Volleyball drops a five-set heartbreaker
Aggies fall to 10-2, 2-1 in SEC play after suffering loss to Kentucky
Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 23:09
The Texas A&M volleyball team suffered their first SEC loss, snapping their nine game-winning streak by falling to the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday afternoon 3-2.
In what was a seesaw affair, the Aggies now stand at 10-2 (2-1) for the season while Kentucky is 7-6 (1-2).
“The bottom line today was that our confidence in our serve receive was shaky," head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “Today we just didn't recover as often as we usually do. Things were a little out of sorts, and yet we were still fighting.”
After holding a 15-10 lead in the opening set, the Aggies had trouble closing out the set as Kentucky then scored four unanswered points. From there, both teams exchanged points, which gave the Aggies a 22-20 lead. However the Wildcats closed out the Aggies, giving them their first opening set loss for the season.
In the close second set, there were 15 ties and 10 lead changes with the Aggies fighting off the Wildcats efforts to take the set. Senior opposite Alisia Kastmo put the Aggies ahead 25-24 with outside hitter Tori Mellinger and middle blocker Lindsey Miller covering the net.
The third set would be one that Aggies would like to forget, as it opened with Kentucky racing out to a 10-0 lead. The Wildcats produced five aces in the set as Kentucky opened up its biggest lead of the afternoon 23-12. The Aggies tried to make a stand by scoring four points in a row, however the Wildcats were just too much , making the set’s final score 25-18.
Mellinger led the charge for the Aggies in the fourth set along with the assistance from freshmen Angela Lowak and Sierra Patrick. Mellinger had eight kills to pace the Aggies 25-20 is the tying fourth set.
The Aggies held a 4-1 lead to open the fifth and final set however, when that match saw both teams tied at 12 a piece, the Wildcats pushed ahead scoring three unanswered points to claim the set and match 15-12.
“I thought Mellinger just played her tail off and Kastmo did the best she's done,” Corbelli said. “Once again, we've got to continue to work on our blocking.”
The Aggies now must move on from the rare defeat and go on the road for games at Missouri and at Alabama before returning to Reed Arena October 5th against South Carolina.
“It's one match that we can't overreact to," Corbelli said. "We did some darn good things but weren't able to finish. It happens to a lot of teams, and it happened to us today. I think the best part of that is that it motivates my team in practice more to work on the little things that we need to work on, and they know what those things are. I'm encouraged. I still believe in my team. I think they are a top quality group and we'll just continue to challenge them and prepare them for the next match.”