The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
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Second time around

 
 

The No. 13 Texas A&M volleyball team travels to Austin Thursday with the hopes of extending its eight-game winning streak with a win against the No. 9 University of Texas.
The Aggies (16-5, 12-3 Big 12) will face a tough Longhorn team that has won four consecutive games and boasts a 20-2 overall record. Key players for the Longhorns (20-2, 12-2 Big 12) include All-Americans junior outside hitter Mira Topic and junior middle blocker Bethany Howden.
“(Topic and Howden) are the catalysts of our team,” said Texas head coach Jerritt Elliott. “And with them up front, we can have tremendous balance because teams have too many options to defend.”
Texas has another weapon in sophomore middle blocker Brandy Magee, who was named Big 12 Player of the Week after her performance against Colorado. For the season, Magee is averaging 2.89 kills per game and 1.05 blocks per game. She is ranked fifth in the Big 12 in an attack percentage averaging .360.
Elliot said Magee is a phenomenal player and played like an All-American against Colorado.
The Aggies defeated Texas earlier this season when they visited G. Rollie White Coliseum, but playing in Austin will be a bigger challenge, said A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli.
“Austin is a tough place to play,” Corbelli said. “They’re playing well at home right now. It’s tough to win there.”
Corbelli said this might be the biggest match of the season for the Aggies because they are fighting to hold onto third place in the Big 12 with the possibility to move into second. A&M is half of a game behind Texas for second place in the conference.
“We’ve got some goals we set a long time ago, and this match figures into those goals quite a bit. We’re really going to work hard to bring our best game and execute so that we can come out with a win. We’re very positive about our play these days; we’re playing really well,” she said.
Freshman reserve setter Meghan Kainz, who came in during the Aggies’ last match to help them beat Colorado, is excited about playing in her hometown of Austin.
“They’re going to bring a huge crowd, so it’s going to be hard,” Kainz said. “The gym’s a little smaller, but it’s going to be pretty loud.”
Kainz said the team has been practicing hard, and that the second team has been pushing the starters so everyone is improving and getting ready to face the Longhorns.
“Texas is an awesome team, they’re just going to keep coming at us. We’re going to have to play really good defense against them, and they have some really good hitters, so it’s going to be tough,” she said.

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