A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Texas Woman's Pioneers
2012 Lone Star Conference Quarterfinals
Thursday, November 15 • 5 p.m.
Stephens Arena • San Angelo, Texas
Records: A&M-Commerce (20-10, 11-9 LSC); Texas Woman's (22-7, 15-5 LSC)
A&M-Commerce heads to the postseason as the Lions travel to San Angelo for the 2012 Lone Star Conference Volleyball Championships this weekend at Stephens Arena. A&M-Commerce is the fifth overall seed and will face fourth-seeded Texas Woman's in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Thursday, November 15.
Catch the Lions on FoxSportsSouthwest.com
As part of the Lone Star Conference's new sponsorship agreement, each of the seven matches of the 2012 Lone Star Conference Volleyball Championships will be streamed live online at FoxSportsSouthwest.com. A link to the feed is also available at LionAthletics.com with live stats also available.
Lions In the LSC Tournament
A&M-Commerce will be making its 16th appearance in the Lone Star Conference tournament this weekend in San Angelo and its first since advancing to the semifinals in 2009. The Lions are 15-19 (.441) all time in LSC tournament matches, advancing to the championship match three times (1984, 1985, 1994). This marks the first trip to the conference tournament for A&M-Commerce under head coach Craig Case.
Scouting the Pioneers
2012: 22-7 overall, 15-5 Lone Star Conference (4th), 2-1 neutral
Last Three Matches: W vs. Angelo State (3-1), L vs. Tarleton State (3-2), W vs. Abilene Christian (3-0)
Head Coach: Shelly Barbaree (Stephen F. Austin, 1994). 10th season at Texas Woman's (169-155, .522); 15th season overall (371-236, .611)
• #5 Viktorija Jablonska (Sr., MB): 370 kills, .319 hitting pct., 211 assists, 23 aces, 197 digs, 67 blocks
• #4 Chloe' Tate (Jr., MB): 256 kills, .280 hitting pct., 17 aces, 66 digs, 108 blocks
• #10 Marcela Alves (Jr., MB): 256 kills, .290 hitting pct., 41 digs, 82 blocks
• #2 Josie Santos (Jr., RS): 186 kills, .222 hitting pct., 159 digs, 26 blocks
• #14 Kayla Rivero (So., S): 702 assists, 20 aces, 241 digs, 4 blocks, 7 kills
• #3 Morgan Wilson (So., L): 434 digs, 24 assists, 19 aces
Synopsis: Texas Woman's comes into the Lone Star Conference tournament as one of the conference's hottest teams, having won nine of its last 11 matches. The Pioneers upended ninth-ranked Angelo State 3-1 in the regular season finale, one night after dropping a 3-2 decision to Tarleton State, which snapped a six-match winning streak that included a 3-0 win over A&M-Commerce in Denton.
Thursday's quarterfinal match-up marks the 71st meeting all-time between A&M-Commerce and Texas Woman's, the longest standing rivalry in Lion program history. The Lions hold a 40-30 edge in the all-time series against its Highway 380 rivals, but the Pioneers have dominated the Lions in a pair of meetings this season, downing A&M-Commerce 25-13, 25-21, 25-19 at the Field House on Sept. 18 before routing the Lions 25-17, 25-19, 25-11 at Kitty Magee Arena on Oct. 30. Texas Woman's is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings against A&M-Commerce and 11-5 since the 2003 season.
The Week That Was
A&M-Commerce didn't close out the 2012 season the way it had hoped for, dropping a pair of matches to ninth-ranked Angelo State and Tarleton State at the Field House over the final weekend of the season. The Lions trailed in every set against the Rambelles, but continued to fight back and ultimately forced a decisive fifth set, eventually falling 15-11. The following night, A&M-Commerce never found its rhythym against Tarleton State, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Texans. The losses snapped an eight-match winning streak at the Field House.
Robertson Etches Name in Lion History Book
Senior middle blocker Rachel Robertson continued to solidify her status as one of the Lions' all-time greats over the weekend as early in the second set against Angelo State she recorded her 1,328th career kill, moving into third all-time in program history for career kills. Heading into the weekend she sits at 1,348 and has been arguably one of the top performers in the conference, leading the LSC in hitting percentage (.383) and points per set (4.52) and second in kills per set (3.84), all of which rank among the top-25 in the national rankings.
Three Lions have tallied impressive numbers on the season, which rank among the A&M-Commerce record book for season performances. Rachel Robertson enters the LSC tournament hitting .383 in 2012, which is the second-best performance in school history, leading Amy Wallace's .372 in 2002 by 11 points. Michaela Spicer has notched 518 digs on the year, which is the seventh-best single-season performance in program history as she became just the fourth player in Lion volleyball history to surpass 500 digs in a single season over the weekend. Jordan Neal currently has 1,084 assists on the season, becoming just the fourth player in program history with back-to-back 1,000 assist season and sitting ninth in program history for single-season performances.
Lions Among the Lone Star Conference Leaders
With the 2012 season complete, a number of Lions rank among the best of the best in the Lone Star Conference. As a team, A&M-Commerce dominated in service aces per set, notching 1.56 and leading second-place A&M-Kingsville by nearly 30 aces, while sitting fifth in both opponent hitting percentage (.169) and blocks per set (1.83). Individually, five different Lions rank among the LSC leaders in six categories, highlighted by Rachel Robertson leading the conference in both hitting percentage (.383) and points per set (4.62) while ranking second in kills per set (3.84).