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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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A&M volleyball aims to keep pace with UK by hosting Georgia

Volleyball+Preview
Photo by Photo by: Kevin Chou
Volleyball Preview

Aggie volleyball rolled over another high-stake win earlier this week, this time against the Missouri Tigers, as they face their next test — Georgia.

The Texas A&M volleyball team (16-6, 9-2 SEC) will continue its 2015 campaign against the struggling Georgia Bulldogs (5-18, 0-11 SEC) to advance further into SEC territory. The Aggies were recently led by a full team effort to edge out the Missouri Tigers in a rather close sweep, with all sets ending in the 20’s for both teams.

To put it in perspective, the Aggies were tied with the Tigers a total of 34 times in the match. However, the Aggies’ recent attitude played part to how they have finished their most recent sets and matches. Particularly evident against SEC-defining matches with Kentucky and Missouri.

Against Kentucky, the Aggies remained close and pulled away in an aggressive opening, 30-28 set. The Aggies dropped the second set 25-14, and the Wildcats virtually controlled the third set with a quick 18-9 lead, but A&M took one stride to bring the score to 21-15, and a final stride with three consecutive kills by Jazzmin Babers to help win back the set 25-23. A&M found itself down again in the fourth set, but managed to finish the upset with efforts by sophomore Ashlie Reasor, 25-23.

“We knew going into practice all week last week that we had Kentucky on Friday night,” senior Shelby Sullivan said. “That was a big game and we were focused on beating them and to accomplish that was a great win, everyone on the team was so involved and engaged and really contributed to the win.”

A&M’s attitude to finish was again evident in its most recent match against the Tigers. At no point in the game did both teams lead by more than three points, so the match was much closer than the 3-0 final score. The first set was forced past regulation with an Aggie win of 27-25, but MU led the majority of the second set before Reasor’s kill to catch another Aggie set win. The final set was determined in the final plays again, with a kill by junior Emily Hardesty to seal the Aggies’ seventh-straight win.

“Neither side really wanted to give anything up at all,“ Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “It was pretty intense, and to really find a way to pull through, I think our passing was starting to get a little shaky, but we still found ways to get kills… which is huge for us. It was the grit that they have been showing so much lately, they refuse to lose.”

The Georgia Bulldogs have not had the same success this year and continue to struggle in the SEC. The team has only had one winning SEC conference schedule in the last five years. Should the Bulldogs win-out for the rest of this season, they would finish at a disappointing 9-11 conference record. On the contrary, the Bulldogs opened the season off with a tournament win at the Benson Hospitality Invitational and also have wins against Mercer and VCU.

“We try to work hard everyday, if we get wins, we get wins,” junior Jazzmin Babers said. “We’re just doing the same thing in practice, just working hard and going at it … It’s a great opportunity that we do have a lot more games, so we just have to keep finishing the rest of the season strong. Compared to prior years, this is a great spot to be in.”

The Aggies hope to advance their win-streak to eight Sunday against the Georgia Bulldogs. The match will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Reed Arena and the will be broadcast on SEC Network +.
 

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