FORT WORTH – Tarleton State went on their first true road game of the season Monday and defeated Texas Wesleyan in five sets to improve to 4-1 on the season.
The 4-1 start is the best five-game start to a season since winning the first nine games of the 2010 campaign and is just the second since 2004 that Tarleton has opened the season with at least four wins in the first five games.
Tarleton got out to a quick lead by dominating the opening set, beginning with an Ashley Rine kill off a Chandler Gow pass to begin the match. The Rine kill started a 17-9 TexAnn run to build a commanding lead, forcing a Wesleyan timeout.
In set two, Texas Wesleyan used a kill, two Tarleton errors and three straight service aces to turn a 9-8 lead into a 15-8 lead. Tarleton clawed back to within two at 23-21 but the Lady Rams held on for a 25-22 win to even the match.
Tarleton flipped the switch back to domination for set No. 3.
The TexAnns jumped out to an early lead and eventually stretched it to 19-10 before the Lady Rams ever managed to score back-to-back points. The TexAnns allowed Wesleyan to score consecutive points only twice in the entire set en route to a 25-16 win and a 2-1 match advantage.
The fourth set opened in a 10-10 deadlock before Wesleyan scored six unanswered on two kills, one Tarleton error and three straight service errors to lead 16-10.
The TexAnns responded, however, with an 11-3 run of the own on lengthy runs of service points from Ayssa Garcia and Lillian Carroll to take a 21-19 lead. Texas Wesleyan answered right back with six unanswered points of its own to take the set and force a fifth game with a 25-21 win.
Kenya Alexander and Katie Covell got the scoring started for Tarleton with a block in the fifth set. The block was the first point of an 8-6 run, that was capped off by a Raglin kill, to give Tarleton an advantage at the court-switch.
Texas Wesleyan managed to knot the score through 11-11 before Hailey Roberts answered the call.
Of the final four points for Tarleton, Roberts had three kills – including the game winner – and partnered with Meg Umbel for a block to have a hand in all four of the final points.
Roberts finished the game with 23 kills on 41 attempts with just eight errors for a .366 hitting percentage. She also had 18 digs for her fourth double-double of the season.
Kenya Alexander also had her first career double-double with 12 kills on 21 attacks with just four errors for a team-high .381 hitting percentage to go with 10 blocks. Kaitlyn White also had double-figure kills with 10.
Tarleton will make its home debut tomorrow night at 7 p.m. when they host Texas A&M-Commerce in the Lone Star Conference opener.