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Volleyball: Pioneers sweep Texas A&M-Commerce in battle for first place

COMMERCE – The Pioneers posted a .323 hitting percentage and had just nine errors in the entire game in a 3-0 win over the host Texas A&M-Commerce, 25-13, 25-21 and 25-19, Tuesday night.

With the win TWU improved to 9-2 on the season and 3-0 in the Lone Star Conference while the Lions fell to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.

The Pioneers set the tone from the start as they posted a .469 hitting percentage in first set with 15 kills on 32 attempts and zero errors.  After trading the first 17 points, TWU closed out the set on a 16-5 run.

The Pioneers carried the momentum into the second and built a 10-7 lead before A&M-Commerce cut the deficit to one, 13-12.  TWU responded by scoring six of the next seven points and held on for a four-point win.

In the third set the Pioneers once again jumped to an early 7-2 lead but the Lions went on an 11-5 run to take a one point advantage.  TWU regrouped and scored the next four points to regain the lead before closing out the game on a 9-6 run.

“We didn’t make many errors and played a clean game,” said TWU head coach Shelly Barberee.  “It wasn’t one person that stood out today.  We played as a team and that felt good.  They had a big crowd and it was silent after we won the first set 25-13.”

Four players recorded seven kills or more for TWU led by senior Viktorija Jablonska with 10.  Junior Josie Santos added eight while juniors Chloe’ Tate and Courtnee Davis had seven each.  Santos also had a team-best 11 digs.

The Pioneers will return to action when they host two conference games this weekend.  TWU will face Eastern New Mexico on Friday, Sept. 21 at 5:00 p.m. and then take on #6 West Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 2:00 p.m.

“We have a tough week and it’s a good start but it’s only a start,” Barberee said.  “We are ready to be home and this win will make it easier going into Friday.”