OFFENSIVE SHOWCASE POWERS A&M-COMMERCE PAST CAMERON, 3-0
A&M-Commerce 3, Cameron 0
Location: The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (18-7, 9-6 LSC); Cameron (8-18, 3-12 LSC)
Up Next: vs. Midwestern State • Saturday, Oct. 27 • 7 p.m.
COMMERCE, Texas – Both A&M-Commerce and Cameron put on an offensive showcase Friday evening at the Field House, but it was the Lions that notched the key points when it counted, defeating the Aggies 25-20, 26-24, 25-23. The victory snaps a three-match skid to Cameron as A&M-Commerce wins its sixth match out of the last seven, improving to 18-7 on the year and 9-6 in Lone Star Conference play.
As a team, A&M-Commerce hit .346 for the match, recording 54 kills on 130 attempts with just nine errors. Rachel Robertson and Kayla Bond led the way with 15 kills each, complemented by 13 from Breanne Snyder. Robertson had no hitting errors on the night, hitting .652 while Bond had just one error, hitting .483 for the Lions. Robertson and Bond each had three blocks while Snyder added 11 kills for her first double-double of the season.
Ezon Onditi finished with six kills for the Lions with Ciara Holmes finishing with three. Jordan Neal had another solid outing controlling the Lion offense, posting 48 assists with 12 digs and a pair of aces.
Defensively, Michaela Spicer led a strong A&M-Commerce back row which saw four players notch double-digit dig totals. Spicer led the way with 15, followed by the 12 from Neal, 11 from Snyder and 10 from Haley Richburg.
Coming off the emotional victory over Abilene Christian Tuesday evening, A&M-Commerce seemed to carry that momentum early in the match as the Lions built a six-point lead at 15-9 midway through the opening set. A&M-Commerce then kept Cameron at bay down the stretch, withstanding a late Aggie rally that pulled Cameron to within two at 22-20 before putting them away 25-20 in the opener.
Set two has been the critical set for A&M-Commerce all season long as the second played out in dramatic fashion on this night as well. A&M-Commerce and Cameron combined for 16 ties and three lead changes as neither team could take more than a two-point advantage. Cameron pulled in front 23-22 late in the set, but A&M-Commerce continued its efficient play down the stretch, notching four of the last five points to steal the second 26-24.
Cameron rattled off the fast start in the third, notching the sets first four points out of the gate. Trailing 10-6, the Lions began to slowly chip away at the lead as A&M-Commerce and Cameron battled to the tune of seven ties and three lead changes until a 19-19 tie late. Once again, A&M-Commerce turned up the pressure in the closing points, using a 5-2 run to serve for match point at 24-21, then held off one final Aggie rally to seal the match with the 25-23 victory.
Cameron nearly matched the Lions offensively, hitting .266 for the match and was led by a 23-kill performance by Shannon Dulaney. Kathryn Evans added 11 for the Aggies with Jenna Risoli dishing out 43 assists and Julisa Ocasio and Maria Westlake combining for 34 digs.
With the victory, the Lions retain their grasp of fifth in the Lone Star Conference standings and all but clinch a spot in the LSC tournament next month. A&M-Commerce will look for its third-straight win Saturday night hosting Midwestern State at the Field House, beginning at 7 p.m.
With the 3-0 decision over Cameron Friday night, three Lions continue to inch closer to some impressive career and single-season milestones:
• Rachel Robertson finished with 15 kills and a .652 hitting percentage. She is now hitting .388 on the year, which remains second all-time in program history, trailing just Amy Wallace's .422 in 2001.
• Robertson upped her career kill total to 1,284, leaving her 44 kills shy of surpassing Alice Fortes (1985-88) for third all-time.
• Michaela Spicer's 15 digs ups her season total to 451, which moves her into 10th on the single-season dig record and trailing ninth-place Tracey Giorgio (1994) by three digs.
• Jordan Neal's 48 assists ups her season total to 932 as she looks to become just the fourth player in program history to record back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons.