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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

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Aggie volleyball kicks off season with sweep over Sam Houston State

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Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel

Freshman setter Camille Conner celebrates with her teammates after scoring a crucial point. 

The Aggie volleyball team kicked off its season with a clean 3-0 sweep in its first match of the season against Sam Houston State.
The Aggies start the season with a roster that looks strikingly similar to last season’s, as they returned 11 letterwinners, including four starters plus the libero from last year’s team that made it to the NCAA Tournament.
One of the familiar faces on the court was Kiara McGee, who took the court for her fourth year at Texas A&M looking even more dominant than last season, when she earned All-American honorable mention from PrepVolleyball.com. “Kiara’s physicality is even more than it’s ever been,” said head coach Laurie Corbelli.
McGee’s increased physicality was felt early in the game, as she finished the first set with six of the Aggies’ 18 kills. The Aggies domination at the net in the first set led them to a 25-20 first set win.
The Aggies continued their domination an the net in the second set thanks in large part to setter Camille Conner, who made her first start for the Aggies. Though a true freshman, Conner’s play and court presence didn’t reflect that in the slightest.
“I was a bit nervous in warmups,” Conner said, “but my teammates were able to give me encouragement so once we got into the game, the nerves went away.”
It’s this confidence and swagger that prompted Corbelli to start Conner.
“I had zero hesitation putting Camille on the floor, she’s got the composure of a senior, the steadiness of a senior — or even older — the confidence, everything that comes from her is so together,” Corbelli said.
Making the jump from high school to college volleyball is an enormous leap, and though Conner seemed to have handled it with ease, she says that the biggest adjustment is in the speed of play.
“I’m still getting adjusted to the speed of the game,” Conner said. “It’s definitely helped with two-a-days but it’s been the biggest adjustment.”
Conner wasn’t the only freshman to impress Corbelli tonight, as she also pointed out the performances of Morgan Davis and Makena Patterson.
“I love watching them block, I think they will be some of the best blockers we’ve ever had in this program,” Corbelli said.
The early part of the third set was dominated by the Aggies, making an end to the match seemingly ominous. Sam Houston State was able to go on a four-point run at the end of the set, but that run was abruptly ended with a kill from Conner and then a match-ending ace from Hollann Hans.
Though the Aggies won the third set, they had to battle for every single point, as Sam Houston State was resilient. The exorbitant effort excited Corbelli who said that the game was a “really great first match to have.”
Corbelli was also excited with the major improvement in play from the Aggies scrimmage last Saturday against TCU.
“It was 180 degrees,” Corbelli said. “We came really prepared to play Aggie volleyball, we upped the intensity and quite a few other things after the scrimmage against TCU and the team responded really, really well.”
Due to Hurricane Harvey, Texas State decided to withdraw from the tournament and head home, so there will be no game at 1 P.M. as scheduled. However, the Aggies will still look to continue their strong play tomorrow as they host Virginia Commonwealth University at 6:30 p.m. at Reed Arena.

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