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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggies sweep Auburn in first SEC competition



The No. 22 Texas A&M volleyball team swept Auburn 3-0 on Sunday in the first SEC conference game of its season. Auburn (8-6, 0-2 SEC) lost to Florida on Friday before falling to the Aggies in Reed Arena Sunday.
“Our defense was so engaged,” Sullivan said. “Our service receive was great. [Stephanie Aiple] did a great job distributing the ball, seeing the block on the other side. She is great at that. It was just such a great team effort.”
The Aggies jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first set when freshman setter Stephanie Aiple set up fellow freshman Ashlie Reasor. Reasor’s jump serve caused an attacking error for the Tigers and forced Auburn to call a timeout.
A&M never looked back, winning the first set 25-11.
The Aggies, who were off for six days before Sunday’s matchup, had time to prepare for their SEC foes.
“We had some time to really work on the things that were concerning to the coaches,” Head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “I felt like it really helped the team with the changes that we made.”
The second set started closer than the first, with five ties and four lead changes between the squads. Each side totaled double-digit kills, Auburn with 12 and A&M with 17. The Aggies trailed by no more than three points until Ashlie Reason’s five streak of jump-serves and Shelby Sullivan’s net play gave them a 14-12 lead. Sophomore libero Victoria Arenas registered seven digs, and her passes helped Aiple to 23 assists and Sullivan to 18 kills as A&M took the set 25-18.
In the third set A&M started behind, but a well-placed tip by Aiple and two consecutive kills by Babers gave the Aggies a 7-5 lead. A&M and Auburn tied nine times before the Aggies pulled away 20-14. Sullivan gave the Aggies 20 out of 48 of their kills, and Aiple 35 out of 39 assists. A&M would win the final set 25-15, its first SEC victory of the season.
“Setting is one of the toughest skills I think in all sports, to be accurate, to get the right height, the right pace, the right distance,” Corbelli said. “I’m amazed at what our setters can do, to locate [Sullivan] that often and that successfully. You know, I credit touch one and touch two as much as touch three.”
Almost doubling Auburn in points, A&M had 58 total. They also had a 44 percent hitting percentage, the highest A&M has ever had in an SEC match. Sullivan broke her own A&M record for hitting percentage in SEC play with a 82.6 percent hitting percentage.
“To me, that’s what an All-American is, ” Corbelli said. “She just plays the game so beautifully and so accurately, and it’s day in and day out.”

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