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Aggies drop first game to Arkansas, carry three-game losing streak into final match of the season

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Photo by Meredith Seaver

Sophomore outside hitter Morgan Christon led the Aggies with 20 kills against Arkansas.

No. 14 Texas A&M volleyball did not find its rebound on Friday, Nov. 14 against Arkansas.
After losing both games of its doubleheader against Mississippi State, A&M was looking to rebound during its second-to-last game of the fall season. Unfortunately for the Aggies, A&M was unable to capture the victory and fell to the Razorbacks, 3-1.
When Set 1 started out it was a back-and-forth contest, with five ties during the opening set. However A&M was able to establish its dominance and took a five-point lead, 15-10. Following this, the Razorbacks were only able to get five more points, including a 3-0 scoring run. The Aggies closed out the set 25-15.
The standout player for the Aggies in Set 1 was sophomore outside hitter Morgan Christon with six kills, one serving ace, four digs and one block. A&M junior libero/defensive specialist Taylor Voss also posted one serving ace during set one, with her and Christon’s serving aces being the only two of the first set.
A&M coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said Christon earned her start.
“Morgan really earned her role tonight and you could see it, the way she was being a good teammate and the way she was competing,” Kuhn said. “I’m proud of her response, but as a whole, our team needs to figure out who we are. When we’re battling, we need to learn how to finish.”
Following A&M taking the first point in Set 2, the Razorbacks went on a 5-0 scoring run to make the score 5-2. The Aggies managed to regain their momentum and put a total of 21 points on the scoreboard. However, the Aggies were unable to capitalize on its offense and let Arkansas put the set away, 25-21 on a serve error from sophomore libero/defensive specialist Karly Basham.
Arkansas kept up their energy from the third set and took an early lead. However, toward the middle of the set, the Aggies were able to come back and took the lead at 17-16. A&M senior setter Camille Conner dominated the stat sheet for the Aggies this set, posting two back-to-back blocks which gave A&M the lead. Unfortunately for A&M, it was not enough and Arkansas put down the set 25-20 with a kill from senior middle blocker Devyn Wheeler.
Conner did her best to help the A&M offense. During the match Conner, one of the two seniors on the team, had 35 assists and eight digs. She also posted one serving ace and the two blocks from Set 3.
Not wanting to lose the matchup, A&M fought hard during the fourth set. The Aggies took a three-point lead early on at 9-6. From there the set eventually became tied at 13. However, toward the end of the set, A&M could not find the ability to prevent the ending of the match. The Razorbacks concluded the set 25-21.
Basham and sophomore libero/defensive specialist Sabrina Sustala led the way defensively for A&M. Sustala put up 17 digs and five serving aces, while Basham posted 13 digs, two serving aces and one assist.
Kuhn said Sustala has become a reliable player for the Aggies.
“This past week we really worked on things and challenged some people,” Kuhn said. “Sabrina really stepped up… Her passing has been solid for us and I’m proud of her. She played well for us as her first start at libero and she went hard. She made a lot of great plays and that’s her game.”
The final game of the season for A&M is its second game of the doubleheader against Arkansas, first serve is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13 in Barnhill Arena.

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