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TAMUC – Sports

Lions suffer first defeat of the season in a 2-1 overtime battle against Emporia State.·          

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team fell 2-1 to Emporia State in overtime on a swelteringly hot Sunday afternoon. The Lions scored early in the first half but gave up a goal in the second half and in overtime to suffer their first defeat of the season. 

The loss brings the Lions to 2-1-1 on the season, while the Hornets improve to 3-1-0 on the year. 

The Lions return to action on Saturday with a road match against East Central at 1:00 pm at Tiger Field in Ada, Okla. The Lions will return home for their conference opener on Sept. 26 at 7:00 pm against Lubbock Christian. 

HEAD COACH NEIL PIPER AFTER THE GAME

– On his team’s play: “It was hot, and we played hard. We just did not play very smart, and it got us in the end. It was a fair result, and we got what we deserved today. We rode some luck, and it just ran out there in the end.”

– Thoughts on the result: “I felt like we went forward, OK. We created some chances. But they play like us. That’s what makes it frustrating. We got beat at our own game today. But luckily this is not a regional game. This game is still important but not as important as a regional game. Hopefully, we learn from it. We just got beat at our own game today, that’s what makes it sting that much worse.”

– On the team’s six-day break from play – “That East Central match will be a big one. We will get a little bit of rest; then we will get back after it. We have a lot to correct before then. Hopefully, we can do it.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE

– Jocelyn McDonough (McKinney – Boyd) scored her goal in the 15th minute. After a corner kick attacked saved a shot, McDonough found the ball on the rebound and put it into the net.

– The Lions put nine shots on goal in the match, including eight different players with shots. The Lions had six shots on goal in the second half.

– Cora Welch (Plano – Plano Senior) had two shots on goal. Amber Crews (Lewisville), Kasey Sorbers (Rowlett – Sachse), Leslie Campuzano (Garland – Lakeview Centennial), Skylar Sorrell (Monroe, La.), Rylie Robertson (Rockwall), and Naomi Sink (Plano – Plano East Senior) all had one shot on goal.

– Jen Peters (Allen) made six saves in the match, including three in the overtime period.

– Shots were even by both teams headed into the overtime period. ESU had five shots in the overtime while they held the Lions without a shot in the extra period.

– Mackenzie Dimarco scored both goals for ESU. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Lions attacked early, with a shot on goal from Sink in the seventh minute of the match. ESU countered with a shot on goal of their own in the ninth minute, which was saved by Peters. ESU also had a chance to go off the post early on. 

The Lions capitalized on the 15th minute. After Crews got a shot on goal off of a corner kick, the ESU goalkeeper dove to make the save. The rebound fell at the feet of McDonough, who found the back of the net, giving the Lions a 1-0 lead. 

The teams continued to battle until the half, neither side having many chances at shots. Peters made a save in the 41st minute to send the Lions into halftime with a 1-0 lead. 

The Lions got a chance early in the second half, as they saved Robertson’s shot. The Lions again had shots on goal in the 58th minute from Sorbers and the 59th minute from Sorrell, but could not sneak them past the keeper. 

ESU tied the match in the 62nd minute, as Dimarco found some space and fired a shot from 20 yards away that just got by the Lion defense. 

Welch had two shots on goal late in half, but the game would go into overtime. 

ESU controlled the ball often in the overtime period, firing five shots while holding the Lions at bay without a shot. Peters made three saves in the period, but a final attempt by Dimarco just found its way past the Lion defense and into the net, ending the game.

Thompson’s touchdown trio powers No. 12 Lions to 34-27 win at Western Oregon.

MONMOUTH, Ore. – The No. 12 Texas A&M University-Commerce football team scored the game’s final two touchdowns and made a stand late to earn a 34-27 win over Western Oregon University at McArthur Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Lions move to 2-0 on the season with the victory, earning head coach David Bailiff his first road win in the blue and gold. The WOU Wolves fall to 0-2.

