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Volleyball: Jablonska’s 19 kills fuel TWU victory

Right-side hitter Viktorija Jablonska powered down a game-high 19 kills Thursday to lead TWU to a 25-23, 25-27, 25-7, 25-23 win over visiting St. Edward’s in the Pioneers’ final nonconference game. 

TWU reached 20 wins for the first time since 2008, when the Pioneers went 20-13. TWU (20-6) has three games left in the regular season.

Jablonska finished with a .500 hitting percentage. Marcela Alves and Josie Santos both reached double digits in kills with 13 and 11, respectively. Chloe’ Tate had nine kills and five block assists, while Kayla Rivero led the match with 32 assists and three service aces.

TWU fell behind 10-3 in the first set before rallying to tie the score at 14. The Hilltoppers went up 23-20 before the Pioneers scored the final five points for the win.

The second set was close until SEU took a 24-20 lead. TWU erased four set points to tie the score, but the Hilltoppers evened the match with a 27-25 win.

In the third set, it was all Pioneers as they scored the first 16 points and led 20-1. TWU held St. Edward’s to a minus-.188 hitting percentage in the 18-point win.

In the fourth set, the Pioneers fell behind 19-13 and once again rallied. TWU went on an 11-4 run to close out the set while hitting .441.

“This was a crazy game and we never gave up in any sets,” TWU head coach Shelly Barberee said. “It’s a big regional win and I am proud of the girls for winning 20 games this season. Our hitting percentage was good the entire game and we served well.”

The Pioneers will host Abilene Christian at 2 p.m. Saturday at Kitty Magee Arena.