The Texas A&M University-Kingsville volleyball team’s 2014 season came to an end as TAMUK fell in three sets to No. 5 Tarleton State University 25-16, 27-25, 25-23, in what was a season that the Javelinas posted three more wins than the season before, while finishing with a winning record.
Although the lady Javelinas fell in the quarterfinals on Nov. 13, the 18-13 record that they posted this season was the most wins since 1998. Six Javelinas captured All-Lone Star Conference honors this season, while seniors Kelsey Washington and Stephanie Johns, finished in the top five of all time kills, blocks, digs, sets played and points for TAMUK.
TSU, cruised to a 25-16 win in the first set however, the Javelinas battled to tie the game in the second set before TSU captured the second set by two points.
Trading points back and forth, TSU held a 15-12 lead and after a Kingsville timeout, the Hogs stormed out to an 8-3 run to recapture the lead 20-18. Trailing 23-22, the Blue and Gold tied the set at 23 before Tarleton State took over with a 25-23 win.
“Tarleton has one of the best freshmen in the country playing for them,” said Coach Tanya Allen. “She is extremely talented and I expect they will do great things at the regional tournament. It is difficult to have come so close in both the 2nd and 3rd set and not won, but I am proud of the way our girls competed.”
Ashley Bukowski and Krystal Faison both finished with nine kills apiece and Casey Klobadans, who earned Co-LSC setter of the year, finished with a game-high 30 assists. All three will be returning next season for Allen in their 2015 campaign.
“We are extremely excited to be returning two 2nd team All-Conference players and two honorable mention players, as well as the co-setter of the year,” Allen said. “It is always good to have such strong talent returning to the roster.”
As TAMUK says goodbye to the seniors who played in their final game, Coach Allen knows that they left a mark on the teammates who will be back and knows how much they meant not just to the game of volleyball, but to her as well.
“I told the seniors that I am proud of them and I love them. They had very good careers that they can be proud of for the rest of their lives,” Allen said.
Although the lady Javelinas finished with a winning record and showed signs of what is to come, Coach Allen knows there is always room for improvement heading into next year.
“I am happy, and proud, we have continued to improve since I arrived, but I still have bigger goals in mind,” said Allen. “This offseason will be about individual skill improvement. Each returner will have very specific goals for improving a given skill. The goal is to improve as individuals so that the team can improve as a whole.”