A&M-Commerce hosts CommUniverCity Day and Family Weekend on Saturday, September 21, when the Lions host Eastern New Mexico for a 6 p.m. kickoff in the Lone Star Conference opener for both teams. Tickets for the game are available at the box office, online at WeAreLionsTix.com, or by calling (903) 468-8756.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– E.J. Thompson (Cy-Ranch) scored rushing touchdowns of 9, 1, and 5 yards, including the game-winner with 5:59 to play. He had 17 carries for 81 yards.
– Miklo Smalls (Plano – East) completed 23-of-31 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. He found eight different receivers in the contest.
– Chance Cooper (Leander – Rouse) was the top target with five catches for 42 yards, including a highlight reel 22-yard touchdown grab in the third quarter.
– Ryan Stokes (St. Louis, Mo.) was the top yardage receiver for the Lions with four catches for 60 yards. His 52-yard grab in traffic in the fourth quarter set up the game-tying score.
– Jalon Edwards-Cooper (Spring – Dekaney) and Neema Behbahani (Plano) tied for the team lead with five tackles apiece. Chris Williams (Atlanta, Ga.) recorded a sack and Kader Kohou (Euless – Trinity) had an interception with a 40-yard return to set up the game-winning score.
– Jake Viquez (Rockwall) made field goals of 30 and 20 yards and made four PATs.

VIEW HEAD COACH DAVID BAILIFF’S POST GAME COMMENTS HERE

HOW IT HAPPENED
The Lions opened the scoring on their first offensive possession of the contest with a 12-play drive consuming 44 yards and nearly six minutes of clock. The Lions had a fourth down conversion and a third down conversion before Viquez drilled a 30-yard field goal to put A&M-Commerce ahead 3-0 with 7:21 left in the first quarter.

A&M-Commerce’s second drive results in the first touchdown of the day. After a pair of conversions in WOU territory, Thompson’s 9-yard scoring trot on the second play of the second quarter made it a 10-0 lead. The Lion drive took over six-and-a-half minutes and 12 plays.

Western Oregon did not get a first down until its fifth drive of the contest, but that first down came on a big completion to put the Wolves on the doorstep of scoring. Ty Currie’s 3-yard touchdown run cut the lead to 10-6 after the PAT failed with 9:07 left in the first half.

The Lions went three-and-out and the ensuing 10-play WOU drive gave the hosts the lead at 13-10 after Omari Land punched in a 1-yard touchdown run. That score would stand at halftime.

A&M-Commerce tied the game on the first drive of the second half. Thompson opened the half with a 25-yard carry and the Lions moved their way deep into WOU territory before settling for the Viquez 20-yard field goal to tie the game at 13-all with 7:48 left in the third quarter.

The Lions took the lead back on on their next drive thanks to strong passing from Smalls. The 10-play, 79-yard drive was capped by Cooper’s 23-yard catch above a defender’s head in the end zone. A&M-Commerce led 20-13 with 2:11 left in the third quarter.

Western Oregon tied the game back up at 20-all on a 1-yard touchdown carry early in the fourth quarter, then took the 27-20 lead with 9:44 to play on a breakaway 74-yard touchdown.

On the Lions’ next play, Smalls went over the top with a long ball towards Stokes, whose reception in traffic was good for 52 yards. Thompson’s second touchdown of the day from 1-yard out tied the game at 27-27 with 8:22 to play.

Two plays later, Kohou was the beneficiary of a wayward pass by Currie, and returned the interception into the Wolves’ redzone. Five plays later, Thompson found paydirt for the third time in the game, punching it in from five yards out to give the Lions the 34-27 lead with just under six minutes to go.

The Wolves drove down the field in an attempt to force overtime before the Lion defense bowed up to keep the hosts at bay. Western Oregon converted three third downs in the final minutes and got down to the Lion 14. On third-and-10, Elijah Earls (San Antonio – Stevens) and Pierre Leonard (Tyler – John Tyler) teamed up for a tackle for loss, and the fourth down pass fell incomplete to allow the Lions to hold on for the win.

 

No. 20 Lions knock off West Florida, split the final day of Colorado Premier Challenge.·          

DENVER, Colo.– The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce split their two matches at the Colorado Premier Challenge on Saturday. The Lions defeated West Florida 3-1 in the first match before falling in five sets to No. 12 Central Missouri later in the day. 

The results bring the Lions to 5-3 on the season, as they finish 2-2 at the Colorado Premier Challenge. The Lions will now get set for their home-opening match, which is also the first game of Lone Star Conference play. The Lions will host Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Field House. 

Season tickets for all 12 Lion Volleyball home matches are available by visiting WeAreLionsTix.com, by calling (903) 468-8756, or by visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office inside the Field House during business hours. 

HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER GAME 1

– On getting some key contributions off the bench: “I thought there were three key people we had, play well today. We started Nicki and Maiya, and they gave us really good energy. Maiya helped us on the defensive side, and Nicki also gave us a spark. And Madison Luther also had a great match. I felt those three were really big difference-makers in the match, and they helped us win.”

– How they got the win: “The biggest difference is we got them out of the system when we were serving and when we were attacking. West Florida is a good attacking team and a good blocking team. But when we got them out of the system, that really got us going. We were aggressive, but we weren’t reckless. If we can continue to find a way to play like that going forward, that will be a good thing for us.”

– On keeping UWF’s runs small: “I thought our setters did a good job of making sure we did not lose too many points in a row. They showed some good urgency, and that was a big difference between what happened yesterday against Regis and what happened today.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) led the Lions with 11 kills in the match.

– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) had nine kills, while also recording six blocks and three aces.

– Bina Njikam (Keller) had nine kills and four blocks while Nicki Gonelli (Round Rock – Stony Point) had nine kills and five blocks.

– Madison Luther (Sealy) had seven kills while Maiya Dickie (Huntsville) added five.

– Natalie Sarbeck (Cypress – Cy-Fair) had 21 assists while Shelbi Sheppard (Emory – Rains) had 20 assists and added a pair of aces.

– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) had 23 digs while Daniela Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) added 11 digs.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

West Florida took an early lead before the Lions bounced back. Njikam had several kills early, and the Lions scored six points in a row to take a 12-6 lead. After the Argonauts cut the Lion lead to just two, A&M-Commerce again, taking nine of the next 11 points to put the set out of reach. The Lions won the set 25-19. 

Multiple errors to begin the second set put the Lions in the hole, as West Florida scored 10 of the first 11 points of the set. The Lions went on a small rally to cut into the Argo lead but could not completely cut into the deficit, falling 25-15 in the set. 

The teams traded small rallies as it was an evenly matched beginning to the third set. With the match tied at 8-all, Luther and Gonelli combined for a pair of kills to give the Lions a 13-9 lead. After UWF tied the set again, it was Njikam who had the hot hand, notching multiple kills to give A&M-Commerce back the lead. This time, the Lions were able to sustain the momentum, taking the set 25-21. 

It was another even start in the fourth set, as the teams traded mini runs. The Lions then went on a run, with a pair of kills from Luther to take a 10-6 lead. The Argos fought back to cut the Lion lead to one point before the Lions again went on a run. The Lions scored nine of the final 12 points to take the set 25-17. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– Shelley Chapron and Sydney Andersen both had 13 kills in the match. Bina Njikam added eight kills.

– Daniela Santos had six aces in the match while Natalie Sarbeck had three aces to go with her team-high 29 assists.

– Savannah Rutledge, Riley Davidson (Commerce) and Santos all had double-digit digs in the match.

– The Lions were held to a .107 hitting percentage while UCM hit .197. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

It was an even start both squads, as midway through the set, the Lions held a 13-12 lead. The Lions then started a run, taking five points in a row to cement their lead. A pair of aces from Sarbeck helped the Lions finish the set, winning 25-17. 

The teams traded the first 10 points of the second set before UCM began to go on a run, taking six of the next eight points. The Lions battled back to tie the set at 23 before the Jennies took the final two points to win 25-23. 

The Lions got off to a hot start in the third set, taking six of the first nine points. UCM battled back and went on an 8-0 run to take command of the set. The Lions could not cut into the lead, falling 25-19. 

The teams traded rallies early in the fourth set before the Lions went on a 7-2 run to lead 15-10 in the set. The Lions then finished the set on a 7-1 run to win the set 25-15.

 The Jennies quickly took control of the final set, jumping ahead 9-3 early. The Lions fought back to get within three points but could not get back in, falling 15-9.

 

No. 20 Lions come back to upset defending national champs and No. 1 Tampa, split the first day at Colorado Premier Challenge.

DENVER, Colo.– The No. 20 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team split its two matches in the first day of the Colorado Premier Challenge on Friday. The Lions began the day by defeating No. 1 Tampa in five sets, coming back from down 2-0. The Lions would play a second match just two hours later, falling in straight sets to host Regis. 

The results bring the Lions to 4-2 on the season. A&M-Commerce now awaits its bracket to determine the team’s two opponent for Saturday. The complete schedule for the Colorado Premier Challenge will be announced shortly. The Lions’ opponents will be announced on the Lion Volleyball Twitter page (@Lion_Volleyball). 

HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER GAME 1

– On the team regaining momentum after losing the first two sets: “I think we played really frustrated after losing that first set. We had some chances to win that first set. In that third set, we settled down. Tampa had some miscues, and we were able to capitalize. Once we did, we have the type of team that believes that we can keep doing it.”

