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TAMUC – Sports


Lion Volleyball ranked No. 22 in AVCA poll headed into the conference tournament.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team is ranked No. 22 in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches’ Association rankings. The poll results were released Monday. It is the 10th consecutive week the Lions have been nationally ranked.

The Lions won both of their road matches last week to close the regular season. They picked up a five-set win over Eastern New Mexico on Friday and defeated West Texas A&M in four sets on Saturday. The Lions finished the regular season with 17 conference wins, the most in single-season program history. The team also reached the 25-win mark for the eighth time in program history and the first time since 2010. The Lions have won 18 of their last 19 matches and have won eight in a row.

A&M-Commerce is one of two teams from the Lone Star Conference in this week’s rankings. Tarleton State is ranked 12th. The Lions have faced five different nationally-ranked teams and have a record of 4-2 against top-25 ranked teams this season.

The No. 22 Lions are the second seed in the LSC Championship Tournament and will face seventh-seed UT Permian Basin. The match will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville. The semifinal round will be played on Friday with the championship match set for Saturday.

2018 AVCA Division II Top-25 Coaches Poll – Nov. 5 (Week 11)

Rk.  School (First Place)  Pts  Record
 1  Cal State San Bernardino (34)  1163  23-2
 2  Western Washington (9)  1148  23-3
 3  Nebraska-Kearney (1)  1072  30-2
 4  Minnesota Duluth (2)  1026  24-5
 5  Northern State (2)  993  25-3
 6  Ferris State  907  23-4
 7  Southwest Minnesota State  842  21-7
 8  Concordia-St. Paul  807  22-7
 9  Tampa  759  26-3
 10  Washburn  691  27-3
 11  Central Missouri  680  24-6
 12  Tarleton State  598  27-3
 13  Wheeling Jesuit  511  31-3
 14  Drury  493  25-5
 15  Cal State L.A.  469  21-4
 16  Central Oklahoma  451  26-6
 17  Cal Poly Pomona  431  21-4
 18  Barry  378  26-3
 19  Palm Beach Atlantic  354  26-4
 20  West Florida  331  24-7
 21  Gannon  287  28-1
 22  Texas A&M-Commerce  268  25-5
 23  Lewis  222  24-6
 24  Wingate  135  26-1
 25  Rockhurst  99  27-6

Lion Football holds at No. 6 in latest Super Region rankings headed into the final week of regular season.

INDIANAPOLIS– The Texas A&M University-Commerce football team is the sixth-ranked team in the third iteration of the NCAA Division II Super Region Four rankings, as announced Monday. The Lions held their spot from last week’s rankings, and no team changed places from last week’s rankings.

The Lions are 8-2 overall with a 6-2 record in-region. Super Region Four consists of the Lone Star, Rocky Mountain Athletic, Great Northwest Athletic and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate conferences. The top seven teams in the region at the completion of the regular season will advance to the NCAA Division II Football Championship.

Three undefeated teams are remaining in the region. Minnesota State (10-0) continues to be the top-ranked team, followed by second-ranked Tarleton (9-0) and third-ranked Minnesota-Duluth (10-0).

Also in the rankings are Colorado School Mines (9-1) in fourth, Colorado State-Pueblo (9-1) in fifth, MSU Texas (7-2) in seventh, Central Washington (8-1) in eighth, Azusa Pacific (7-2) in ninth and Chadron State (7-2) in 10th.

The No. 14 Lions enter the final week of the regular season with a home matchup against Angelo State. The game will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The game will celebrate the Lion Seniors as well as Military Appreciation Day. Tickets are available in the Lion Sales and Service Box Office in the Field House from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling (903) 468-8756, or visiting http://WeAreLionsTix.com.

