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Women's volleyball: TWU clinches berth in conference tourney

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TWU sports information

SILVER CITY, N.M. -- Briley Cole-Lewis, Caroline Noel and Courtney Noel each provided 10 kills in TWU's 28-26, 25-21, 25-18 sweep of Western New Mexico on Saturday night on Drag's Court to secure a spot in the Lone Star Conference tournament.

TWU (13-16, 9-9 LSC) is in a three-way tie for sixth place with WNMU and Eastern New Mexico and safely sits three games ahead of Midwestern State with two matches remaining.

TWU's Katy Ranes recorded a match-high 45 assists, tied for eighth-highest in a three-set match in Division II this season. Bailey French totaled 21 digs.

The Pioneers fell behind 3-0 to begin the match but scored the next four points. Back-to-back blocks from Makayla Mayfield and Courtney Noel along with kills from Ranes and Courtney Noel gave TWU a 21-17 advantage. The Mustangs (9-17, 9-9) came back to tie it at 23. Courtney Noel produced a kill and Western committed an attack error for the extended win.

TWU again fell into a 3-0 hole in the second but took the lead at 6-5 after a kill by Ranes. Courtney Noel broke a 14-all tie to begin a 7-0 Pioneer run for a 21-14 lead. Kerstin Jenkins provided a kill to wrap up the set.

A kill by Miri Shade in Set 3 put the Pioneers up 9-7. Leading 21-18, the Pioneers put together four final points for the match victory.

"Terrific match from our team," TWU coach Jeff Huebner said. "We had all 10 locked in today with everyone contributing where we needed. Katy ran a terrific offense while Courtney and Briley continue to improve every day."

The Pioneers return for their final homestand with matches at 7 p.m. Friday against West Texas A&M and at 2 p.m. Saturday versus Texas-Permian Basin.