The No. 14-ranked West Texas A&M Lady Buffs got off to a solid start to open the 2022 season by going 3-1 hosting the Britkare Lady Buff Classic.
WT opened Friday’s action defeating Adams State, 27-25, 25-12, 25-18. Later in the day the Lady Buffs then swept UC-Colorado Springs 25-18, 25-10, 25-22. On Saturday WT won its early contest against Lone Star Conference foe St. Mary’s, 25-16, 22-25, 25-9, 25-22, but the No. 14-ranked Lady Buffs lost their final game of the tournament in four sets to No. 12-ranked Northwest Missouri State, 16-25, 22-25, 29-27, 22-25.
“For the entire weekend I was really excited,” WT head coach Kendra Potts said. “It gave us a good idea of where we are and what we need to continue polishing. We scheduled this tournament for a reason. At some moments we felt we showed midseason form at times. Especially in that loss to Northwest Missouri State. I like how we responded, so I’m pleased with how we looked.”
A plethora of players had a big two days for head coach Kendra Potts team including freshman and Hereford graduate Taytum Stow. The 6-foot-3 middle blocker immediately made her presence felt being named to the All-Tournament team. Stow combined 26 kills in her first four games and was fierce at the net tallying 14 blocks. Stow’s best performance definitely came against St. Mary’s where she dominated with 11 kills.
“We have a great underclassman group,” Potts said. “Sometimes it’s good to be a freshman and not know how good you are. One of those is Taytum. She is still figuring out how good she can be and we’re going day-by-day with her. Taytum is a sponge and just wants to learn and she’s part of a very talented freshman class that can compete at a high level.”
Highland Park graduate Emma Patterson and Canyon graduate Bryli Contreras also made a name for themselves on the defensive side of the court. Patterson, a sophomore, put together a career weekend with a total of 53 digs including a career-high 20 digs against Northwest Missouri State. Contreras, a Stephen F. Austin State transfer, showed how good a defensive specialist she’ll be contributing a total of 24 digs in her first four matches as a Lady Buff.
Junior outside hitter and returning All-American Torrey Miller is off to a fast start. Miller earned All-Tournament honors tallying 51 kills over the four games including a season-high 22 against Northwest Missouri State with a hitting percentage of .322.
The Lady Buffs will go on the road to play in the Colorado Premiere Showcase on Friday and Saturday. WT opens with Central Missouri at noon, on Friday.