UT Tyler struggled at times with two new faces in the starting lineup but pulled out a 3-0 win over LeTourneau 30-27, 30-27, 31-29 at the Louise Herrington Patriot Center Tuesday.
Sophomore right side Linsey Schofield and junior outside hitter Tara Haney moved off the bench after Saturday's 3-1 loss to UT Dallas, immediately making an impact as Haney ripped off 10 kills with Schofield adding another four.
"Linsey did a good job for us tonight, especially executing our offense," Patriots coach Kristee Turpin said. "Tara stepped forward to be a consistent ball handler. Now they just both need to work on being every-day players, not hot one night and then cold the next."
The Patriots evened their American Southwest Conference record at 6-6 (9-13 overall), downing the LadyJackets (6-20, 2-10 ASC) for the sixth straight time and leaving the Patriots all-time series record against LeTourneau (6-0) unblemished.
"We are back to 0-0 (in conference) with this win and we have four matches over Friday and Saturday so we just have to work from there," Turpin said.
With the new lineup changes, the Patriots fell to a quick 13-7 deficit in the first game. After a Patriot timeout, though, the offense got on track behind the strong right arms of senior middle blocker Amanda Gadison, who led the team with 16 kills and added two blocks in the match, and junior Jessica Lightfoot's 12 kills and 23 digs.
After tying the first game at 23-23 and then falling back behind 27-26, sophomore setter Kristen Akin's serves, including two aces, led to the last four points of the game. Lightfoot had her best game of the match, with five kills and six digs, and former Robert E. Lee standout Kristina Sivertson added three kills.
In a reversal of roles, UT Tyler jumped to a quick lead to force LeTourneau head coach Stephen Pasiciel into taking a timeout trailing 10-5.
The LadyJackets came close to tying it when Jennifer McCool, who lead LeTourneau with 17 kills and three blocks, lobbed one of her three serving aces to cut the Patriots lead to 19-18.
A UT Tyler timeout again allowed the Patriots to regroup, and two kills by Haney and another two by Gadison carried them to another 30-27 win. Gadison slammed nine kills and Sivertson added four more, along with three blocks in the game.
Game three proved to be the closest on the night, with the two trading points until junior setter Kelly Roberts ripped two of her five kills in the game to give the Patriots a 16-12 edge.
McCool kept the LadyJackets close, though, tying the game at 19-19. After the two teams tied the score another four times, UT Tyler claimed the lead and two kills apiece by Lightfoot and Gadison, along with a crucial kill by the newly-appointed starter Schofield, gave them the match.
"It's almost like we are trying to start with a new team," Turpin said of the two new additions to the lineup. "Tomorrow we will take the day off and then come back Thursday. We had a tough practice yesterday because of the UT Dallas loss and we are going to try and make it fun again."
The Patriots face two straight dual matches as they host one of the two scheduled ASC Crossover Tournaments Friday and Saturday. UT Tyler will host Schreiner at 5 p.m. and then Mary Hardin-Baylor at 7:30 p.m. Friday.