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TAMUC – Sports

Lion Volleyball ranked No. 10 in initial regional rankings.

INDIANAPOLIS – In the first NCAA South Central Regional rankings of 2021, they ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team 10th, as announced on Wednesday. 

The Lions have won 11 of their last 13 matches and hold a 12-8 record. A&M-Commerce is 11-6 against teams in the South Central Region, including a win over No. 3 Angelo State in the initial rankings. 

With three matches left in the regular season, the Lions are fifth place in the Lone Star Conference standings. The winner of the LSC Tournament gets an automatic berth into the eight-team South Central Regional, which the highest seed will host on December 2-4. 

A&M-Commerce looks to make its fourth-consecutive trip to the South Central Regional. 

Five teams from the LSC are in the initial regional rankings. The other five teams are from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

No. Team In Region DII
1 Metropolitan State University of Denver 18-2 20-2
2 Colorado School of Mines 17-2 19-3
3 Angelo State 16-3 19-3
4 Regis (Colorado) 14-5 17-5
5 The University of Texas at Tyler 16-1 17-1
6 Colorado Mesa 17-2 17-4
7 West Texas A&M 18-2 18-2
8 Colorado State University-Pueblo 12-6 16-6
9 Lubbock Christian 13-4 14-6
10 A&M-COMMERCE 11-6 12-8

UP NEXT
The Lions have a crucial battle against UT-Tyler, who is No. 5 in the regional rankings, at home on Saturday at 6:00 pm. Before the match, the Lions will honor eight graduating seniors: Sydney AndersenTaryn CastRiley DavidsonMaiya DickieNicki GonelliMadison LutherNatalie Sarbeck, and Shelbi Sheppard. 

A&M-Commerce heads on the road one last time in 2021 at Angelo State.

COMMERCE – The Lions have just two regular-season games left for the Texas A&M University-Commerce football team in NCAA Division II. This week, the Lions head to San Angelo for their last road game of the season against the Angelo State Rams, in a pivotal matchup that can affect the NCAA Division II Super Region IV rankings at LeGrand Stadium. 

WHO: A&M-Commerce at Angelo State

WHERE: San Angelo | LeGrand Stadium

WHEN: Saturday, November 6 at 6:00 pm

RECORDS: The Rams are 7-2 on the season. Both of their losses have come in the Lone Star Conference. A&M-Commerce is 6-3 on the season and holds a 5-1 record against other Super Region IV teams.

RANKINGS: Angelo State is receiving votes in the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Top-25 Poll and ranked No. 5 in the Super Region IV rankings. A&M-Commerce is unranked. 

LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network – KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)

LIVE VIDEO: https://lonestarconferencenetwork.com/tamuc/

LIVE STATS: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=352531&vislive=tame

GAME NOTES: TAMUC (PDF) 

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-COMMERCE ACCEPTS INVITATION TO SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE

• The Southland Conference, following the unanimous approval of its presidential Board of Directors, has extended an invitation of membership to Texas A&M University-Commerce, the league and institution announced Tuesday morning. The university, a longstanding NCAA Division II power located an hour east of Dallas, will officially join the Southland on July 1, 2022, and begin a four-year transition to Division I at the same time.

• Touting a “Best in Class” mission, mentality, and experience, Lions’ athletics features sponsorship of 14 varsity sports, including men’s sports of football, basketball, golf, cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Women’s sports include basketball, golf, soccer, softball, volleyball, cross country, and indoor and outdoor track and field.

The Lions have seen remarkable success in recent years, including winning the 2017 NCAA Division II Football National Championship, highlighting five consecutive postseason football berths since 2015. Overall, 53 A&M-Commerce athletic teams have earned NCAA postseason bids since 2015, including a record 11 teams in 2018-19. Other performance highlights include individual NCAA track and field national championships, an NCAA softball regional championship, multiple recent NCAA berths in volleyball, and men’s and women’s basketball.

• In addition to its 2017 NCAA title, the Lions’ football program also won the 1972 NAIA national championship. Other national championships have included men’s basketball (NAIA 1954-55), men’s golf (NAIA 1965), and men’s tennis (NAIA 1972 and 1978). Prominent student-athletes at A&M-Commerce have included NFL stars Harvey Martin, Wade Wilson, Dwight White, and noted U.S. Olympic medalist John Carlos.

• Founded in 1889, Texas A&M-Commerce serves rural and urban Northeast Texas. It does so with distinction, consistently delivering on a promise that founder Professor William Leonidas Mayo made more than a century ago: “No industrious, ambitious youth shall be denied an education if I can prevent it.” To this day, the institution remains committed to its core mission: “Educate. Discover. Achieve.”

U.S. News & World Report has ranked several programs at Texas A&M University-Commerce among the best in the nation for 2021. • Formerly known as East Texas State University, the 2,100-acre Commerce campus provides many opportunities for students to learn and grow. The university offers more than 135-degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. A vibrant student life experience includes 14 competitive NCAA athletic teams, a thriving Greek system, and more than 120 student organizations. Programs are delivered on-site at the Commerce campus and in Dallas, Frisco, McKinney, Mesquite, and Corsicana. A robust online academic menu of classes is also a point of distinction.

