TexAnn volleyball finishes strong

Stephen Lowe, Contributor

With their second sweep of the Cameron University volleyball team this season on Nov. 4, the Tarleton State University TexAnns Volleyball team sealed the championship of the Lone Star Conference for the second time in school history. Both championships were within the last three years.

This places them in the first seed spot and gives them home field advantage in this year’s LSC tournament, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 16 and will last through Saturday. The TexAnns will compete against seven other teams to determine this year’s conference tournament winner. The victors will then continue on to the National Collegiate Athletic Association South Central Regional tournament at the end of the month.

Having been named conference champs with two games left in the regular season, the TexAnns did not skip a beat in their practices. They kept their focus on the upcoming games and dominated in the same fervor demonstrated all season.

They capped off the season with two commanding victories over LSC rivals Western New Mexico University on Friday, Nov. 10, and Eastern New Mexico University the following the day. The clean sweep of both teams put them at 18-2 in the conference, and 26-5 overall, just one-win shy of tying the school record for wins for the third year in a row.

Although Tarleton is favored to win, it’s up in the air as to who will come out on top in this single elimination tournament. Tarleton will face Eastern New Mexico again on the first night of the tournament. Tarleton swept them in their last two meetings, but that doesn’t mean the TexAnns are going to ease up on the competition.

“[Eastern and Western New Mexico] are quality teams that we’ve beaten, but have also upset a lot of teams along the way.” Mary Schindler, head volleyball coach, said when expressing her concerns for the last two regular season games and the tournament.

Junior Hannah McManus is heading into the post-season both confidence and excited about the extra home games. She is looking forward to the home field advantage during the tournament that comes with being the number one seed in the conference.

“We always watch film, we always have a little scouting report, we always have a little game plan before we go in, but mainly we just focus on us. If we focus on us, we know what we’re capable of,” McManus explained.

Considering the success of the Tarleton volleyball team these past few years, Schindler is optimistic regarding their future. Even with losing the powerhouse trio of seniors Chandler Gow, Jordyn Keamo and Hailey Roberts this year, Schindler believes that the team will continue to be just as dominant on the court.

Schindler said, “When you have two All-Americans you’re not going to go replace them, but you hope that they create a culture that is going to lead to other great players.”

The first match of the LSC tournament will be between Angelo State University and Texas Women’s University and will begin at noon. The TexAnns will face- off with the Greyhounds at 7:30 p.m. in Wisdom Gym.

Friday will be the semi-finals round. The TexAnns will be playing at 7:30 p.m., assuming they win the first match. The tournament will conclude Saturday with the final round and championship match. It is scheduled for 3 p.m.