Texas A&M volleyball is returning home after being on the road for both the Cardinal Classic and the Pepperdine Tournament.
A&M will face Texas State on Thursday at 6 p.m. and will then match up against Northwestern State on Friday at 10 a.m. followed by the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley at 7:30 p.m.
A&M head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said the Aggies are excited to play in Reed Arena for the first time this season.
“I know the team couldn’t wait to come back home,” Kuhn said. “It’s been a good two weeks. I think we’ve grown a lot and learned a lot about our team and who we are.”
Texas State participated in the Long Beach State Mizuno Classic last weekend, ending the tournament 2-1 after a 3-2 win over Long Beach State, a 3-0 loss to UCLA and a win over Georgia, 3-0.
Northwestern State played in the Jaguar Invitational this past weekend and, similar to Texas State, finished 2-1. The Demons won 3-0 against Mississippi Valley State, lost 3-1 vs. South Alabama and dominated Tennessee State 3-0.
UTRGV ended with a losing record in the UTSA classic over the weekend, winning 3-2 against Maryland and losing 3-0 to both UTSA and Houston.
Kuhn said the tournament will be a good test for the Aggies before they start Southeastern Conference play on Sept. 24.
“Texas State is very good,” Kuhn said. “They run a fast offense, and they change up some of the schemes they do defensively. It’s going to be a lot of adjustments and how fast we can make adjustments, but they’re very good. UTSA will be good, and it's different conferences, so that’s why you mix up your tournaments. It’s really getting your team ready to execute a game plan, so this is going to be a good tournament for us.”
The Aggies went 1-1 in the Cardinal Classic to open the season with a 3-2 win over Dayton and a 2-3 loss to Louisville. The Aggies had great success in Malibu, California at the Pepperdine Tournament, going undefeated after dominating California Baptist (3-0), Fairfield (3-0) and Pepperdine (3-1).
Several Aggies led the offense efficiently throughout the Pepperdine Tournament. Junior Makena Patterson finished with 22 kills and 11 blocks. Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans recorded her 25th career double-double over the weekend. Junior Camille Conner hit a season-high of 42 assists. Conner and Patterson were both named to the Pepperdine All-Tournament Team.
“We changed up the lineup a couple of times and that’s when you know you’ve gotten competitive because they go in and perform,” Kuhn said. “Any time you can make it hard on your coaches because you’re performing well and it’s now just a decision of what’s the best chemistry out there, that’s where you want to be. I think we’re getting there to some extent.”