NCAA Division II Super Region Four Rankings – November 5, 2018

Rk.  School  In-Region  DII Record
 1  Minnesota State  10-0  9-0
 2  Tarleton  8-0  9-0
 3  Minnesota-Duluth  10-0  10-0
 4  Colorado School of Mines  9-1  9-1
 5  Colorado State-Pueblo  9-1  9-1
 6  A&M-COMMERCE  6-2  8-2
 7  MSU Texas  6-2  7-2
 8  Central Washington  7-1  8-1
 9  Azusa Pacific  7-2  7-2
 10  Chadron State  7-2  7-2

Games in the Regional Rankings This Week (CST)
Upper Iowa at No. 1 Minnesota State – Noon
Western New Mexico at No. 2 Tarleton – 2:00 p.m.
Northern State at No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth – 1:05 p.m.
No. 10 Chadron State at No. 4 Colorado School of Mines – 1:00 p.m.
No. 5 Colorado State-Pueblo at Western Colorado– 1:00 p.m.
Angelo State at No. 6 A&M-Commerce – 4:00 p.m.
West Texas A&M at No. 7 MSU Texas – 1:00 p.m.
No. 9 Azusa Pacific at No. 8 Central Washington – 3:00 p.m.



Lions ranked 14th nationally, marking 50th straight week in AFCA Coaches’ Poll.

WACO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce football team is ranked No. 14 in this week’s 2018 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll, as announced by the AFCA on Monday morning.

The Lions used a dominant defensive performance in the second half to record a 20-17 victory at UT Permian Basin last week. A&M-Commerce is now 8-2 overall on the season with a 6-1 Lone Star Conference record.

Three Lion opponents for 2018 are in the top 25. Tarleton moved up one position to No. 7, Colorado State-Pueblo is No. 10, and MSU Texas is now No. 16.

A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 50 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll. This is A&M-Commerce’s 56th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.

In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been known as a nationally ranked team 105 times since joining Division II in 1981.

The Lions close out the regular season on Saturday, November 10, at 400 pm, hosting Angelo State for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day. Tickets are available in the Lion Sales and Service Box Office in the Field House from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, by calling (903) 468-8756, or visiting http://WeAreLionsTix.com.

2018 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll
November 5, 2018

Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev.
1. Minnesota St. (29) 10-0 818 1
2. Ferris St. (Mich.) (4) 10-0 794 2
3. West Georgia 10-0 731 3
4. Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 10-0 707 4
5. Valdosta St. (Ga.) 9-0 661 7
6. Minnesota-Duluth 10-0 658 5
7. Tarleton 9-0 634 8
8. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 9-1 593 9
9. West Chester (Pa.) 9-0 554 11
10. Colorado St.-Pueblo 9-1 522 12
11. Notre Dame (Ohio) 10-0 466 13
12. Indianapolis (Ind.) 8-1 419 14
13. LIU-Post (N.Y.) 9-0 361 17
14. A&M-COMMERCE 8-2 354 16
15. Colorado School of Mines 9-1 326 6
16. MSU Texas 7-2 279 18
17. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 9-1 275 21
18. Central Washington 8-2 260 19
19. Northwest Missouri St. 8-2 232 10
20. Hillsdale (Mich.) 9-1 197 25
21. Kutztown (Pa.) 8-1 152 23
22. Fort Hays St. (Kan.) 8-2 144 NR
23. Indiana (Pa.) 8-2 136 22
24. Tiffin (Ohio) 9-1 125 15
25. Harding (Ark.) 8-2 113 24

Dropped Out: Southern Arkansas (20)

Others Receiving Votes: Slippery Rock (Pa.), 87; New Haven (Conn.), 31; Southern Arkansas, 31; Ohio Dominican, 13; Bowie St. (Md.), 11; Central Oklahoma, 11; Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 9; Chadron St. (Neb.), 6; Missouri S&T, 6; Fairmont St. (W.Va.), 4; Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 3; Virginia Union, 2.


No. 16 Lions defense records nine sacks, holds off pesky UTPB 20-17.

ODESSA– The No. 16 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team defeated UT Permian Basin 20-17 on Saturday. The Lions trailed coming out of halftime but shutout the Falcons in the second half to get the win.

The win brings the Lions to 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in the Lone Star Conference. UTPB falls to 2-8 and 1-6 in conference play.

