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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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Aggies prepare to face the LSU Tigers Wednesday at home

A%26M+Volleyball
A&M Volleyball

The Aggies (12-6, 5-2 SEC), now on a three-game win streak, will challenge the LSU Tigers (8-10, 4-3 SEC) in their third straight home game Wednesday night in Reed Arena to continue its SEC competition.

Aggie volleyball gained some more momentum off back-to-back sweeps against Alabama and Mississippi State this past weekend.

In the two most recent matches, the Aggies have remained over .400 for the first time since the 2009 season. Home court advantage seems not to be a factor between the Tigers and Aggies — LSU has won the last three meetings in College Station, while A&M has claimed the last three meetings in Baton Rouge. To up the ante, the last six-of-10 matches have been decided by the fifth and final set.

Nearly midway through conference competition, the Aggies remain strong with a 7-1 home record, but that record will be tested when they play the Tigers.

“We are not overlooking them,” said freshman defensive specialist Amy Nettles. “Last year we lost to them. We are coming out for Tiger blood. The 12th Man has got our back. Their team is different — all of their players who played us last year aren’t playing this year. We’re the same team — we’re a lot of the same players. Coming into our house,  we’re on a winning-streak. I think they’re scared.”

LSU sits just below A&M with a 4-3 record in the conference, but overall has struggled, losing 10 total games. While LSU has a 5-6 record when away from home, the team managed to sweep South Carolina, who pushed the Aggies to a five-set match.

“Our defense definitely needs to keep progressing,” Nettles said. “It needs to get better because it’s something we have been a little shaky on, and as for me, that’s my main job. It’s pressure, but we’re ready. We have been really working on defense. I think if our defense and blocking can step and play how we can play, we’re going to be unstoppable.”

Both LSU and A&M lost to Arkansas in their respective SEC openers, but the Aggies were able to sweep Auburn and Alabama, who gave LSU some trouble. 

In preparation for the Wednesday match-up, the Aggies are working to strengthen their serve offense, which caused them some stress early on in the season.

“We’re improving serving, passing and defense right now,” said sophomore setter Stephanie Aiple. “We’re preparing mentally and physically, and usually we get some rest between matches, but since we’re coming off of two big wins on Friday and Sunday and we have to play again on Wednesday, we’re trying to get through.”

LSU’s Cati Leak may cause some mental distress for the Aggies as she leads the team with 226 kills. Leak also holds nearly twice as many aces as the second most on her team with 23.
The Aggies will compete against the Tigers 7 p.m Wednesday in Reed Arena. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.

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