CANYON — For the second straight season, TWU came up short against Angelo State in five sets in the Lone Star Conference tournament semifinals. The Pioneers dropped a 21-25, 25-21, 16-25, 25-22, 15-12 decision Friday and were eliminated.
TWU seniors Marcela Alves and Josie Santos each recorded a match-high 16 kills while senior Chloe’ Tate added eight. Alves posted a match-high .438 hitting percentage, while Tate recorded nine block assists. Freshman Kimberly Bell was the leader in assists with 22, and junior Morgan Wilson led the defense with 20 digs.
The Pioneers, playing without head coach Shelly Barberee for the second straight day due to personal reasons, came out on fire in the opening set and built a 17-7 lead. ASU regrouped and used a 13-3 run to tie the score at 20. TWU responded by scoring five of the next six points to capture the set.
In the second set, it was the Rambelles who built an early lead and had a 22-16 advantage before TWU made a run. The Pioneers went on a 6-2 run but fell by four points.
TWU fell behind 8-4 in the third set but used an 8-1 run to go on top 12-9. The Pioneers continued to build on the lead and captured a nine-point win after posting a .393 hitting percentage.
Angelo State jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the fourth and led 24-17. The Pioneers scored five straight points, but ASU closed out the set with a kill and forced the fifth set.
The teams traded points early in the fifth, but a 4-0 run gave the Rambelles a 10-5 lead. Angelo State posted a .267 hitting percentage to capture a three-point win and the match.
“We played a good game and it wasn’t our day,” TWU assistant coach Jessica Beener said. “The three sets we lost, we fell behind early but never gave up and played to the last minute. Marcela and Josie both played a great game offensively, and Chloe’ had a nice game at the net defensively. Angelo State had five players in double figures in kills and used all their weapons.”
The Pioneers (22-10) will wait for the NCAA South Central regional tournament selections, which will be announced Monday evening. The top eight teams in the region will advance to the tournament. The Pioneers were ranked fifth in the weekly rankings released Wednesday.