TWU’s volleyball team fell to No. 20 Texas A&M-Commerce, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Kitty Magee Arena.

“They’re the No. 20 team in the nation for a reason,” head coach Jeff Huebner said. “We did a really good job in the first set, had them on the ropes in Sets 2 and 4. We just didn’t finish the game the way that we needed to in order to win the match.”

In the opening set, both teams trading scoring runs, with the Pioneers outscoring the Lions 7-2 over the last nine points.

“It really came down to being intentional with what we’re doing with the ball,” Huebner said of his team’s success in the first frame. “That’s something that we spent all week working on.”

TWU hung tough in the following set, ultimately falling 25-23, as both teams traded the final seven points. After dropping the third set, 25-16, the Pioneers jumped out with five unanswered points in the fourth set. However, it wouldn’t be enough as the Lions remained unblemished in conference play.

Tabitha Spray led TWU with 11 kills while Katy Ranes paced the team with 15 assists. Bailey French once again anchored the defense on the backline while Courtney Noel and Trixie Oche led the squad in blocks.

“Even though we didn’t get the win tonight,” Huebner said, “we kept them out of system, and there’s a lot of value to that.”

The Pioneers fell to 6-7 overall and 2-2 in the early portion of conference play.

Next for the Pioneers will be a two-match road trip beginning at Eastern New Mexico on Friday at 7 p.m.

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