– On the team’s overall play: “I thought we competed really hard and had really good focus. Tampa is a very good team and is incredible on the defensive side of the ball. And they are very efficient offensively. When you can defeat a team that plays that way, you know you are a good team. We have to continue to find ways to play that way.”

– On some individual performances: “Sydney Andersen played incredibly. And Shelley helped bring us home there late. Our setters were dialed in late and were making really good decisions. And we had some great play from off the bench. No matter who we put in, they were ready to go.” 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 1)

– It is the second season in a row the Lions have defeated the defending national champions. The Lions defeated Concordia-St. Paul, also in five sets, at the Colorado Premier Challenge in 2018.

– The Lions hit .191 in the match, including hitting .500 in the deciding fifth set. The Lion defense forced Tampa into 28 hitting errors.

– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) led the team with 19 kills, including 13 kills in the final two sets. She also had a team-high five blocks.

– Sydney Andersen (Placentia, Calif.) had 18 kills, including six kills in the third set. She also had four blocks.

– Bina Njikam (Keller) had eight kills while Maiya Dickie (Huntsville) had six.

– Natalie Sarbeck (Cypress – Cy-Fair) led the team with 33 assists, while Shelbi Sheppard (Emory – Rains) had 20.

– Riley Davidson (Commerce) led the team with 13 digs while adding four kills. Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) added nine digs. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 1)

The Lions got off to a hot start, scoring the first four points of the match. Tampa responded with five points in a row to take the lead away. It was part of an 8-1 run that gave the Spartans a lead. Tampa pushed its lead to as many as four before the Lions began to push back, making a late run to tie the set at 22. The Lions took a 25-24 lead before Tampa took three points in a row to take the set 27-25. 

The Spartans took control of the second set early, quickly jumping out to an 11-point lead. The Lions tried to fight back, taking three points in a row. But it was not enough, as Tampa took the second set 25-13. 

A&M-Commerce regained its footing in the third set, grabbing the lead early. The Spartans battled back, taking six points in a row to regain the lead. Tampa led by as many as six in the set before the Lions made a push. The Lion defense began to impact the Tampa hitters, causing multiple attack errors. The Lions cut into the lead and tied the match at 23-all. After Tampa took a point to serve for the match, the Lions rallied with three-point in a row to win the set 26-24. 

The Lions again got off to a hot start to begin the fourth set, taking six points in a row to grab an early lead. The Lions led 12-5 midway through the set. Tampa battled back with six points in a row of their own. However, the Lions responded with another rally, pushing the set out of reach. A&M-Commerce won the set 25-21. 

It was back and forth to begin the final set, as the teams split the first eight points. A&M-Commerce then slowly built a lead, taking six of the next eight points. The Lions ended with fury, making the final four points to win the set 15-8. 

HEAD COACH CRAIG CASE AFTER GAME 2

– On the team’s play: “We just came off of a really emotionally draining match. That was a really emotional match for our team, and then Regis is really good, and they are at home. You combine an emotional, exhausting rollercoaster, then you play a team as good as Regis, you have your work cut out for you.”

 On what the team can learn from the match: “Regis played with a high level of urgency the whole match. They did what all good teams do, they learned about us from watching our first match. And they never let up; they kept their foot on the gas the whole time because they saw that we can come back on someone. They exposed some of our weaknesses in the match. We have to learn from that match. I’m really confident that this match will make us better. If it makes us better, it was worth it.”

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE (Game 2)

– Sydney Andersen and Bina Njikam each had six kills to lead the Lions.

– Natalie Sarbeck led the team with nine assists. Riley Davidson had 13 digs.

– The Lions were held to a .011 hitting percentage in the match. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (Game 2)

The Lions got off to a good start in the first set, taking a 7-3 lead early on. Regis battled back, and the teams were tied at 12-all midway through. The Rangers then went on a run, pushing their lead to as many as seven. The Lions could not overcome the deficit and fell 25-19. 

It was an even start to begin the second set, as the team traded points throughout the first half of the set, as the teams were tied at 13. The Rangers then had a mini-rally, taking three points in a row. The Lions attempted to battle back but could not overcome the hole, falling 25-21. 

Regis got off to a hot start in the third set, taking five of the first seven points. The Lions fought back to cut the lead to 13-12 at the midway mark. The Rangers then began to pull away, winning the set 25-19 slowly.