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TAMUC – Sports

Panthers win in four to spoil Lions’ home opener.

COMMERCE – The Prairie View A&M Panthers came from behind to down the Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team in four sets on Tuesday night, which was the Lions home opener in The Field House by set scores of 21-25, 25-16, 25-22, and 25-14. 

“We played a very well-coached and athletic team tonight,” said coach Joe Morales. “The crowd was amazing, and I definitely appreciate their support and hope they keep coming back.” 

“The team battled, and the cards were not in our favor, but we continue to learn and grow. We showed some fight and need to figure out how to keep it going. We will definitely get there.” 

The Lions built a 6-2 lead early in the first, which provided the cushion they needed to not trail again in the rest of the set. Trailing 23-15, the Panthers made things interesting by winning six in a row, but an attacking error opened up a set point opportunity for the Lions, and another attacking error sealed the first set, 25-21. 

In the second set, the Panthers jumped out front early, 9-3, and the Lions did get to within two. Panthers pushed the lead to 16-9 and closed it out, 25-16, on a service ace. Neither side could break loose in the third set until a 3-0 run provided PVAMU with a 10-8 lead. 

Behind two straight attacking errors, the Lions took a 12-11 lead, but Prairie View A&M won the following five points and went on to lead 24-19. The Lions won three straight points to pull to 24-22, but a service error gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead. 

When they tied the match at four, the Panthers distanced themselves in the fourth set with a 9-1 run. A&M-Commerce did not muster up a rally, and the Panthers took the fourth set, 25-14, on back-to-back kills. 

In her first collegiate match at home, Kitana Tuufuli (St. Hedwig – Steele) posted 14 kills and a block, while Peyton Roper (Converse – Judson) had eight. Breann Connally (Coolidge–Groesbeck) recorded 20 assists, three blocks, two digs, and a kill. Peyton Plant (Littleton, Colo.) added ten assists and six digs. 

Jade Smith (Houston – Mayde Creek), who entered the day sitting second in the Southland for digs, had 27 on Tuesday night, while Taylor Borden (Gregory-Portland) had 13. Avery Wilks (Mont Belvieu – Barbers Hills) recorded six blocks in her home debut. 

The Lions drop to 2-6 on the season, losing four in a row, while the Panthers are now 3-4. 


A&M-Commerce travels to Alabama for the Blazer Classic this weekend. The Lions face longtime rival Tarleton at 11:00 am and Alabama at 4:00 pm on Friday, rounding out the weekend against the hosts, UAB, on Saturday at 2:00 pm.