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LeTourneau University – Sports

LONGVIEW, Texas – Looking for their first American Southwest Conference win of the year, the LeTourneau University volleyball team would stand tall before falling to the No. 16 nationally-ranked University of Texas-Dallas in three sets at Solheim Arena in Longview, Texas on Thursday, September 21.

LETU falls to 4-8 overall and 0-2 in ASC play while the Comets improved to 9-3 overall and 3-1 in conference.

A tightly contested first set would see neither team be able to build a lead bigger than five points as UTD managed to jump out to an early lead before seeing the YellowJackets tie the match at 16-16 and 17-17. LETU would gain the lead at 18-17 before the Comets would force another tie at 20-20. Texas-Dallas eventually would pull away and win the set 26-24, thanks in part to five kills by Sydney Riordan in the game despite LeTourneau having one of their best opening matches of the year.

In set two, UTD would make a run after the YellowJackets and would tie the game at 10-10. They reeled off 11 of the next 12 points to take a commanding 21-11 lead and never look back, forcing LETU into a -0.71 attack percentage in the set while hitting .185 to take the set by a score of 25-14.

The third set would closely resemble the first game with neither team able to maintain a comfortable lead. After trailing by a score of 15-8, LETU found a way to eat away at the Comet lead and scored eight straight points while forcing two Texas-Dallas timeouts. The timeouts would be what UTD would need, scoring the last five points of the match to sweep the YellowJackets and end any hopes of a comeback.

“I’m extremely proud of the process that we are going through,” said head coach Ashley Tiernan in a post-game interview. “We are learning how to battle, and leaders are finally stepping into their roles.” “We’re learning how to keep our composure, and use that to our advantage.”

An 8-4 advantage in blocks while holding a .189-.100 advantage in attack percentage would pace the Comets in the match while forcing 20 LeTourneau attack errors. Hailey Matthews led all players with 11 kills while adding eight digs while Elyse Wright had seven kills. Libero Liz Williams would lead the YellowJackets with 12 digs followed by Korissa White and Cam Taylor with 11 each.

The American Southwest Conference volleyball crossover tournament will take place Friday and Saturday at LeTourneau University with all 12 ASC teams in action for three games each. LETU will play McMurry at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow afternoon before taking on Mary Hardin-Baylor at 8:00 p.m.

ABILENE, Texas – Playing on the road for the first time in American Southwest Conference action this year, the LeTourneau University men’s soccer team fell into an early deficit. Then they knotted the game at one just a few minutes into the second half to earn a 1-1 tie at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas on Thursday, September 21.

LETU is now 0-4-4 on the year and 0-2-1 in the ASC while the Cowboys ran their record to 1-1-1 overall and 0-0-1 in conference play.

A quick up and down first half would see a total of four cards given out in the first 45 minutes of action with both the YellowJackets and Cowboys handed two yellow cards each. With each team putting up double-digit shot counts in the first half, Hardin-Simmons would break through in the 34th minute with a goal by Shane Bryan to put the home team up 1-0 which would hold heading into the break.

The second half would see LETU come out of the locker room full steam ahead, as the YellowJackets would put up three shots in the first five minutes of play. The third shot in that span would come off a corner kick by Eduardo Barron who found the head of Edgar Sanchez who would redirect the ball into the net for a goal.

Defenses managed to settle in as the game wore on, with a possible turning point in the contest coming in the 78th minute as a double yellow card would see Jorge Cerrillo for HSU pick up his second yellow of the game and leave the Cowboys down to just ten players for the duration of the match. Each team would put up two shots in the final 12 minutes of regulation but would be unable to find the back of the next, sending the game to overtime for what would be LeTourneau’s fifth time this year.

In the extra sessions, LETU would outshoot HSU by a tally of 5-4, but end up settling for the draw as neither team managed to find a prime opportunity in overtime to end the game.

Barron would lead the YellowJackets with five shots in the contest and two shots on goal while Alec Wier was close behind with four shots of his own. Miguel Cabrera played all 110 minutes in net, allowing just one goal while making seven saves.

LETU will have an off day to recover in Abilene before heading across town to take on McMurry University in a 4:30 p.m. matchup on Saturday, September 21.

ABILENE, Texas – The LeTourneau University women’s soccer team fell to No. five nationally ranked Hardin-Simmons University by a final score of 6-0 in Abilene, Texas on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

With the loss, the YellowJackets fall to 5-2-1 on the season and 1-2-0 in the American Southwest Conference while the undefeated Cowgirls remain perfect at 6-0-0 and 2-0-0 in the ASC.

The YellowJackets held the potent Cowgirl offense to one goal in the first half as senior Carrye Funk had nine saves on a barrage of 18 shots while turning away five shots in the second half. Freshman keeper Bayleigh Bustamante would play the final 26 minutes in goal, making three saves.

HSU would extend their lead to 2-0 just 20 seconds into the second half before going on to score four more goals in 20 minutes to finish the game at 6-0.

LeTourneau will have a recovery day tomorrow before finishing out their first conference road trip on Saturday when they play at McMurry University at 2:00 PM.

Matt Kinney