Top-seeded Rambelles oust Hounds

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Angelo State shook off several challenges from Eastern New Mexico University and the top-seeded Rambelles advanced to today’s championship match in the Lone Star Conference volleyball tournament with a 25-23, 25-21, 25-15 victory over the Greyhounds on Friday night.

ASU (30-3), which suffered one of its losses earlier this month at Greyhound Arena, improved to 16-0 at home this season. The Rambelles take on second-seeded Tarleton State, which got past Texas A&M-Kingsville in four sets on Friday, in today’s 2 p.m. finale.

Senior outside hitter Mallory Blauser notched 14 kills for the Rambelles while junior outside hitter Brianna Sotelo posted 12 kills and 10 digs. Freshman setter Meghan Parker also had a double-double with 38 assists and 12 digs.

The Hounds (19-13) got eight kills and four total blocks from junior middle blocker Brooklyn Biel and eight kills and seven digs from senior outside hitter Talaitupu Faumui. Junior libero Andrea Aguilar had 16 digs while junior setter Alexis Aguirre posted 16 assists.

Neither team had more than a two-point lead in the first set until consecutive ENMU attack errors pushed the Rambelles in front 13-10. The Hounds scored four consecutive points on a kills by Dietz and Faumui and three ASU errors for a 20-18 lead, and still led 22-20 after a kill from senior outside hitter Lauren Frye.

After the Rambelles tied it, Dietz gave the Hounds the lead again with a kill, but an ENMU ballhandling error and consecutive kills by Sotello closed it out for Angelo.

The Rambelles got four consecutive kills to start Game 2, two by Blauser, in forcing ENMU into a quick timeout. The Hounds worked their way back and took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Sarah Tuioti-Mariner.

Angelo eventually opened a 17-11 lead. The Hounds made a late charge, closing to 22-20 and forcing an Angelo timeout, but at 23-21 an ENMU service error and attack error put the Rambelles up two games.

Angelo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third set, the first two on ENMU errors, and never looked back. The lead reached double figures at 20-10, and kills by Sotello and Blauser closed it out.