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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies Sweep VCU to Win Texas A&M Invitational

The+Aggie+Volleyball+Team+sings+The+War+Hymn+after+a+three+set+victory+against+the+VCU.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

The Aggie Volleyball Team sings The War Hymn after a three set victory against the VCU.

Coming off a strong performance in Friday’s match against Sam Houston State, the Aggie volleyball team looked to bring that same intensity against VCU. The Aggies supplemented their usual dominance at the net with stellar serving, lifting them to a 3-0 straight sets victory over VCU.

The Aggies came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, starting the match off on a 7-2 run.

In the offseason, head coach Laurie Corbelli placed a strong emphasis on serving. “We refuse to be at the bottom of the conference at serving,” Corbelli said, “so we’ve been working really hard on putting a little more pace and not being afraid of missing.” That emphasis paid dividends in the first set with four aces from the Aggies, including three from Hollann Hans.

The Aggies strong services in tandem with domination at the net from Hans and Makena Patterson lifted the Aggies over VCU with a 25-12 first set win.

The second set was much more competitive, as VCU was able to assert their presence with their blocks. After VCU jumped out to a 10-9 lead, Kaitlyn Blake came alive, turning Camille Conner’s sets into kills.

“I think every game and every practice I’m getting used to my hitters and getting more comfortable with them,” Conner said. “Today especially, our passing was amazing and that allowed me to connect better with my hitters.”

The strong passing translated into crushing kills and the Aggies won the set 25-20 on 18 kills.

The Aggies strong services made it very difficult for the Rams to set up good serves of their own, which forced them into 10 errors in the third set. The errors coupled with the presence on their strong outside hitters put the Aggies up 18-13. The Aggies won seven out of the last eight points in the game giving them the 25-14 lead in the third set and the 3-0 match win.

“I really enjoyed coaching them tonight,” Corbelli said. “Lots of really confident eye contact and giving instruction and having it fixed right away is really rewarding as a coach.”

The win clinched the Texas A&M Invitational for the Aggies and overall, Corbelli was very pleased with her team’s performance this weekend.

“I’m glad we got to get on Reed Arena floor, it’s about time we got out there,” Corbelli said. “It was fun to get out there and play in front of the 12th Man again and our fans. Every year is a new team and this team has something really special that hasn’t even gotten the chance to develop yet; it’s in the beginning stages and it’s going to be really exciting.”

After the game freshman Conner was named the tournament MVP.

“I honestly did not expect that at all, but coming in my teammates have really been helping me and I feel like I played with a lot of confidence this weekend and my team definitely helped me out on the court,” the freshman setter said. 

The Aggies will have to put out similar performances next weekend as they face Stanford and Penn St, who are ranked second and sixth in the AVCA Coaches’ Poll, respectively.

The Aggies will certainly be the underdogs and Corbelli says that in order to compete with those two teams, they’ll need to focus on their positioning.

“Volleyball’s all about position with the ball and if you have poor position it’s really hard to do the things you need to win, so our hitters are going to have to get really good position in order to get around the big blocks or get through them,” Corbelli said.

The Aggies will start their second weekend of play against Penn St. next Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Reed Arena.

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