• A member of The Texas A&M University System since 1996, the institution provides quality education to an inclusive community of diverse learners as one of the most affordable universities in East Texas. Students work with world-class professors who dedicate themselves to excellence in teaching and research. The university maintains strong relationships with local industries to create relevant academic programs and valuable internship and networking opportunities to prepare career-ready graduates.

• Serving nearly 12,000 students, Texas A&M-Commerce is a leader in competency-based education and is the nation’s first institution to offer an accredited competency-based bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and organizational leadership. The agriculture program is also a national stand-out, featuring one of the only programs where students grow their experimental crops on the university’s 1,500-acre farm. In addition, A&M-Commerce upholds a 130-year legacy as an exceptional teachers’ college, graduating more than 400 certified educators in 2019. In 2020, the university opened the 113,470-square-foot Nursing and Health Sciences Building, featuring a state-of-the-art simulation hospital.

SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE MEMBERS ON JULY 1, 2022 – AS OF SEPTEMBER 29, 2021

Institution Offers Football?
A&M-COMMERCE YES
Houston Baptist Yes
Incarnate Word Yes
McNeese State Yes
New Orleans No
Nicholls State Yes
Northwestern State Yes
Southeastern Louisiana Yes
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi No

Lions open 2021-22 season at No. 10 in WBCA Coaches’ Poll

LILBURN, Ga. – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team is ranked 10th nationally in the WBCA NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll entering the 2021-22 season. 

The Lions have a remarkable 42-14 record over the last two seasons and lost just three conference matchups during that span. In the shortened season last spring, the Lions went 14-4 and advanced to the NCAA South Central Regional Semifinal after an 11-2 record in conference play.  

A&M-Commerce was ranked as high as No. 7 nationally during the 2020-21 campaign and finished the season in the No. 17 spot in the national poll. The Lions have played two exhibition games against Division I teams so far in the preseason and wrap up the preseason slate on Friday night at Houston. 

Season tickets for Lion Basketball home games can be purchased for $80 at LionAthletics.com/tickets by calling (903) 468-8756 or visiting the Lion Sales & Service Box Office inside the Field House during business hours.

WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll — November 2, 2021

Rank School (2020-21 Record) Total
Points
2020-21
Final Rank
First-Place
Votes
1 Lubbock Christian (23-0) 547 1 20
2 Drury (24-2) 524 2 2
3 Lander (20-2) 465 3 0
4 Fort Hays State (22-4) 408 10 0
5 Azusa Pacific (12-5) 356 16 0
6. Central Missouri (23-5) 339 4 0
North Georgia (18-2) 339 6 0
8 Ashland (16-9) 326 20 0
9 Gannon (13-1) 311 26 0
10 A&M-COMMERCE (14-4) 307 17 0
11 Tampa (7-0) 305 NR 0
12 Alaska Anchorage (3-0) 267 NR 0
13 Stonehill (0-0) 257 NR 0
14 Glenville State (12-4) 235 23 0
15 Valdosta State (18-4) 173 13 0
16 Southwestern Oklahoma State (18-4) 171 15 0
17 Charleston, W. Va. (19-3) 155 5 0
18 Minnesota Duluth (14-2) 150 12 0
19 Union, Tenn. (19-6) 147 22 0
20 Daemen (14-3) 125 8 0
21 Carson-Newman (15-4) 124 24 0
22 Bentley (0-0) 93 NR 0
23. Colorado Mines (17-3) 89 21 0
Truman State (17-5) 89 27 0
25 Belmont Abbey (22-3) 80 7 0
25 Hawaii Pacific (13-1) 80 14 0

Dropped Out: No. 10 Michigan Tech (20-2); No. 18 Tusculum (19-4); No. 19 Arkansas Tech (14-2); No. 25 Tuskegee (12-2).
Others receiving votes: Michigan Tech (20-2) 59; Nebraska Kearney (23-4) 58; Indiana, Pa. (0-0) 57; Arkansas Tech (14-2) 51; Western Washington (6-0) 47; Tuskegee (12-2) 44; Barton (13-3) 41; Grand Valley State (14-6) 40; West Texas A&M (15-6) 40; Benedict (12-3) 30; Lee, Tenn. (15-8) 24; Tusculum (19-4) 23; Augustana, SD (12-5) 20; Southeastern Oklahoma State (13-8) 17; University of the Sciences (0-0) 16; Texas A&M International (11-5) 15; Emporia State (18-7) 8; Walsh (17-7) 3. 

Lion Women’s Basketball narrowly downed by SMU, 66-58, in Dallas.

DALLAS – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team outscored the Southern Methodist Mustangs in two quarters. On Monday night, the two teams tied one quarter, but the Mustangs held on for a 66-58 win at the Moody Coliseum. 

