The Texas A&M volleyball team fell short against the No. 22 Missouri Tigers (10-3) in five sets (16-25, 17-25, 25-18, 31-29, 15-12) at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Missouri.
After tallying wins of the first two sets, the Aggies (10-4) dropped the next three and allowed the Tigers the conference win.
On Sunday, freshman opposite hitter Treyaunna Rush landed seven kills as senior outside hitter Hollann Hans and junior setter Camille Connor both stacked their stat lines for double-doubles. On the defensive side, Hans and senior libero Camila Gomez led the game in overall blocks and digs.
A&M set the tone quickly at the start of the first set and outhit the Tigers 12-7, carrying the lead all the way to a 25-16 set win.
After one lead change in the second set, it was more of the same offensively for the Aggies. Kills from Rush, sophomore middle blocker Mallory Talbert and freshman outside hitter Lauren Davis pushed the Aggies’ lead to 15-7. After this point, the Tigers were not able to get within five as A&M sealed a 25-17 set win with a kill from Hans.
The Tigers took over the scoreboard early in the third set. Missouri’s largest lead was six, but the Aggies struggled to find consistency on offense in order to close the gap. Toward the end of the set, back-to-back kills from Hans forced Missouri into a timeout, but the Tigers came back with a service ace for a 25-18 set win.
After the teams were tied at 6 to start out the fourth set, the Tigers put together a 4-0 run to take a 10-6 lead. The Aggies did their best to work from behind with Davis, Hans and junior middle blocker Makena Patterson each having a kill through a stretch to put them within one. A&M got a break as attack errors by the Tigers allowed the Aggies to tie the game at 20.
A&M was unable to capitalize on that momentum though, and Missouri tallied three consecutive kills to take the 31-29 set win and force a deciding fifth set.
Hans got things started for the Aggies in the fifth with two kills and a service ace for an early 5-3 lead, forcing a timeout by the Tigers. A Missouri kill and three consecutive attack errors by the Aggies put the score at 7-5, before the Aggies called another timeout.
It didn’t help in the end though, as A&M quickly piled up service and attack errors. The Tigers closed the 15-12 set with a kill for the match win.
A&M coach Laura Kuhn said the team needs to take full advantage of its early leads in order to be able to close out games more efficiently.
“Finishing — that's the name of our game right now no matter who we're playing,” Kuhn told 12thman.com. “We need to believe and execute from point one to point 25. We need to execute the game plan and stay aggressive.”
The Aggies will next host the South Carolina Gamecocks on Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. in Reed Arena.