Case picks up 150th career win as Lions split in opening day of Tarleton Invitational
by JOSH MANCK, Texas A&M-Commerce
Sep 10, 2016 | 1518 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Case picks up 150th career win as Lions split in opening day of Tarleton Invitational — LINK

STEPHENVILLE – Texas A&M University-Commerce head coach Craig Case picked up his 150th career victory Friday as the Lions split a pair of matches at the Tarleton Invitational.


The Lions took a 3-0 win over Arkansas-Monticello in the opener before dropping a three-set loss to No. 9 Central Oklahoma in the second match.  A&M-Commerce plays two more matches in the Tarleton Invitational on Saturday, facing off against Colorado Christian at 11:30 a.m. before wrapping the weekend up with a 5 p.m. match against Colorado Mesa.

"Coming into the tournament we knew that everyone would be getting better and we would be seeing some really good teams," Case said. "I thought we came out in the first set prepared for that and ready to perform and did some really good things to be disruptive against Arkansas-Monticello. I thought we did some better things defensively in that match than we did last weekend.

"In the afternoon I think we were ready and poised and then UCO started making some adjustments. We weren't able to counter that as well as we had in other matches, and that credit goes to UCO, who is a really good and well-coached team. It was a good opportunity for us, but I can't help but be a little disappointed in how we played in that opportunity. Now it's time to reset, recover and get back on the court tomorrow and try to pick up a couple of good wins against solid regional opponents."



- Taryn Driver was the Lions' top offensive weapon with 12 kills on a .333 hitting percentage. Neka Nelson added six error-free kills on 13 attempts for a .462 average.

- Ashley Mireles had 21 digs and Rylie Fuentes passed out 23 assists.


In the opening set, the back row defense of Mireles aided in the victory, as the senior picked up nine digs. Daisge Smith had five errorless kills and three different Lions had service aces. A&M-Commerce limited the Cotton Blossoms to a .044 hitting percentage in the frame.


Driver was on fire in the second set, hitting .667 with seven kills and an error on nine swings as the Lions sprinted away with the set. UAM had only five kills in the set as the Lions' defense limited them to a .111 percentage.


Jaslyn Wacker was the offensive catalyst in the third set, hitting .833 with five kills on six swings in the clinching set. The Lions had only three errors in the set and benefitted from UAM errors, as the Cotton Blossoms hit minus-.027 with 10 errors in the set.


No. 9 CENTRAL OKLAHOMA 3, TEXAS A&M-COMMERCE 0 (20-25, 21-25, 15-25)

- Driver once again led the Lions with 11 kills.

- Gabriela Rosa passed out 13 assists and Mireles had 11 digs.


The Lions battled bravely against a tough opponent but were turned away by the Bronchos. A&M-Commerce led by three at 15-12 to force a UCO timeout, followed by a Broncho rally. UCO flipped the score to 23-17 and held on for the set win. Smith had five kills and five digs in the set, but A&M-Commerce was limited to a .143 hitting percentage.


Driver threw down six kills in the second set. The Lions trailed by as many as eight points in the set, but fought back to narrow the deficit to three before UCO put it away. Fuentes passed out six assists in the set and had a service ace.


The Lions' hitting accuracy went wayward in the third set, as A&M-Commerce hit minus-.121 to give UCO unnecessary help. The Bronchos hit .333 in the set and scored 10 out of 11 points after the Lions were within 12-11 in the middle of the set.

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