LeTourneau University volleyball earned their first win over ETBU since 2010 in an exciting five-set match in Solheim Arena on Tuesday night.
The YellowJackets (8-21, 1-11 ASC) had four seniors playing for the last time in front of the LETU Blue Crew in the final home and conference match of the season.
“It was a great atmosphere, and I couldn’t be happier for my seniors who got to go out on a high note in front of our fans,” said head coach Scott Peluso<http://letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=414>. “This was the first time beating ETBU since I have been here. It is a special win for our program. I am proud of my team for how the completed to earn this victory tonight.”
LeTourneau went on a 6-0 run in the opening set as they stormed out to an early 12-9 lead. Kills from Dolores Henson<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3153> and Skylar Horan<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3150> would help the YellowJackets take the first set 25-21.
LETU fed off the energy of the Blue Crew as they continued to put down 16 kills in the second set and jump out to a 2-0 lead over the Tigers.
ETBU would respond with a strong third set as the Tigers would together big runs and take the set 11-25. A tightly contested fourth set was at 15-18 after a timeout by LeTourneau. East Texas Baptist went on a late run to take the game 17-25 and tie the match at two sets apiece.
The crowd was raucous in the deciding set as the YellowJackets ramped up the defense with five huge blocks to take the game 15-9 and win the match 3-2 over the Tigers. Savanna Stutts<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3156> had three kills in the decisive fifth game.
Senior Skylar Horan<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3150> was huge on both sides of the net as she put down 14 kills and added seven big blocks. The Fort Worth native had four blocks in the deciding fifth set including the match-winning point to put an exclamation point on her LeTourneau career.
Senior Dolores Henson<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3153> had 12 kills and recorded four blocks, and fellow senior Jenny Olejar<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3155> added six blocks in their final match at Solheim Arena. Both Henson and Olejar leave their names in the YellowJacket record books and will remember this win as the wrap up their career at LETU.
Junior Savanna Stutts<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3156> was back on the court for LeTourneau, and she made her presence known with 12 big kills that helped the YellowJackets win the opening two sets.
Junior Nicole Mosley<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3154> notched her sixth double-double of the season as she set up her hitters with 21 assists and added 13 digs. Mosley also had two of the eight service aces for the YellowJackets.
East Texas Baptist came into the match with an 8-12 overall record and 5-6 in the ASC. Despite the loss, the Tigers will earn the third seed in the East Division as they advance to the conference tournament starting November 3rd as UMHB will host in Belton.
The YellowJackets will finish their season with four matches at the Centenary Tournament on Friday and Saturday in Shreveport, Louisiana.
YellowJacket men’s golf shot 301-317-618 as a team and finished in sixth place at the Abilene Intercollegiate hosted by Hardin-Simmons University at Diamondback Golf Course.
“We started the round very well today, but at some point, we hit a few bad shots and just collapsed,” said head coach Walt Williams<http://letuathletics.com/coaches.aspx?rc=442> after the tournament.
Juan Rodriguez<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3331> led LeTourneau as he shot 72-77-149 and finished in a tie for seventh on Tuesday. The senior from Mission, Texas tied his career-low score on Monday as he wrapped up his opening round with a one-over par 72. Rodriguez played 24 of 36 holes in even par over the two-day tournament.
Junior Mason Terry<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3333> was very consistent over both rounds as he shot 76-76-152 and finished in a tie for 15th overall. This game was the first top-20 finish for Terry this season. Senior Seth Walters<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3334> also played consistent as the Tarkington, Texas’ native shot both rounds in 78 as he finished in a tie for 26th with a 156 total.
Junior Chase Esparza<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3340> struggled on Tuesday as he shot an uncharacteristic 92 after a first round 75. Esparza has also assessed a two-stroke penalty after his final round. The two-day score of 167 tied him for 43rd overall.
Freshman Buster Byrnes<http://letuathletics.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=3335> finished in a tie for 45th in his first team action for LeTourneau. Byrnes shot 85 and 86 over his two rounds to finish with a 171.
“We will have plenty of time to figure out what we need to do better in the spring as we head into our winter break,” said Williams. “I think I have a quality group of young men and I’ll put them in a position to succeed at a higher level this spring.”
The YellowJackets (301-317-618) started the day in third but had their highest scoring round of the season as they dropped down the leaderboard. LeTourneau finished just behind Texas Lutheran 305-306-611 out of the SCAC and finished ahead of ASC foe Howard Payne 316-317-633. Concordia Texas came back from an eight-shot deficit to tie Mary Hardin-Baylor in the team standings. The Tornados won the tournament with the tiebreaker being their fifth player’s score.
This event was the final tournament of the fall season for LeTourneau. They will return to the course on February 26th for the Linda Lowery Invitational hosted by Concordia Texas.