A&M beats Missouri, clinches SEC West
3-1 victory at Reed nets volleyball a share of the division title
Published: Sunday, November 18, 2012
Updated: Sunday, November 18, 2012 22:11
The Texas A&M volleyball team captured at least a share of the SEC West championship with a victory on Friday night against the Missouri Tigers 3-1 on senior night at Reed Arena.
“I thought they had a really good start and they came out with a lot of confidence and composure,” head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “They were disappointed with the way they lost [the rhythm] in set two but the seniors got the team back into rhythm.”
The Aggies came out with a lot of emotion as the night belonged to seniors Tori Mellinger, Lindsey Miller, Alisia Kastmo, Megan Pendergast and Stephanie Minnerly. With all the excitement to go along with a strong supporting crowd, the Aggies came out of the gate with a 6-1 run forcing a Mizzou timeout. Even though the Aggies led 13-6, the Tigers showed resilience and kept chipping away at the lead as the Tigers managed to cut the lead and be in striking distance 19-18. The Aggies were able to get the set win 25-20 when Missouri’s Lisa Henning hit the ball out of bounds.
In the second set, the Aggies came out flat and out of sync and the Tigers did not let that go to waste. The Tigers outhit the Aggies .308 to .000 and took the set 25-18 to tie everything up at one set apiece. The seniors however were not about to let their chance of having their night end on a sour note.
“We talked after the coaches left [the locker room] about believing in each other and getting that spark back on the court,” Mellinger said.
That’s precisely what the Aggies needed as they wasted no time and rushed to a 16-7 lead and would go on to take the set 25-15 setting up a third set that would set up the table for A&M to take the game.
In the fourth and final set, A&M would keep forcing the Tigers to commit costly errors and derail the confidence that Mizzou had built in the second set by using a 7-0 run to open the lead 17-9. With the game in the hands of the Aggies, the final set and match point was awarded to the Aggies when the Tigers’ serve was too long and ended the match with A&M on top.
At the end of the night, the five seniors who have been an example of leadership, hard work ethic, and talented, led the Aggies for what could be their final game at Reed Arena.
“It meant a lot; we did what we wanted to do.,” Kastmo said. “We performed well and had an exciting game in front of our 12th Man, hopefully not for the last time.”
The Aggies still have two road games remaining on the road against preseason favorite Tennessee and at Ole Miss.
The Aggies will then await their NCAA Tournament future as the 64-team bracket will be revealed on November 25th.
“Getting a top-16 seed two years in a row would be pretty remarkable,” Corbelli said. “It would say a lot about the senior class. They have a lot to do with the success we’ve had.”