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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M tops the Missouri Tigers to claim the SEC title

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Photo by Photo by: Alexis Will

Sophomore Kiara McGee returns the ball.

It took five sets to claim a victory, a 13-game win streak, and an SEC title for Texas A&M volleyball.

The Texas A&M Aggies (22-6, 15-2 SEC) trailed for a single point early on in the fifth, but finished off with tremendous perseverance to defeat the Missouri Tigers (25-5, 13-4 SEC) on the road in Columbia, Missouri. Jazzmin Babers lived up to her AVCA Player of the Week honors as she delivered the final kill of the match to add to her 21 total match kills for A&M before an attack error by the Tigers gave the Aggies a victory. With the win, the Aggies hold the SEC title for the 2015 season and remain unbeaten for 13 straight matches.

Through the opening sets, the Aggies remained below the Tigers in hitting percentage, but finished out above with a .257 efficiency over Missouri’s .233. Both teams had three players with double digits kills in the match, with A&M led by Babers, Kiara McGee, and Shelby Sullivan. The Tigers’ defense was stout with 18 blocks over A&M’s nine, but it was the Aggies ability to keep the ball live with Amy Nettles 30 digs to help seal the deal for an A&M SEC title.

Early in the match, the Aggies and Tigers remained consistent among each other, with the Tigers to finally pull away by three points at 16-13. The Aggies then struggled to find rhythm to close out the set as Missouri’s Julia Towler was able to finish with four kills, two being in the final couple of plays to give the Tigers the set. A&M remained consistently ahead of the Tigers for the duration of the second set, but Missouri was able to draw near late in the set which drew the score to a close 20-18. Senior Shelby Sullivan brought two kills to finish out the final few plays, but Ashlie Reasor’s ability to finish a set was evident with another set-winning kill to tie the score.

The third and fourth sets were reminiscent of the previous matchup of the teams on Nov. 4, which all of the sets were decided by two points. In the third set, Babers tied the score up at 25 all to keep the Aggies’ hopes alive, but back-to-back kills by the Tigers ended hopes of a quick 3-1 win. A kill by Shelby Sullivan to take the fourth set 25-22 forced a fifth set, where A&M has excelled by going 6-0 this season.

Missouri’s Towler, who posted up a strong performance early in the match that would force an Aggie adjustment, ultimately gave the Aggies the match off of an attack error. A key asset was Kiara McGee who posted up five kills for the Aggies in the final set, and four by Babers which included the last kill for A&M to seal the SEC title.
The Aggies return for their final matchup in the SEC. Despite already earning the title, stakes are high as they face the Arkansas Razorbacks, the only team to defeat the Aggies at home this season. The teams previously met on Sept. 27 in A&M’s SEC opener where the Razorbacks easily took the match in four sets, and now Arkansas hosts the Aggies in Fayetteville, Ark. this Saturday to close out A&M’s SEC campaign for 2015. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network +.

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