(Tarleton Sports courtesy photo)
(Tarleton Sports courtesy photo)

STEPHENVILLE – Tarleton State battled to a five-set win over Newman Saturday afternoon in Wisdom Gym to earn their second straight victory of the home stand.

The TexAnns started the match in dominant fashion by taking the opening two sets to head into intermission with a commanding lead. However, the Jets would battle back and force a fifth set – where Tarleton is all too comfortable, having played seven previous five-set games this season.

After the teams opened the fifth set in a 2-2 tie, Kenya Alexander blasted a kill shot off a pass from Emily Medlin to give the TexAnns a 3-2 lead and start a 3-0 TexAnn push. Tarleton’s next two points of the quick run came on a Jasmyne Brown kill and a block from Brown and Ashley Rine for a 5-2 lead.

Tarleton took an 8-4 lead into the fifth-set court switch and, after getting the game to 10-6, Kaitlyn White landed a kill shot that started a 4-0 Tarleton run to force a timeout at 13-6. The White kill was followed by a service ace from Medlin and kills from Alexander and Hailey Robert.

Out of the break, the teams split the final four points but the two kills – from Alexander and Roberts – were enough to seal the win for Tarleton.

Tarleton got ahead in the match, beginning in the first set when a 7-4 Tarleton run down the stretch broke an 18-18 tie and gave the TexAnns a win to open the match. Over the final 11 points of the opening set, Tarleton allowed Newman to score back-to-back points just once.

In the second set, Tarleton was forced to play from behind after the Jets jumped out to a 13-9 lead.

A service error from Newman, however, turned the tide of the set as Ayssa Garcia served up the next four points on a kill from Roberts, a Newman error and two blocks from Alexander and Raglin to give Tarleton a lead at 14-13.

The TexAnns pushed that lead to 22-18 before Newman answered back with four straight points to even the set at 22-22.

Rine ended the Newman run with a kill to break the tie and, after a Newman kill, Tarleton got the final two points off kills from White and Alexander to with 25-23 and take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.

Newman took advantage of Tarleton miscues over the next two sets as the TexAnns made 29 unforced errors and hit .091 in the third set and .000 in the fourth as Newman won 25-23 and 25-21 to send the game to the decisive fifth set.

Tarleton had four players crack double figures in kills, led by Roberts with 23. Alexander had 15 kills while White and Rine had 10 kills each. Roberts added 14 digs for her ninth double-double of the season and White’s 10 digs gave her the third double-double of the season.

Katie Covell led the team with 22 digs while Emily Medlin (40) and Chandler Gow (21) combined to lead the way passing with 61 combined assists.

Tarleton will be back in action Tuesday night in Wisdom Gym when the TexAnns host Dallas Baptist for an in-region contest at 7 p.m.