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A&M Volleyball open SEC play on good note

Aggies defeat Ole Miss, Auburn over the weekend

Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012

Updated: Sunday, September 16, 2012 20:09

The Texas A&M volleyball team continued to roll as their winning streak was extended to nine games after defeating Ole Miss and Auburn as the Aggies opened up SEC play.

"I didn't know how the team was going to come out and handle the hoopla and importance of the first SEC match in the history of Texas A&M University for volleyball,” Corbelli said. “Once they took a lot of deep breaths and started to calm down, I thought our game really started to resemble how we've been performing."

On Friday afternoon, the Aggies used the strong attack game from senior opposite Alisia Kastmo as she would find the gaps in the Rebel’s defense as she led the Aggies with 15 kills, 10 digs and a .444 hitting efficiency. The Aggies swept the Rebels 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-16).

Along with Kastmo, the Aggies received a great display from senior setter Allie Sawatzky as she anchored a front line that appeared to be blocking every attack that Ole Miss tried.

“She's really good,” Corbelli said. “Because she can attack, because she's got nice height and reach, defenses always have to be ready for what she can throw their way.”

The Aggies seemed to be in a great rhythm as the offense flowed well and the front line playing strong defense. Ole Miss tried repeatedly to disrupt the timing by taking sporadic timeouts, yet the Aggies maintained their composure to come out with the first ever SEC win for Texas A&M.

It was a different story on Sunday afternoon against Auburn. Although the Aggies managed to take a 2-0 lead, their 15th consecutive game won, the Aggies seemed to press too much that led to that streak being snapped against the Tigers.

The Tigers seemed to respond to the strong Aggie attack with a scrappy and difficult defense that gave A&M fits. With the match now at 2-1, it seemed as if Auburn would push it to a fifth and deciding set. The Aggies once again had the opportunity to close out the Tigers leading 24-15 in the fourth set. This time however, A&M would close out the game and take the set 25-18 and the match 3-1 over Auburn.

“We were just doing too much, trying to hard to win,” senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger said, “We did a nice job of getting our chemistry back in the fourth set and that led to us taking the win.”

As close as the game seemed, the Aggies were able to take the match and now are in sole possession of first place as Alabama fell to No. 17 Tennessee and Auburn falling to the Aggies.

The next match will be back at Reed Arena as the Aggies face off against No. 23 Kentucky, in a rematch against the Wildcats who ended the season for the Aggies last year in the NCAA Tournament.

“I think we have a lot of returners to show them what we are made of,” Mellinger said. “I think after a week of good practice, we can be ready for them and welcome them to Aggieland.”

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