A&M pushes No. 5 Florida to 5 sets
Sunday defeat drops Aggies to 3-7 SEC record
Published: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Updated: Sunday, November 3, 2013 20:11
The Texas A&M volleyball team fell to No. 5 Florida by a score of 3-2 Sunday at Reed Arena. The Florida Gators, who leave College Station 22-2 and 11-1 in the SEC, defeated the Aggies in a decisive five sets.
The final set came down to a 16-14 break by the Gators after a back-and-forth battle to win the match.
“Well obviously it’s a heartbreaker that we didn’t get those last two points,” said A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli. “We had opportunities. I am incredibly proud of the work my team put in. Individual preparation has been the best that its been. The whole focus of the team was visible at the start of the match.”
Texas A&M (11-10, 3-7 SEC) surged to a one set lead early before falling behind 2-1 after a defeat in the third set with a score of 25-8. However, the Aggies battled back to defeat the Gators in the fourth set before falling in the fifth.
Despite the loss, A&M was able to hold back Florida’s top hitter, Chloe Mann. Meanwhile, the conference’s top server, Taylor Unroe, helped keep the Gators victorious, serving up a team-high of six aces.
“[Unroe is] the nation’s leading server,” Corbelli said. “She targeted our young players who had done a good job all night.”
The first set was a seesaw battle between the Gators and the Aggies as each team took turns
Senior outside hitter Heather Reynolds took hold of the defense during the match with a game-best 18 digs. Despite Reynolds’ defensive efforts, Mann notched a game-high 22 kills against the Aggies.
“We knew coming into the game Mann would be a big threat,” Reynolds said. “Wherever the ball goes, I’m going to go.”
Offensively, sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak led the team with 18 kills and a .406 hitting percentage. Sophomore middle backer Shelby Sullivan followed suit with 15 kills of her own and a .387 hitting percentage.
Lowak said A&M’s offensive production came from its ability to take risks in the clutch.
“We’ve been talking a lot about taking risks and getting uncomfortable, but staying relaxed at the same time,” Lowak said. “[In the fourth set] I was on fire and we were getting the ball rolling.”
The Aggies will take on Mississippi State on Friday before traveling to Ole Miss the following Sunday.