The Commerce Journal
The Texas A&M University-Commrce volleyball team survived a scare in set one, then dominated the next two stanzas to earn a convincing 27-25, 25-15, 25-14 victory over Eastern New Mexico at the Field House Saturday afternoon. The victory snaps the Lions’ two-game skid as A&M-Commerce improves to 10-3 overall and 3-2 in Lone Star Conference play.
“It was a good win for us, mostly due to how we responded to adversity in set one,” said head coach Craig Case. “We hadn’t been playing the level of volleyball we had been during the preaseason, but once we got that confidence in the first set, it seemed to carry over throughout the match. Eastern New Mexico fought us the entire way, and they are going to be extremely tough to beat at their place later this season.”
A pair of Lions reached double-digit kill totals, led by 11 from Rachel Robertson and 10 from Kayla Bond as Bond was also a major force at the net all afternoon, setting a career-high with seven blocks. Ciara Holmes was Bond’s partner in crime in blocks, notching a career-best seven as well, complementing her pair of kills.
Breanne Snyder finished with six kills, six digs and a pair of blocks for A&M-Commerce as well with Ezon Onditi adding four kills of her own. Jordan Neal recorded her ninth double-double of the year with 31 assists and 11 digs while Michaela Spicer posted 23 digs defensively for A&M-Commerce, her second-straight 20-plus dig effort.
After dropping a pair of tough home matches to Texas Woman’s and West Texas A&M earlier this week, the Lions were looking to rebound against Eastern New Mexico, and seemed to find their groove early in the opening set, building a 13-9 advantage. But the Zias continued to match A&M-Commerce point-for-point, using a 5-2 run late in the set to take the lead at 24-23. The Lions fought off a pair of set points for Eastern New Mexico, then used back-to-back-to-back kills from Morgan Moeller, Snyder and Robertson to cap the late rally and take the opening set 27-25.
The emotional opening set decision seemed to be the spark the Lions had been lacking as Eastern New Mexico never seriously challenged in the final two sets of the afternoon. The Lions used a 15-4 run midway through the second set to take a commanding 19-10 advantage before taking the set 25-15. In the third, A&M-Commerce raced out to a 16-9 lead, then notched nine of the last 14 points to close out the match 25-14.
Lindsey Barron led Eastern New Mexico with 10 kills while Courtney Bolton added seven. The victory over the Zias marks the third-straight for A&M-Commerce and eighth win in the last nine meetings as the Lions improve to 25-18 in the all-time series.