The narrow loss marks the second of three tune-ups for the Lions before its last season in NCAA Division II begins on November 12. A&M-Commerce takes on Houston on Friday at 6:00 pm in the final exhibition of the preseason. The regular season begins next week against Colorado State-Pueblo. 

The Lions shot 54 percent from the field in the first quarter and held the Mustangs to a fielding percentage of .294, to lead 18-16 after the first 10 minutes. Dyani Robinson (Langham Creek) had eight points in the first quarter. She had 18 in the game. 

A&M-Commerce had 11 free throw shots in the first half but only made three. In the game, they shot 21 for 33 from the charity stripe. SMU, playing its first game under first-year coach Toyelle Wilson, outscored A&M-Commerce 23-11 in the second quarter to grab a 39-29 lead at the half. Kayla White came off the bench and scored 24 points for the Mustangs. 

The Lions scored the first five points of the second half to cut the deficit in half and outscored the Mustangs 15-13 in the quarter. A&M-Commerce shot 3 for 21 from beyond-the-arc in the game. 

SMU had a 57-48 lead at the 4:25 mark in the fourth quarter. A jumper and two free throw shots by Laila Lawrence (Lewisville) cut it to 57-52, but the Mustangs responded with a 6-0 run to push the lead back up to 11. The Lions outscored the Mustangs by three points in the closing stretch but could not overcome the low shooting numbers in the second quarter. 

The Mustangs capitalized on 23 turnovers by the Lions and scored 22 points off turnovers and 10-second chance points on 16 offensive rebounds. 

Lawrence continued the strong start to her freshman campaign, reaching double-digit scoring in both exhibition games. On Monday night, she had 14 points and six rebounds. Julianna Louis (Long Beach, Calif.) also had six rebounds, as did DesiRay Kernal (Newton, Kan.). 

Symmone James (McKinney – Boyd) had four points, and five rebounds, Dorian Norris (Lake Dallas) also scored four points and grabbed five rebounds. Louis, Norris, and Chania Wright (DeSoto) had two steals each.

Jen Peters was named LSC Goalkeeper of the Week.

RICHARDSON – Following a shutout win for the Texas A&M University-Commerce soccer team, Jen Peters is named Lone Star Conference Goalkeeper of the Week by the conference office on Monday afternoon. 

Peters (Allen) started Saturday’s match at Eastern New Mexico and made four saves while securing Lion’s sixth shutout of the season. She is averaging 3.46 saves per match, which is 11th in the LSC. 

This past spring, it was the fourth weekly honor for Peters, also named LSC Goalkeeper of the Year. She joins Cora Welch as Lions to be honored by the conference this year. 

UP NEXT

A&M-Commerce closes out the regular season this week. The Lions are in Laredo against Texas A&M International on Wednesday at 3:00 pm and host Senior Day on Saturday at 2:00 pm against Oklahoma Christian.


WEEKLY AWARDS
Offensive
S-6          Abigail Olmos, DBU
S-13       Avery McNeme, Angelo State
S-20       Juni Ejere, St. Mary’s
S-27       Hannah Kelley-Lusk, West Texas A&M
O-4         Allison Scott, Lubbock Christian
O-11      Hannah Kelley-Lusk, West Texas A&M (2)
O-18      Abigail Martinez, Texas Woman’s
O-25      Gabby Villagrand, Angelo State
N-1         Ashley Merrill, DBU

Defensive
S-6          Blythe Obar, DBU
S-13       Maliyah Mendoza, West Texas A&M
S-20       Sarah Avant, St. Edward’s
S-27       Megan Copeland, St. Mary’s
O-4         Shadiana Haney, Lubbock Christian
O-11      Cora Welch, A&M-Commerce
O-18      Rachel Allen, DBU
O-25      Alyssa Salinas, Midwestern State
N-1         Blythe Obar, DBU (2)

Goalkeeper
S-6          Kira Miller, Angelo State
S-13       Reagan Heelan, West Texas A&M
S-20       Abby Carlson, St. Edward’s
S-27       Rebecca Difronzo, St. Mary’s
O-4         Hannah Wise, Lubbock Christian
O-11      Taylor Camp, Midwestern State
O-18      Kira Miller, Angelo State (2)
O-25      Kira Miller, Angelo State (3)
N-1         Jen Peters, A&M-Commerce

Alex Shillow earns the LSC Defensive Player of the Week award.

RICHARDSON – Texas A&M University-Commerce football team standout Alex Shillow is named this week’s Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. 

A graduate student from Pflugerville, Shillow made a significant impact for A&M-Commerce in its shutout of UT-Permian Basin. He led the team with six tackles and tied the program’s most extended play on a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. 

Shillow’s 100-yard interception touchdown return is second in program history, joining Cory Whitfield’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown, which came in 2011 against Texas A&M-Kingsville. The 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown is 14th in LSC history and third in NCAA Division II this year. 

It is the first career weekly award for Shillow and sixth for the Lions this year. Previous honorees this year are Xavier MorrisDominique RamseyMiklo SmallsJake Viquez, and Dee Walker. 

UP NEXT

The Lions head south to face Angelo State on Saturday at 6:00 pm.