The Texas A&M volleyball team set the tone at the Cardinal Classic by defeating the University of Dayton 3-2 Friday afternoon. A&M fought hard through five sets (25-23, 22-25, 25-18, 25-27, 15-13).
The leaders for the Aggies included senior outside hitter Hollann Hans with twelve kills, senior libero Camila Gomez with twenty digs, freshman outside hitter Lauren Davis with five blocks and junior setter Camille Conner with twenty-nine assists.
Two members of A&M’s young roster made big plays in the first set. Davis landed the first block of her collegiate career at the beginning of the game, and sophomore libero Taylor Voss came in clutch with an ace for A&M to take a two-point lead.
Dayton made multiple errors in the first set, allowing A&M to take the lead early. The Flyers then fought back to earn a 23-22 lead, though it still wasn’t enough. Conner had two remarkable kills after Dayton regained the lead. This put A&M in a great spot, and Davis closed the deal with a kill to give the Aggies the 25-23 win in the first set.
Dayton jumped out on top in the second set with a 3-0 lead. The Aggies and the Flyers battled hard with several ties and a couple of lead changes in the set. Hans came through with a mighty ace, giving the Aggies a 17-16 advantage, but Dayton powered through to go ahead 23-20.
The Aggies came back within one point thanks to the trio of sophomore middle blockers London Austin-Roark and Mallory Talbert, and Davis. Austin-Roark had a kill, while Davis and Talbert had a block assist. Dayton continued to surge on though, and won the second set 25-22.
Hans was dominant in the third set, helping A&M to a 25-18 win with five kills.
Set four was filled with great competition – it consisted of ten ties and six lead changes. A&M jumped out to a 10-6 lead, and then Dayton went on a 7-2 run. Davis led the Aggies in the last points of the set, but Dayton still managed to come out on top with a victory of 27-25.
Freshman Treyaunna Rush entered the game for the first time in the fifth set, and immediately got the Aggies going with a powerful solo block. A&M and Dayton were tied at six until the Aggies slipped away with a 5-0 run and didn’t relinquish the lead throughout the rest of the match. Dayton came within one point of the Aggies’s lead at match point, but Talbert was the hero for A&M as she had a monstrous kill to end the match, 15-13.