By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team (9-2) fell in straight sets to Texas Woman’s University Wednesday night in their first home game of the season. The straight set loss is the first time the Lions have failed to win a set this year.
Senior Rachel Robertson was honored before the match for recording 1,000 career kills. Robertson is the ninth A&M-Commerce player to reach that mark.
The Lions got off to a solid start, matching the Pioneers point for point. But TWU began to pull away in the first set, thanks to a string of strong kills. Sophomore Breane Snyder brought the Lions to within nine after a huge kill from the sideline, but it wasn’t enough to stave off a first set loss, as A&M-Commerce fell to TWU 25-13. In the first set, A&M-Commerce hit 47 percent, compared to 92 percent by TWU. Jordan Neal led the Lions with five digs. Senior Viktorija Jablonska led the Pioneers with five kills.
The Pioneers began the second set aggressively, but the Lions began to take advantage of errors by TWU to take a 6-4 lead. The Pioneers clawed their way back in the middle of the set, taking a sizeable lead as the Lions were consistently out of position on TWU dump shots.
Two straight successful shots by Rachel Robertson brought the Lions back within 3, 19-16, but the Lions were unable to get any closer as they fell 25-21. The Lions shot 51 percent in the second set, compared to 61 percent by the Pioneers.
TWU outworked A&M-Commerce in the beginning of the third set, establishing an early 7-2 lead. Robertson and the Lions shortened the lead to 9-9, fighting furiously to secure the set. A well-rounded attack by the Pioneers resulted in a 25-19 victory.
The Lions shot 50 percent for the game, compared to the Pioneer’s 69 percent. Robertson led the team with 10 kills, while junior Jordan Neal recorded 30 assists and 14 digs. The Lions will take on West Texas A&M this Friday at 5 p.m.