A&M-Commerce 3, Midwestern State 0
Location: The Field House • Commerce, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (19-7, 10-6 LSC); Midwestern State (5-21, 3-13 LSC)
Up Next: at Texas Woman's • Tuesday, Oct. 30 • 7 p.m.
COMMERCE, Texas – A&M-Commerce continued to roll Saturday evening as the Lions notched their third sweep against Lone Star Conference opponents this week, handing Midwestern State a 25-17, 25-18, 25-20 loss at the Field House. The win pushes the Lions to 19-7 on the year and 10-6 in LSC play.
With the victory, A&M-Commerce reached 10 Lone Star Conference wins for the first time since the 1995 season and just the seventh time in program history. The Lions have also become efficient at taking down their opponents at first opportunity as 15 of A&M-Commerce 19 victories this year have been 3-0 sweeps.
A&M-Commerce continued to be efficient on the offensive attack, hitting .300 against the Mustangs with 40 kills and just 10 errors on 100 swings. Once again, Rachel Robertson spearheaded the Lion attack, recording 13 kills with no errors for a .591 clip, marking the second-straight match without a hitting error. She was complemented by 10 kills from Breanne Snyder who added six digs and a block.
Ezon Onditi posted eight kills on the night with Jordan Neal proving to be lethal on the serve, recording six aces and finishing one shy of her career-best. Neal also had 36 assists on the evening and seven digs. Defensively, Michaela Spicer notched a team-best eight digs for the Lions with Snyder and Haley Richburg adding six apiece.
A&M-Commerce set the tone for the night from the onset as Neal recorded a service ace on the first four serves of the night, sparking an early Lion run. A&M-Commerce would build its cushion to 10 at 17-7, then match the Mustangs point for point down the final stretch to take the first set 25-17.
In the second, the Lions never trailed, building a four-point lead at 11-7 early. Midwestern State rallied to tie the game on three separate occasions, the last of which came at 17-17, but that seemed to spark the A&M-Commerce offensive attack once again as the Lions recorded eight of the final nine points to take a 2-0 lead into intermission with a 25-18 victory in the second.
With momentum in its favor, the Lions set out to make quick work of the Mustangs, using a 7-2 run to pull ahead 17-10 and never looked back. Midwestern State would pull to within one on three separate occasions but were never able to overtake the Lions, who closed out the third with a 25-20 victory to sweep the season series against the Mustangs.
Four games now remain in the 2012 season with the final road match of the season next on the horizon in a match which could go a long way in determining postseason seeding. A&M-Commerce, which currently sits fifth in the conference standings, travels to Texas Woman's on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The Pioneers are in fourth in the LSC, two matches ahead of A&M-Commerce. Opening serve from Denton is set for 7 p.m. with live video and stats available at LionAthletics.com.
With the 3-0 victory over Midwestern State Saturday evening, three Lions continue to close in on some impressive season and career milestones:
• Rachel Robertson had no hitting errors for the second-straight match, hitting .591 against the Mustangs. For the season, she leads the Lone Star Conference with a .394 hitting percentage, ranking second all-time in program history behind Amy Wallace's .422 in 2001.
• Robertson increased her career kill total to 1,297, sitting just 31 kills back of Alice Fortes (1985-88) for third all-time in Lion program history.
• Michala Spicer's eight digs upped her season total to 459, which ranks as the ninth-best single-season performance in school history and just 41 shy of becoming the seventh player to surpass 500 digs in a season.
• Jordan Neal's 36 assists on the night ups her season total to 968, leaving her 32 helpers shy of becoming just the fourth player in program history with back-to-back 1,000 assist seasons. She also improved her career total to 2,888, leaving her 112 shy of 3,000 career assists.