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A&M volleyball remains in first despite split

Aggies defeat Arkansas3-2 but fall to Kenucky 3-0

Published: Monday, October 15, 2012

Updated: Monday, October 15, 2012 01:10

The Texas A&M volleyball team remained on top of the SEC West despite earning a split during the weekend. The Aggies (15-3, 7-2) defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 3-2 Friday evening while losing to the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday afternoon 3-0.

“It was definitely an off day for us [Sunday]," A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. "I had a little sense of it earlier in the morning that it was tough coming down from the high of the Arkansas win and then traveling and then getting back into it again. It was just an off day for us where everything we tried didn't work, and sometimes that happens.”

The Aggies traveled to Fayetteville, Ark. to face the Razorbacks who entered the match just one game behind the Aggies for first place in the SEC West. The match started with the Aggies dropping the first set 21-25 when Arkansas broke open the 5-5 tie and led 19-11. The Aggies managed to pull to the score as low as 23-21 behind the nine kills from senior opposite Alisia Kastmo, but that effort wasn’t enough as the Aggies dropped the set.

The Aggies then battled back and forth, forcing a fifth set. A&M had plenty of contributors starting with Kastmo, who tied a career high with 21 kills. Senior middle blocker Stephanie Minnerly 11 kills and 11 digs while freshman Shelbi Vaughn contributed with a career high eight kills and three blocks.

Ultimately, the Aggies managed to pull through with the victory in the fifth set earning the match win with a 15-3 final, and opening a wo game lead over Arkansas.

 A&M traveled  to Lexington, Ky. to face a Wildcats team that has won the previous two meetings between the two clubs.

A&M scored a season low 11 points in the first set, setting the tone for the rest of the evening as the Aggies couldn’t seem to get in sync during the entire match.

The Aggies could not rebound after dropping the first set as they went on to drop the other two sets, 25-22 and 25-19. Sunday was the first time all season that the Aggies were swept.

A&M return home to Reed Arena for a two game home stand against Tennessee and the 11th ranked Florida Gators. Tennessee was selected as the preseason SEC winner while the Gators currently sit atop the SEC East with a 15-2, 9-0 record.

“This is definitely a brutal time to have this part of the schedule," Corbelli said. "It's kind of the middle of the season, you don't see the end in sight and you know it's been a real grind. This is when we mentally have to grind it out and be really tough and focused. It's more about that rather than volleyball itself, so we are going to have to make sure we handle it properly."

Friday night’s match against Tennessee is set to begin at 6 p.m. Anyone who brings in a canned good in part of the Aggies CAN annual food drive, will be admitted free. In addition, there will be an autograph session after the match.

Sunday’s match against No. 11 Florida will begin at 1 p.m. and will be nationally televised on ESPNU.


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