The Lions close out the regular season on Saturday, November 10, at 4:00 pm, hosting Angelo State for Senior Day and Military Appreciation Day. Tickets are available in the Lion Sales and Service Box Office in the Field House from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, by calling (903) 468-8756, or visiting http://WeAreLionsTix.com.


– The Lion defense forced nine sacks in the game. Pierre Leonard had three sacks, a career high. Deionte Haywood had 1.5 sacks. Josh Reynolds, Dayne Douglass, DD Fletcher, Michael Onuoha and Elijah Earls also had sacks.
– The Lion defense had 14 tackles for loss. A&M-Commerce held UTPB to just 23 yards of offense in the second half.
– The Lion defense held UTPB to -69 rushing yards. Three Falcon runners were held to negative yardage.
– The Lion rushing attack was led by Ovie Urevbu, who rushed for a career-high 195 yards. He averaged 7.2 yards per carrying. Carandal Hale had 38 yards rushing and a touchdown run in the first quarter.
– Kristov Martinez made two field goals and two extra points. Reggie Kincade had a long kickoff return of 53 yards, averaging 30.7 yards per return.
– Kane Wilson completed 19-of-29 passes for 205 yards. He also rushed for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
– Kelan Smith had 93 yards receiving on eight receptions while Vincent Hobbs had 41 on four grabs.
– The Lions fumbled four times in the game, losing two early in the second half.

The teams traded punts to begin the game before the Lions got a drive going. Urevbu started the drive with a 25-yard rush. After another first down, the Lions were forced to attempt a field goal. Martinez drilled the kick from 26 yards, and the Lions took a 3-0 lead.

The Falcons then took the ball and drove the length of the field, including a 47-yard completion. The next play was an 11-yard touchdown pass. UTPB took a 7-3 lead.

The Lions responded with a touchdown drive of their own. Utilizing the ground-and-pound approach, Urevbu had multiple long rushes before Hale took the ball from the 15-yard line and rushed right up to the wide-open hole for a touchdown. The Lions regained a 10-7 lead.

Both teams had sacks end their next drives, and the Falcons again were forced to punt. Wilson hit a 32-yard pass to Smith and another long gain to Vincent Hobbs. The drive stalled just outside the red zone, and Martinez was unable to negotiate the 28-yard field goal. The Lions held onto their 10-7 lead.

The teams traded punts again before the Falcons drove downfield once again. The UTPB quarterback had three long pass plays, including a 15-yard touchdown. The Falcons took a 14-10 lead.

The Lions had a chance after a 53-yard kickoff return from Kincade and took advantage. Martinez was called upon and this time made a 37-yarder to bring the Lions within one.

The Lions defense came up big, consecutive recording sacks to pin the Falcons deep. A short punt again put the Lions in Falcon territory. However, Martinez attempted a long field goal which was blocked and returned by the Falcons deep into Lion territory. The Falcons hit a 34-yard field goal as time expired to take a 17-13 lead into halftime.

The Lion defense again forced a three-and-out, including a sack from Onuoha. The Lions were in business after a long rush from Urevbu. But with the next rush from Hale, the Falcons forced a fumble inside the red zone. The Lion defense again held to force a punt. This time the Lions stalled in the red zone. A bad snap on the field goal attempt resulted in another loss of the football.

Again the Lion defense held the Falcons without a first down, and this time, the Lion offense found a groove. Davis rushed for a first down and also caught a pass for a first down. Facing fourth down on the nine-yard line, the Lions elected to keep the ball in Wilson’s hands. He rushed for a first down. It was the first of four consecutive rushes from Wilson, the last of which resulted in a touchdown. The Lions took a 20-17 lead to begin the fourth quarter.

On the next play, Martinez blasted the kickoff low and straight, hitting it off a UTPB player. The Lions recovered the fumble and had the ball at midfield. The drive could not get started, and the Lions punted the ball.

The Lion defense continued to hold firm, forcing two more Falcon punts. The Lions then drove into Falcon territory again but failed to convert another fourth down, giving the ball back to the Falcons.

