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A&M volleyball wins Yale Classic

Published: Monday, September 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 02:09

The Texas A&M volleyball team completed its first road trip of the season by defeating Yale, American and Stony Brook to win the Yale Classic in New Haven, Connecticut. After the road trip, the Aggies are now 5-1, with a four game winning streak to start the season.

“It was a total team effort today,” said head coach Laurie Corbelli. “We didn’t drop a set today, we worked on some of the kinks that we have been having and to complete the first road trip [of the season] was good.”

The Aggies were led by All-Tournament MVP, senior middle blocker Stephanie Minnerly as she posted a .460 hitting efficiency with 26 kills and only three errors. Making the All-Tournament team were fellow Aggies junior setter Allie Sawatzky and junior outside hitter Heather Reynolds.

“Sometimes kids just get a zone where everything just comes together and feels right,” Corbelli said. “[Minnerly] found openings, and Sawatzky certainly is blossoming this season early here in the second weekend just being comfortable with a variety of hitters. Reynolds was just all-around one of the most valuable players of the weekend.”

A&M opened the match with a 5-0 run as Sawatzky had five kills in the frame and kept Stony Brook’s defense off-balanced with her attacks. A&M used that attack to win the first set 25-14.

“Allie is one of those returning starters who is in charge of making sure that she commands the court,” Corbelli said.

For the rest of the match, Corbelli was tweaking the lineup to get some of the younger players some experience. Junior outside hitter Ashley Vrana went into the game for senior Tori Mellinger, while sophomore defensive specialist Hannah Hood and freshman Shelbi Vaughan entered the game as well. In the second set, the Aggies used key kills from Sawartzky and Vrana to give the Aggies the 2-0 lead.

Before the third set began, Corbelli once again opted to insert more youth like freshmen Kate Praslicka and Angela Lowak, while later subbing rookies Sierra Patrick and Shelby Sullivan. All the substitutions worked out well for the Aggies as they closed the set and match with a 25-18 third set victory.

“One [of our goals] was to make sure we did our best to give our new players who are going to be having an impact in some court time,” Corbelli said. “Just that kind of experience is really hard to get sometimes.”

The Aggies will wrap up their non-conference schedule by taking part in the Delaware Invitational starting with a doubleheader on Friday September 7th as they play Xavier and host Delaware. The Aggies will conclude the invitational by facing Columbia Saturday afternoon.


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