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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A&M volleyball defeats feisty Ole Miss in five sets

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
A&M Volleyball

Texas A&M volleyball added another win to its impressive 2015 resume, but in a fashion that seemed unfamiliar to the team. The Aggies were forced to win a fifth winner-take-all set that has not happened since the team’s first win of their current streak against South Carolina.

The Aggies (18-6, 11-2 SEC) travelled to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on the Ole Miss Rebels (20-8, 6-7 SEC) for the second time this season. The teams previously met on Oct. 4 in College Station which resulted in an A&M win by sweep; a far from similar conclusion occurred in Mississippi Friday night.

The Aggies struggled in the opening set with the score remaining relatively close in the opening half. The Aggies were down 15-11, which forced a timeout, but the Rebels continued to roll. Kills by setter Stephanie Aiple, outside hitter Kiara McGee and middle blocker Shelby Sullivan gave back Aggie momentum, bringing the score to 20-19. Sullivan tied it up with a kill at 24-24, and an attack error by the Rebels Nekeyta Clair followed by an Aiple kill gave the Aggies the set 26-24.

The teams remained in close distance from each other in the second set, the largest lead by two points during the opening of the set. A&M took a short lead before the Rebels pulled away to an 18-14 lead. The Rebels continued to lead 22-15 and with the help of an Aggie timeout, a Jazzmin Babers kill looked to bring back Aggie momentum as it had in previous matches. However, the Aggies were not able to finish out the set as a Lexi Thompson kill gave the Rebels a 25-17 set win to tie the score 1-1.

The match remained close in the third set, both from kills and errors. In the opening half of the set, the teams combined to form a total of 11 errors and the score was tied at 13 all. With back-to-back kills by outside hitter Emily Hardesty, the Aggies took a 18-15 lead and retained the lead for the remainder of the set to close out a 25-19 win.

Just as the opening three sets, the Aggies and Rebels kept it tied up to opening off the fourth set. A&M was able to take a 14-11 lead with a kill by McGee, but errors and a kill by Nekeyta Clair set the score to a 15-15 tie. Ole Miss finished out the set with a 25-23 win to force a fifth and final set.

The final set pushed for a photo finish between the teams. The Aggies and Rebels exchanged leads and, just like the entire match, there was no defined leader. The Aggies tied it up at 12 off an Emily Hardesty kill, and after an Ashlie Reasor kill and a service ace by team libero Amy Nettles, the Aggies were able to avoid the upset with a 15-12 set and match win. The Aggies remain undefeated when forced to a fifth and final set.
The Aggies will take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs Sunday. The Aggies previously swept the Bulldogs on Oct. 18 in College Station, which helped begin the Aggies current win streak. The SEC rematch will start with first serve at 1:00 p.m. in Starkville, Mississippi, and will be broadcasted on SEC Network +.

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