TexAnn volleyball to host its first ever NCAA regional tournament
By Channing Flatt—
For the first time in program history the Tarleton TexAnn volleyball team will be hosting the NCAA South Central Regional tournament. Taking place in the Wisdom Volleyball Gym, the tournament will begin on Thursday, Nov. 15 through Saturday, Nov. 17. The No. 1 seed TexAnns have tied the school record for victories in a season with a 29-4 record.
Tarleton hosted the Lone Star Conference Tournament, where the TexAnns advanced to the finals. Making quick work of Eastern New Mexico, the TexAnns swept the Greyhounds. Amber Strange lead the team, Lauren Kersey had eight kills and Hannah McManus had five. McManus led the team defensively with six blocks while Kersey recorded four. Blanca Izquierdo amassed 13 assists and 10 digs while Adrianna Knutson had 11 digs and six assists.
Making the semifinals for a fifth straight season, the TexAnns faced West Texas A&M, beating them in three sets. Kersey led this game with 12 kills, Tatyana Tuiaii-Umi had nine, and McManus had seven. Izquierdo led again with assists, recorded 23 and Knutson led the team in digs with 18.
Advancing to the finals, Tarleton then lost to Texas A&M Commerce in four sets. Three players had eight kills each, Adriana Darthuy, Kersey and Strange. This game Kayla Brannon led the team with 17 assists, but, once again, Knutson led with digs, recording 19.
“It was an incredible experience; the gym was packed. Losing in the final was obviously very painful, but the team has a lot of heart and we fought until the end against a very good team,” said setter Blanca Izquierdo.
Although the TexAnns fell in the LSC tournament finals their impressive resume was still enough to earn them the top seed in the region. Joining the TexAnns in the tournament will be LSC rivals No. 2 A&M Commerce and No. 7 Angelo State. As well as Colorado Mesa (3) Colorado Mines (4) Metro State (5) Dixie state (6) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (8).
“We are very excited. It’s the first time in the program’s history that this has happened. We have been working so hard this season and having the opportunity to play at home is such a big advantage when you have to play these quality teams,” Izquierdo said.
The TexAnns will kick things off this Thursday, Nov. 15 against Arkansas-Fort Smith at 5 p.m. in Wisdom Volleyball Gym. Tickets for the tournament are on a first-come first-serve basis. Students can get a free ticket with their ID. For more information contact the Tarleton Athletics Ticket Office at 254-968-1823 or online at TarletonSports.com/Tickets.
Blanca Izquierdo is a staff member at Texan News Service.