A&M to get second shot at Florida
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 31, 2013 21:10
The Aggie volleyball team (11-8, 3-5 SEC) will get a shot at revenge against No. 5 Florida on Sunday when it takes on the Gators at Reed Arena.
Florida has held 17 of 22 opponents below a .200 hitting percentage. On the attack the Gators boast Chloe Mann, who leads the nation in hitting percentage and has 236 kills on the season.
“The team needs to block, and defensive players in the back row have to be ready to make moves,” said senior libero Heather Reynolds. “[Mann] is a really dynamic player and hits all over the court.”
Reynolds, who will make her third start at libero after playing outsider hitter earlier in the season, will be part of the A&M defense against Mann. Head coach Laurie Corbelli said after the Arkansas win that she moved Reynolds in order to balance the attack and bring consistency to the back row’s play.
“We’re progressively getting more balanced in our attack,” Corbelli said. “Our defense has improved a ton and I like our adjustments, but overall our team mentality is in a better place.”
With eight games remaining in the season after Florida, Corbelli said the Aggies have to play their best.
“This is the home stretch of the season,” Corbelli said. “Our team is excited with the goals we’ve set and the progress we are making in getting back to the balance that we know we can achieve.”
The Aggies will be looking to bounce back from a weekend split after they beat Arkansas and lost to the undefeated Missouri Tigers.
Sophomore Shelby Sullivan has continued her streak for the Aggies, totaling 16 kills in each game.
A&M was swept by Florida on Oct. 4 in Gainesville, Fla., with the scores of 25-9, 25-23 and 25-17.
“Florida needs to be on their toes coming to Reed arena,” said junior defensive specialist Hannah Hood. “We are really excited to play them. They are going to be a fun challenge to make us play our best volleyball.”
First serve for Sunday’s match is set for 1 p.m. with the game televised on ESPNU.