SAN ANGELO - For the first time since 2006, Tarleton went to San Angelo and took care of business against Lone Star Conference rival Angelo State as the No. 17 TexAnns topped the No. 11 Rambelles in four sets Wednesday night.
This is Tarleton's fourth win over an AVCA Top 25 program in six matches this season. Tarleton improves to 8-4 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
The opening set, which ultimately went into extra points, started with Angelo State jumping out to a quick 6-3 lead before an Adriana Darthuy kill off a dish from Jordyn Keamo got the TexAnns rolling. The Darthuy kill started a 5-1 Tarleton run to give the TexAnns their first lead of the game at 8-7.
But between a pair of the nation's top rivals, one lead change wouldn't be nearly enough.
The set went back-and-fourth with the lead changing sides four times through the 37th point when Darthuy struck again with a kill that put Tarleton up 19-18. Tarleton carried its lead to set point at 24-22, but Angelo scored three straight to take an advantage in extra points. Tarleton got a kill from Roberts and a block from Alexis Applewhite and Amber Strange in extras but ultimately dropped the opening set 28-26.
Tarleton rebounded in the second set with two Roberts' kills and a block from Applewhite and Strange for a quick 3-2 lead and never trailed again in the set.
After the set came to a 6-6 tie, Darthuy landed a kill shot for a 7-6 lead that started a 15-9 TexAnn run - capped off with a block from Jordyn Keamo and Strange - that put the TexAnns up 21-15. Tarleton fended off a Rambelle surge that brought Angelo within one on two different occasions before Strange put the set away with a kill shot for a 25-23 win.
Tarleton put together some late-set heroics in the third set to rally back from a 15-10 deficit after the opening 25 points. Strange struck again on the set's 26th point to start a 10-5 Tarleton run that tied things up at 20-20.
Angelo State took an advantage twice over the next four points to lead 22-21, but a service error turned the tide for Tarleton as a kill from Adrianna Knutson and a service ace from Roberts put the TexAnns to set point at 24-22. After an Angelo kill, the Rambelles couldn't get the serve in play and Tarleton took a 2-1 lead in the match with a 25-23 set victory.
Tarleton was forced to play from behind, but once again rallied from an early deficit as the Rambelles led 14-11 after the set's 25thpoint.
Hannah McManus powered down a kill shot for Tarleton's 12thpoint of the set to start a 9-1 TexAnn run to put Tarleton on top 20-15. McManus accounted for two kills and a block over the set-turning run while Roberts added two kills and Blanca Izquierdolanded a service ace.
Angelo pulled within two points twice down the stretch but back-to-back kills from Strange and Applewhite delivered the Tarleton win - 25-20 in the set and 3-1 in the match.
Tarleton boasted a trio of players with double-digit kill performances, led by Roberts with 18. Applewhite landed 13 on a .385 hitting clip while Darthuy landed 11. Roberts added 12 digs for her third double-double in the last four matches.
Keamo also had a double-double with a team high 37 assists and 19 digs while Izquierdo had her first career double-double with a 10-assist, 11-dig performance. Adrianna Knutson had 18 digs from the libero spot.
Tarleton will return home for the first time in three weeks when they take the court in Wisdom Gym Friday at 6 p.m. against West Texas A&M and Saturday at 2 p.m. against UT Permian Basin on Family Weekend at Tarleton State University.