The No. 5-ranked West Texas A&M Lady Buffs used the energy of great Homecoming crowds and played some of their best volleyball to date to earn a weekend sweeps of Midwestern State and Texas Woman’s in Lone Star Conference action no Friday and Saturday at the WTAMU Fieldhouse.
WTAMU dominated MSU 25-12, 25-13, 25-17, then handled a very talented TWU squad on Saturday, 29-27, 25-15, 25-13.
The Lady Buffs (17-2 overall) move to 7-1 in the LSC right behind Arkansas-Fort Smith (16-3, 6-0) for first place. WTAMU also stays unbeatable at in “The Box” with an unblemished 11-0 mark this year.
“This why home court is so special,” WTAMU head coach Kendra Potts said. “We feel it on the road and teams wanting to beat us. When we play at home, we just feel loved, and we’ve had amazing crowds this year. I can’t say thank you enough to our fans. It was an amazing weekend.”
In the victory against MSU, sophomore Emma Becker led the team in kills with 11 on 16 attempts with Ainsley Malis providing the offense dishing out 27 assists. Canyon graduate Bryli Contreras continues to play a pivotal defensive role with 17 digs and Highland Park graduate Emma Patterson had two aces.
WTAMU now leads the all-time series against the Mustangs by a staggering 42-1 count.
Against TWU (14-5, 6-2) on Saturday, the first set was very competitive with the two teams battling through 12 ties in the 56-point set. The two teams went back-and-forth before Hereford grad and WTAMU sophomore middle blocker Taytum Stow finished the 29-27 first-set win off with a huge block that set the tone for the rest of the game.
From there, WTAMU went on to dominate the Pioneers.
“We always go match by match,” Potts said. “Our sole focus was Midwestern State on Friday, but then had to shift to Texas Woman’s really fast to prepare. I’m not surprised by the first set. Texas Woman’s is a very good team. I love the way our team played with grit and played at a high level. It’s hard to play at a high level for a long period of time but I felt we did that in both wins.”
Stow finished with eight blacks to lead the front line with Contreras chipping in two aces. Senior All-American and leader Torrey Miller looks to be back at full strength after battling back from a nagging injury. Miller was clutch against TWU with 13 kills on 30 attempts and had 12 digs from the back row for her fifth double-double of the season.
“We’ve had to be patient with Torrey,” Potts said. “She’s been injured and now she’s getting healthy. We did a lot of good things with her not at full strength, but Torrey is a defensive presence both on the block and the back row. But now she’s swinging hard again and that brings an entire new energy to the team.”
The Lady Buffs step out of conference to play at Southwestern Oklahoma State at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. WTAMU then returns home for an LSC showdown with Arkansas-Fort Smith at 7 p.m. on Friday, followed by Oklahoma Christian at 2 p.m. on Saturday.