The Commerce Journal
Led by three players notching double-digit kill totals, Texas A&M University-Commerce made a resounding return to the Field House Tuesday evening, routing Henderson State 25-19, 25-12, 25-20. The Lions end a three-game losing skid, improving to 13-6 on the year while Henderson State fell to 4-16.
A&M-Commerce had a balanced attack all evening long, recording 51 kills and a .301 hitting percentage compared to just 23 kills and a .058 attack percentage for the Lady Reddies. Ezon Onditi led the way with 12 kills for A&M-Commerce, complemented by 11 from both Rachel Robertson and Kayla Bond. Bond also had five blocks on the night to lead the Lions with Robertson and Chelsee Hudson each adding a pair.
The Lions also held a commanding 49 to 21 advantage in assists, paced by 43 from Jordan Neal, who added eight digs, three kills and a pair of aces. Defensively, Michaela Spicer notched 18 digs with Savanah Neal adding 10 while Dakota Crockett finished with eight, giving A&M-Commerce a 62-50 advantage in digs. Breanne Snyder also had a strong night for the Lions, recording eight kills and six digs.
Playing their first home match in two weeks, A&M-Commerce came out of the gates a little sluggish as Henderson State lead by as many as four in the early going. But a 6-0 run put the Lions on top at 12-10, giving A&M-Commerce a lead they never relinquished. The Lady Reddies did come back to tie the set at 15, but the Lions pulled away down the stretch, outscoring Henderson State 10-4 to take the 25-19 victory.
Set two belonged to A&M-Commerce from the opening serve as the Lions roared out to a 13-5 advantage and never looked back. A&M-Commerce would lead by as many as 14 at 22-8 before settling in for the 25-12 second set decision to take a comfortable 2-0 lead.
A&M-Commerce took the lead early in the third set as well, but was unable to string together the extended run they had enjoyed in the opening two sets. The Lions would pull ahead by five at 18-13 and seemed on the brink of running away with the third, only to see Henderson State mount a 6-1 run to tie the match at 19-19. But after an A&M-Commerce timeout, the Lions came out on fire, recording six of the last seven points to seal the match with a 25-20 victory.
The win over Henderson State marks the fourth-straight in the series as A&M-Commerce narrowed the all-time series to 23-15 for the Lady Reddies. Jessica Moss and Ty Lindberg each had eight kills for Henderson State with Sarah Williams adding four in defeat.
A&M-Commerce continues its brief three-match homestand Friday when it welcomes rival A&M-Kingsville to the Field House for a 5 p.m. opening serve. The Lions then host Incarnate Word on Saturday at 1 p.m. for the annual Dig Pink match as fans are encouraged to wear pink as A&M-Commerce will use the afternoon to help raise funds for breast cancer research.