A&M volleyball finishes weekend tournament 2-1
Published: Sunday, September 1, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 1, 2013 22:09
As Texas A&M volleyball opened the season to defend their SEC West title, two names stood out in particular — senior settler Allie Sawatzky and sophomore opposite hitter Sierra Patrick combined for a total of 62 kills and 32 digs during the Aggies’ season opening tournament.
Texas A&M took on No. 15 Iowa State, North Dakota and South Dakota State Friday and Saturday, finishing second place while going 2-1 in the University of North Dakota Classic at the Sioux Center in Grand Banks, N.D.
Sawatzky and Patrick were both named to the all-tournament team. Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said the team did a good job of fighting to find a rhythm in the last game.
“This morning’s match we had a lot of lulls, some highs and some low lows,”Corbelli said. “After a rough start coming off the loss to Iowa State, I thought the team started to gain some confidence and got settled in and started to get some rhythm, and our passing got better as well.”
A&M started out the weekend tournament and season facing the South Dakota State Jackrabbits, and followed by putting on a record-breaking performance for the fans. Sawatzky tied the school record with six aces and the team finished 9th in school history with 14, the most since 1994.
Sawatzky also started her 93rd consecutive match, but playing time wouldn’t ware her out as all 14 of the Aggies players got time to play.
The Aggies swept the Jackrabbits, putting a good spin on the start to the season. Corbelli said that it was a good feeling to get back into the season with such a good start.
Next on the docket for the Aggies —No. 15 Iowa State. That matchup proved to be a struggle as Texas A&M lost 3-1 despite outhitting the Cyclones .429 - .257. Senior psychology major Courtney Weiss said despite the loss, she's sure the Aggies learned from the mistakes they made.
"It's always hard to deal with when you lose, but you always learn a lot more when you when compared to when you loose,” Weiss said.
Patrick earned her all-tournament honors in this game as she had a career-high 20 kills. Corbelli was impressed with the play of Patrick as well as with the other young players in spite of the loss.
After a 1-1 record, the Aggies would look to take second place in the tournament with a win against the North Dakota Sioux.
The Aggies would go on to beat the Sioux despite a hard fought contest. Corbelli said even though there were some "low lulls" in the match, that team chemistry was the solution.
"This team really is recognizing how strong they are together. They are just really doing a nice job of communicating and not blaming anyone. They are taking responsibility for their own play and they are working on getting refocused once things go badly and just really trying to even out their play."