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Lions rally to topple Dallas Baptist

By Cliff Gibson
On October 5, 2011


Lion fans celebrated "Turn Back the Clock" night at the Field House on Tuesday, and the A&M-Commerce Lions responded by turning away Dallas Baptist University, rallying from a 2-1 deficit to win in five sets, 25-21, 17-25, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8.

Junior Rachel Robertson pounded the Patriots for 20 kills on the night and Lone Star Conference player of the week Jordan Neal dished out 56 assists to go with four service aces, helping the Lions (5-10 overall, 1-7 LSC) win consecutive matches for the first time this season.

Breanne Snyder added to the winning effort with 14 kills and 17 digs. Ezon Onditi tallied 13 kills, and Dakota Crockett pulled out 17 digs against the Patriots (7-11). After the match, Lions head coach Craig Case pointed out how much the crowd played a factor.

"We got outplayed tonight for three sets, but we had a great crowd behind us and that helped us pull out the win," Case said. "I liked how we kept fighting to play our game and in the end that's what we did. We've got a good team that can play at a high level."

The Lions played at a high level early, taking a 4-0 lead in the first set and holding onto that lead before DBU rallied to take a 15-14 advantage. The Patriots lead by as many as three points late in the set, but the Lions ripped off five straight points to regain the lead and Snyder closed it out with a pair of kills.

DBU took the early lead in the second set and never let up, tying the match after taking advantage of the Lions' worst hitting percentage of the night and 11 costly errors. In the third set, the Lions hit the ball a bit better, but the Patriots put together their most efficient set, hitting a match-high .293 and committing just two errors. The Patriots led the entire set to push the Lions to the brink.

In the fourth set, the Lions cleaned up their act, hitting .263 and overcoming an early deficit to take over, scoring four of the last five points in the set after a 21-21 tie. Robertson had three kills and a key block in the fifth set, while Onditi had a pair of kills to go with a service ace, as the Lions ran away with the deciding frame to claim victory.

Robertson noted that the Lions nearly gave the game away, but rebounded in a big way.

"We had to clean up our mistakes because it was our errors that gave them points," Robertson said. "Everything had to be sharpened up and we did that at the end."

The Lions will hit the road Thursday to play at 14th-ranked West Texas A&M, who currently lead the LSC with an 8-1 conference mark, and a 17-2 record overall. A&M-Commerce will then face Eastern New Mexico on the road Saturday night before returning home Oct. 13 against Midwestern State.

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