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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

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Volleyball to face Red Raiders at Reed

Aggie volleyball started the second half of Big 12 play strong with a win over the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday and looks to make it back-to-back, conference wins on Wednesday against Texas Tech at Reed Arena.
A&M (17-5, 6-3 Big 12) is 8-1 at home in Reed Arena with its only loss coming at the hands of Iowa State. Texas Tech (15-9, 1-8 Big 12) enter the match with the most momentum they have had yet, as they recorded their first conference win against Baylor.
In the first meeting between the two teams, the Red Raiders gave the Aggies a run for their money, taking it to five games and losing by the narrowest possible margin.
“Texas Tech seem to be playing much more inspired than ever before,” A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “They don’t make nearly as many unforced errors as they used to. They are athletic all the way around and they have new coaching that must be doing something right. It is an very impressive turn around.”
Texas Tech senior Amanda Dowdy second all-time in career kills at Texas Tech, put down 22 kills in the match. Junior outside hitter Miara Cave posted 16 in almost half as many attempts as Dowdy.
“We need to take away her shots and try to make it to where she has to pass as many balls as possible to take her out of the offense,” senior Elise Hendrickson said. “But honestly she can’t do it all herself, so even if she gets her 22 kills we can do what we are capable of and win the game.”
Tori Vaughan, junior libero for the Red Raiders, received Big 12 defensive player of the week recognition for last week’s performance against Baylor with 31 digs. With a number like that, she proves her ability to get around the court quickly and pick up many tough balls from the opponent.
While their hitters were solid, the Tech block also played a key role in keeping it close. The Red Raiders recorded 19 versus the Aggies’ 11 in an area that A&M has been looking to improve throughout the season.
Junior Lindsey Miller led the Aggies with 18 kills with a strong .395 clip. Senior Kelsey Black got involved with 12 kills of her own while Alisia Kastmo and Hendrickson each added 11.
Offensively, the Aggies have the overall 14.0 to 12.5 edge over Texas Tech in kills per set. However, the Red Raiders put up a conference leading 3.0 blocks per set, while A&M averages 1.9 per game.
“We are good at hitting off blocks, but they shut our outsides down early in the matches,” Hendrickson said. “Our passing wasn’t as strong as it usually is, so as long as we execute the basic skills we need to we should be okay.”
The Aggies have been working on their blocking for several weeks in preparation to face each team a second time, and that will be very useful against Texas Tech on Wednesday.
“I think the team is a lot stronger this time around, and if they keep the blocking up, they can compete,” senior kinesiology major Alexa Schield said of the Aggies. “If they keep running the middles it will be really good, but they have to make sure to get the good passes first.”

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