The Aggies’ home debut was a success as they topped Texas State 3-1 in the first day of the Texas A&M Invitational Thursday night at Reed Arena (25-11, 19-25, 25-21, 25-20).
“We were super motivated to get out on our new court and show everyone what we’ve been working on,” senior outside hitter Hollann Hans said. “It was a really great way to start the season off.”
In set one, junior setter Camille Conner got the Aggies on the board first with a kill. A&M gained quick momentum from there, causing Texas State to call a timeout in an effort to halt the Aggies’ rhythm once the score reached 7-1.
The Aggies’ offensive performance did not cease, with the score quickly climbing to 20-9 before Texas State called its second timeout of the set. The Bobcats’ efforts to end the A&M’s scoring streak were unsuccessful, with the Aggies finishing the set on top 25-11. Camila Gomez recorded seven digs for A&M in the first set.
The Bobcats dominated in the second set. Texas State scored first, starting out with a 2-0 lead over the Aggies. A&M struggled, never leading the set. Texas State’s Emily Dewalt was instrumental in the Bobcats’ early success with six digs. A&M called its first timeout once the score reached 15-7.
The Aggies turned things around after the timeout and slowly inched back within reach, with Texas State calling a timeout when the score reached 19-15. Cheyenne Huskey contributed greatly to the Bobcats’ scoring streak with seven kills in the second set. A&M’s efforts weren’t enough though, ending with Texas State on top, 25-19.
Huskey put the Bobcats on the board first in the third set. The score stayed close despite A&M’s efforts to halt the Bobcats’ momentum. An ace from the Aggies tied the set at 12, and Texas State quickly called a timeout after the Aggies went ahead 13-12. Hans and junior middle blocker Makena Patterson led A&M in kills in the third set with eight each. The Aggies battled until the end and were victorious 25-21.
“Makena [Patterson] did awesome,” Hans said. “Offensively, defensively, she was just the whole package tonight.”
A double block got the Aggies started in the fourth set, allowing them to take an early 3-0 lead. Davis’ kill for the Aggies landed the score at 9-5, leading to a Texas State timeout. The Bobcats worked hard to make a comeback, but fell short to the Aggies with a final score of 25-20 to end both the set and match.
Gomez had a career-high of twenty-three digs in the match.
“I think our defense executed for the most part,” A&M head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said. “Offensively, we struggled. That second set was kind of where we fell off, but overall I’m proud of them. Texas State is a very good team.”
On Friday the Aggies will face Northwestern State at 10 a.m. and the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley at 7:30 p.m. to finish out the tournament.