Two up, two down for A&M
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 01:10
The Texas A&M volleyball team made a statement this weekend by sweeping South Carolina and Mississippi State and improving their record to 14-2 and 6-1 in SEC play, retaining sole possession of first place in the SEC West.
In the process of the weekend matchups and for the fifth time in school history, the Aggies open their first 16 games with only two losses while breaking the program record for least amount of points allowed in a match. The Aggies only allowed Mississippi State 32 total points (25-8, 25-14, 25-10), breaking the previous mark of 41 points allowed to Texas Southern in 2009.
“I was really pleased with our execution overall,” head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “I didn't think there was a part of our game that was sub-par for how we've been playing in practice and how we've been performing in matches.”
Friday night, the Aggies jumped out in front of the gamecocks using a 12-4 run with a strong defensive front led by seniors Lindsey Miller and Stephanie Minnerly. The Aggies completed game one with senior opposite hitter Tori Mellinger, who, along with Miller, had four kills in the set and ended the set with a kill down the line for the 25-12 game one win.
The Aggies continued to show their balanced attack as the Aggies took games two and three by the score of 25-16. Miller showed her experience by identifying holes in the defense and not letting those kill opportunities go to waste as she finished the night with 12 kills with a .500 hitting efficiency.
“It was just a matter of really seeing the block and trusting that [Allie Sawatzky] was going to set me up for something like that,” Miller said. “It was definitely a combination of everyone just hitting so well that it caused a lot of holes for everybody."
On Sunday afternoon, the Aggies were faced a young Mississippi State team that is suffering through injuries. The Aggies showed that there was no let down as they overpowered the young Bulldogs by sweeping them as mentioned 25-8, 25-14, 25-10.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 4-12 (0-7).
The mismatch of skill level was made apparent in the second game when Miller hit a booming kill that left the defender frozen as the sound of the ball hitting the floor echoed in Reed Arena. Later, Katie Enright for Mississippi State was caught off guard when senior opposite Alisia Kastmo powered a shot that hit Enright and then flew into the stands.
With the direction of the match, Corbelli went to the reserves as those in attendance saw the likes of freshmen Sierra Patrick and Shelbi Vaughn enter the game and make an impact as the Aggies took game three 25-10.
The Aggies will hit the road to face Arkansas and Kentucky, where once again they will try to fend off opponents from dethroning them from first place. The Aggies will face Arkansas on Friday at 7 p.m. and Kentucky on Sunday October 14th at 12:30 p.m.