven digs.
Energized by the crowd of nearly 700, A&M-Commerce came out firing in set one, notching the first five points of the set and never looking back. The Lions extended their lead to as many as 15, holding a commanding 19-4 advantage, before cruising to the 25-12 decision in the opener.
The Savage Storm wasn’t fazed heading into the second, however, as they matched the Lions point-for-point for the majority of the set. The two teams combined for 13 ties and eight lead changes as Southeastern Oklahoma built a 16-13 lead. But A&M-Commerce responded, outscoring the Savage Storm 12-4 down the stretch to take the second 25-20 to lead 2-0 at intermission.
A&M-Commerce came out strong once again in the third, notching the first four points. After Southeastern Oklahoma tied things up at 5-5, the Lions slowly distanced themselves from the Savage Storm, leading by as many as five at 14-9. The Savage Storm mounted one last rally, pulling to within two on three separate occasions, but A&M-Commerce closed out the match by notching six-straight points, taking the third 25-17 and avenging the loss earlier this month.
The Lions improved to 21-9 all-time against Southeastern Oklahoma and 10-4 against the Savage Storm at the Field House. Megan Kunkel led the way for Southeastern Oklahoma with a double-double, posting 10 kills and 11 digs while Emily Gentle added five kills and five digs for the Storm.
A&M-Commerce closed out its four-match homestand with a 2-2 record and now hit the road for a crucial four-match Lone Star Conference road trip. The Lions travel to Wichita Falls Friday for a showdown with Midwestern State at 7 p.m. then head north to Lawton, Okla. to face Cameron at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Live stats of both matches will be available at LionAthletics.com.