Hounds sweep Lions in LSC tourney

Staff report
SAN ANGELO, Texas — Senior outside hitter Lauren Frye collected 18 kills and Eastern New Mexico University defeated Texas A&M-Commerce 25-20, 25-18, 25-22 in the quarterfinals of the Lone Star Conference volleyball tournament.

The fourth-seeded Greyhounds (19-12) advanced to a semifinal match at 6:30 p.m. (MST) today against top-seeded host Angelo State, which dispatched No. 8 Midwestern State 25-16, 25-16, 25-16 in Thursday’s late match.

In afternoon quarterfinals, No. 3 Texas A&M-Kingsville got past No. 6 West Texas A&M 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 12-25, 15-12, while No. 2 Tarleton State dispatched No. 6 Western New Mexico 25-23, 25-17, 25-21. The Javelinas and TexAnns meet in today’s first semifinal match at 4 p.m. (MST).

The championship match is set for 2 p.m. (MST) on Saturday.

Junior Brooklyn Biel and senior Courtney Laswon added 12 and 10 kills, respectively, for the Hounds, who won their first match in the conference tournament since 2004 when they advanced all the way to the South Central Region finals.

Junior Alexis Aguirre had 28 assists and eight digs, while junior Andrea Aguilar of Clovis posted a match-high 13 digs.

Junior outside hitter Neka Nelson had 12 kills for the Lions (19-13). The Hounds got the higher seed after the teams split during the regular season and tied for fourth in the conference at 13-7 by virtue of a win over ASU.

ENMU rolled out to a 6-1 lead in the opening set. The Lions rallied back for an 11-10 lead on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Jaryn Wacker, and the score stayed within a point until the Hounds broke a 19-19 tie with a set ending 6-1 run that included an ace from Lawson and two kills from Frye, including one on set point.

Commerce got out to a 3-1 lead in the second set, but ENMU pulled even with the next two points. The Hounds pulled ahead 9-6 on a kill by Lawson and 12-8 on a kill by Frye, and managed to keep the Lions at bay the rest of the way.

Leading 20-17, ENMU got a kill and a service ace from Lawson. Frye added a kill and the Lions had an attack error to move it to set point.

After Commerce’s Layne Little converted a kill, Talaitupu Faumui put down a kill on set point.

ENMU rode three kills by Frye and an ace by Aguilar to five consecutive points, breaking a 1-1 tie in the third set.

The Hounds led comfortably for most of the set, but the Lions mounted a charge down the stretch. They pulled to within a point twice in the late going,  21-20 on an attack error by Frye, but Biel converted kills on the final three points.