UTPB was finally able to get a first down on a long pass play. The Lion defense then clamped down. Sacks from Leonard and Reynolds forced the Falcons to turn the ball over on downs. The Lions were able to get a first down and end the game in victory formation.



No. 21 Lions knock off West Texas A&M 3-1 to conclude the regular season.

CANYON– The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team defeated West Texas A&M 3-1 on Saturday. The set scores were 25-19, 25-20, 26-28 and 25-13.

With the win, the Lions improve to 25-5 on the season and conclude the regular season with a Lone Star Conference record of 17-3. The Lady Buffs fall to 18-12 and 12-8 in conference action.

The Lions are the second seed in the LSC Championship tournament and will face the seventh seed, which will be announced later in the evening. The LSC Tournament will begin Thursday at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville. More information on conference seeding will be announced on LionAthletics.com and the Lion Volleyball Twitter page (Lion_Volleyball).


– A&M-Commerce finishes the season with 17 conference wins, the most in single-season program history. The Lions also reached the 25-win mark, the eighth time in program history and the first since 2009.
– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) led the team with 18 kills, hitting .471. She also had a block.
– Jaryn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) had 14 kills, hitting .361. She also had three blocks and five digs.
– Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) recorded her seventh triple-double of the season. She had 13 kills with 34 assists and 10 digs.
– Bina Njikam (Keller) also had double-digit kills with 12, hitting .370. Jaslyn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) and Madison Luther (Sealy) added nine kills apiece.
– Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) led the team with 35 assists and added 15 digs. Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) led the team with a season-high 34 digs, and Riley Davidson (Commerce) had 15 digs.


The Lions started the first set on a tear, scoring the first seven points of the match. Vela had three early kills in the rally. The Lady Buffs began to climb back, scoring nine of the next 12 points to pull within one point. Leading by one, the Lions again rallied, scoring six points in a row. Jaryn Wacker had three kills in that rally. The Lions took the set 25-19. A&M-Commerce had 21 kills in the game as a team. Vela had six while Jaslyn Wacker had five.

WT got off to a quick start in the second set, taking a 4-2 lead. The Lions then had a 4-0 run to take the lead. The edge would change hands multiple times in the game as the teams were evenly matched. Trailing 16-15, the Lions then took five points in a row to swing the tide. The Lions took the second set 25-20. The Lions again had a strong offensive set, recording 20 team kills, including six from Chapron and five from Jaryn Wacker.

It was again an even start to the third set as the teams were tied at nine early. WT then began a rally, pushing their lead to as many as six points. The Lions then started to fight back, scoring four in a row to cut into the lead. The Lions had another 4-0 run to take a 23-22 lead in the set. The teams continued to battle, forcing extra points. However, WT took the final two points to win the game 28-26. Chapron had seven kills in the set.

The Lions came out firing in the fourth set, taking five points in a row early to build a lead. The Lions made an early 9-3 lead. After WT took the next two points, the Lions again rallied, earning five points in a row to build a nine-point lead. WT could not recover as the Lions took the set 25-13. Luther led the team with five kills in the game.



Lion men fifth, women eighth at LSC Cross Country Championships.

CANYON – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s cross country team placed fifth, and the women’s team placed eighth at the 2018 Lone Star Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning.

The Lion men scored 134 points in the team standings and were led by Evan Luecke (Forney), who placed 21st with an 8-kilometer time of 26:54.5.

Garvin Chilton (Katy) placed 25th at 27:08.4, LSC All-Academic selection Sergio Marcuello (Cuenca, Spain) 33rd at 27:39.3, and Mason Boswell (Katy) placed 34th at 27:40.1. Edwin Aparicio (Katy – Cy Springs) was 26th at 27:46.8, Steeven Martinez (Mesquite – Poteet) was 42nd at 28:27.1, Sage Breed (Sachse) was 53rd at 29:31.1, and Daniel Montiel (Katy – Mayde Creek) was 55th at 29:40.1.

In the women’s race, A&M-Commerce scored 204 points. The Lions were paced by Brandi Stalder (Sanger), as the LSC All-Academic pick placed 17th with a 6-kilometer time of 24:05.6.

