This has been an eventful weekend in Lion Athletics, lets get to it.
Volleyball- For the First time in 31 years, The Texas A&M-Commerce Lions are Lone Star Conference Champions in Volleyball. Beating regular season champion Tarleton State in the LSC Tournament Championship 3-1. HC Craig Case and Assistant HC Sarah Carthel have a lot to be proud of, and Craig Case has really turned this program around and taken it to heights not seen since the late 1980’s. This team earned it against a very good Tarleton State squad, and I cannot say enough about how good I feel for this program. The Lions face 7th seeded Angelo State in the first round of the NCAA South Central Regional Tournament in Stephenville on Thursday. The South Central Regional is being hosted by Tarleton State. Should the Lions defeat the Rams, they will face the winner of Dixie State and Colorado-Mesa on Friday.
Jason Burton’s squad split the opening weekend, dropping a 77-68 decision to Colorado State-Pueblo and then defeated Metro State 71-66. They have a HUGE game against a Top Ten team in Lubbock Christian in the final game of the TAJ Hospitality Classic on Monday night. Ekaterina Zhibareva hit for a game high 14 points in the win against Metro State and against CSU-Pueblo. The Senior transfer from Marshall University looks to be a new offensive cog in the Lions offensive attack.
The Lions took 2 wins to start the season off at 2-0 in the LSC/Heartland Challenge. The first win was against Oklahoma Christian 89-82, following it up with a 76-56 win over Newman. The Lions start their home season Tuesday night against Our Lady of the Lake in Commerce, and then take the trip west down Highway 380 to face off against North Texas in an exhibition game against the Eagles (or Mean Green) whatever you wish to you use.
The Lions took the 6th spot in the final Super Region 4 polls. The Lions will head up to Duluth, Minnesota to take on 3rd seeded Minnesota-Duluth on Saturday. Should the Lions win that game, they will face the winner of Tarleton State vs. Azusa Pacific. A second round game would give the Lions a chance to play in front of a sizable crowd of their own fans. If Tarleton State wins, the game would be in Stephenville, just 150 miles from Commerce. If Azusa Pacific wins, they would play the next round in Commerce, since they would be the 7th ranked squad. We will have a week’s worth of playoff preview during week, so stay tuned.
Monday Night-The playoffs explained-All 28 teams looked at.
Tuesday Night-The Pre-Snap Read, Looking at the Lion Offense vs the Duluth Defense.
Wednesday Night-5 Minor Thoughts on winning a playoff game on the road-Billy Minor shares his experience and sheds some advice for how to be successful winning a first round playoff game on the road, like his 1990 squad did.
Thursday Night-Blue Gang Notebook-Russell McLean previews the Lion Defense versus the Duluth offense.
Friday Night-Storylines, Starters, Stuff You Need To Know.
Sunday-5 Morning After Thoughts.