Texas A&M will look to improve on its success in SEC play against Arkansas Friday evening in Fayetteville.
Last week, the Aggies fell short against Tennessee falling 3-2 in the matchup with losses in the first, third and the tie-breaking fifth set. The Aggies started out each set strong but dropped the match due to attack and service errors, as well as several kills from the Lady Volunteers.
“We have to consistently execute,” A&M coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said. “We must game plan and be focused in on that from start to finish.”
Though the matchup proved to be in Tennessee's favor, senior outside hitter Hollann Hans had some memorable highlights in the game with 24 kills and 16 digs; earning her 27th double double of her career.
“It’s never fun to lose obviously, and I know that a lot of good things happened in that game and so we were able to find those things and fix them just by watching film,” Hans said. “Again it stinks to lose but learned from it and will keep moving forward.”
Arkansas enters the matchup on a two-game losing skid after a seven-game road trip, which featured the Razorbacks first two conference losses against LSU and Alabama. With the Hogs back at Barnhill Arena this week for the first time since Sept. 10, Arkansas is looking at this match as an opportunity for a confidence boost. Last season the Razorbacks came up short against A&M, losing in straight sets.
Since Arkansas’s last home match against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the Hogs have lost five of their last seven games.
Kuhn said she expects Arkansas to be aggressive and a good opportunity for team growth, especially after last week’s loss.
“Against Arkansas, we have to defend their system — they’re gonna be at home so we’re on the road again and that’s always gonna be an environment that’ll challenge us, which is huge for our team,” Bird said. “But it can build us and our chemistry because when you’re on the road you’ll only have you, you’ll only have each other. What I expect to see from our team is a high level of execution and focusing on our side and what we need to do, being more urgent to finish sets.”
The Aggies face off with the Razorbacks at Barnhill Arena Friday evening. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network +.