The Commerce Journal
Behind double-digit kill totals from sophomore Breanne Snyder and senior Rachel Robertson, A&M-Commerce matched its best start since 2002, sweeping A&M-Kingsville 25-16, 25-21, 25-17 at the Steinke Center. The Lions trailed just three times on the afternoon while improving to 9-1 overall and 2-0 in Lone Star Conference play with seven of their nine wins coming in three-set sweeps.
“It’s been a great start to the season, but we know it’s just that– a start,” said head coach Craig Case. “There is a lot of volleyball left to play, but I really like the way we are playing as a team right now. We’re excited to be able to finally play some home matches this week as the season and hopefully continue to play at the level we have been playing for the past three weeks.”
A&M-Commerce’s 9-1 mark matches the 1982, 1987 and 2002 squads for the second-best record through the first 10 matches of the season. Only the 1986 (12-0) and 1988 (11-0) teams had a better record through the opening 10 matches of the season.
Snyder tied her season-high with 15 kills against the Javelinas, recording just two hitting errors to hit .302 for the match with seven digs. Robertson added 10 kills of her own while hitting .444 on the afternoon with a pair of blocks and a pair of aces.
Sophomore Ezon Onditi posted six kills, three digs and three blocks for the Lions while senior Morgan Moeller and junior Kayla Bond each added four kills for A&M-Commerce. Junior Jordan Neal notched her sixth double-double of the season with 34 assists and 11 digs. Bond led the Lions with four blocks while sophomore Michaela Spicer anchored the back row with a team-best 15 digs.
Coming off a convincing 3-0 victory at Incarnate Word Friday evening, A&M-Commerce carried that momentum into its match with the Javelinas, establishing command early by building a 14-9 lead at the midway point of the set. The Lions would extend that advantage to nine at 24-15 before closing out A&M-Kingsville 25-17 in the opener.
A 5-0 run to open up the second set the tone early for A&M-Commerce who led wire-to-wire. The Lions led by as many as seven at 14-7, then fought off a late Javelina rally. A&M-Kingsville was able to trim the gap to two on three occasions, the last of which came at 23-21. But a kill from Morgan and a service ace from Savanah Neal sealed the second, giving the Lions a commanding 2-0 lead.
The domination continued into the third set as after falling behind 3-2, A&M-Commerce went on a 19-8 spurt to essentially put the nail in the coffin, posting a 21-11 lead over the Javelinas. The Lions then made the points they needed to down the stretch as back-to-back kills from Onditi sealed A&M-Commerce’s ninth win of the year.
“We really had a lot of people step up when they needed to this weekend,” said Case. “That has been the strength of our team thus far that if someone is having an off night, someone else will step up. Ezon had a phenomenal weekend, Savanah had some crucial digs in the third set to turn the tide for us, Morgan continues to do whatever we need her to do. As a team, they are doing everything I’m asking them to do.”