Maddie Shubert (Rowlett) placed 43rd at 25:32.1, Maiya Collins (Rockwall) placed 48th at 25:59.8, and Mikayla Maldonado (Irving – Nimitz) placed 51st at 26:15.6. Shelby White (Eustace) was 56th at 26:37.8, Taylor Jones (Garland – North Garland) was 65th at 27:38.5, Mallory Morgan (Katy) was 69th at 28:16.8, Ruth Leach (Whitesboro) was 70th at 28:18.1, and Ivy Carey (Mesquite – Poteet) was 73rd at 28:50.0.

The Lions will turn their attention to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional Championship on Saturday, November 17, at Washington Park in Denver, Colo.


No. 21 Lions clinch second place in LSC with a five-set win at Eastern New Mexico.

PORTALES, N.M. – The No. 21 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team was pushed to the edge by Eastern New Mexico University on Friday night before prevailing in five sets. Set scores were 31-29, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25, and 15-10.

A&M-Commerce moves to 24-5 overall on the season with a 16-3 Lone Star Conference record. Eastern New Mexico is now 9-18 overall and 7-12 in league play. The Lion win combined with Angelo State’s loss at UT Permian Basin clinches second place in the LSC for A&M-Commerce.

The Lions close the regular season at 1 p.m. Saturday, taking on West Texas A&M at the WTAMU Fieldhouse in Canyon.


– The Lions had 66 kills on the night with a .188 hitting percentage.
– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) led the Lions with 17 kills on a .306 hitting percentage. She also had eight blocks on the night.
– Jaryn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) had 14 kills, and Jaslyn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) had 12 kills, with both twins chipping in on three blocks.
– Bina Njikam (Keller) put away 10 kills and had five blocks.
– Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) was one kill short of a triple-double with nine kills, 31 assists, and 11 digs.
– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) had 30 digs, and Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) passed out 22 assists.


The first set saw a commanding Lion position disappear late in the frame before extra points went deep. A&M-Commerce held a 21-17 lead before the Greyhounds scored four straight points to tie the set at 21-all. For the next 16 points, neither side could establish a two-point advantage, with both teams squandering chances at a set point twice. The Lions trailed 29-28, then scored the final three points of the set. Njikam’s hammer kill at 31-29 gave A&M-Commerce the 1-0 lead.

Eastern had the advantage on the scoreboard in the early stages of the second set, taking a five-point lead at 15-10. The Lions steadily chipped away at the edge, and a three-point surge tied the frame at 21-all. Unfortunately for the blue and gold, the Greyhounds scored the final three points of the set, and the hosts took the game 25-22.

A&M-Commerce took the third set by closing out in dominating fashion. The Greyhounds held a 19-17 lead, though neither team led by more than three to that point in the game. The Lions scored three straight points to flip the score to a 20-19 A&M-Commerce lead, then put away five of the final six points to earn the 25-21 set win. The Lions threw down 15 kills and hit .231 in the game.

The Lions sensed the chance to close out the match and took a commanding lead early, scoring the first eight points of the fourth set. ENMU responded with a five-point rally to stem the tide. A&M-Commerce led 14-10 before the hosts scored eight of the next nine points, swinging the lead to the Greyhounds at 18-15. After a Lion timeout, the visitors scored the following four points to regain the lead, but ENMU would go on to score three of the final four points after a 22-all tie to send the match to the deciding set. The Lions were limited to an uncharacteristically low .087 hitting percentage in the fourth set.

In the decider, the Lions fell behind 5-1 before roaring back to take command. Seven straight points went in the Lions’ favor, as TAMUC took an 8-5 lead. Another big surge went the Lions’ way, with A&M-Commerce scoring five straight to put the set and the match out of reach. Chapron’s final kill of the night closed out the victory.


Josh Manck
Associate Athletics Director for Marketing and Communications | Texas A&M University-Commerce
Office: 903.886.5131
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3011 | Commerce, TX 75429
Physical Address: 2600 Neal Street | Commerce, TX 75429
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