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 VCU

The Texas A&M’s women’s volleyball team defeated VCU 3-2 at the Baymont Inn and Suites Invitational in Athens, Ohio, on Saturday, raising its season record to 5-1.
A&M trailed 18-16 in the first set, when head coach Laurie Corbelli called a timeout. The Aggies responded by scoring seven unanswered points on their way to a first-set win.
After dropping the next two sets to the Rams, the Aggies faced elimination in a wild fourth set that contained 10 ties and four lead changes. A&M received key contributions from bench players Darby Graff and Kiara McGee that lifted it to a 25-21 win and the right to play a decisive fifth set.
After falling behind 6-3 in the final set, A&M went on a five-point run, sparked by freshman setter Stephanie Aiple, which turned the tide and gave it a lead. VCU mounted a rally of its own to pull back within a point, making the score 10-9. The Aggie lead, however, would not be recanted as sophomore outside hitter Emily Hardesty ended the match with back-to-back kills to clinch the final set, 15-11.
The Aggies were led by Hardesty, who set career marks for kills and digs, with 15 and 19, respectively. Junior captains Shelby Sullivan and Angela Lowak joined Hardesty as the three Aggies to record double-digits kills (with 14 and 11, respectively). Aiple posted 52 assists in her third career start, a new career high. Sophomore libero Victoria Arenas tallied 25 digs to lead all players. VCU dropped to 1-5 despite besting A&M in hitting (.200 to .166) and blocks (14-9).
The Aggie win capped off a weekend in which A&M ran through the competition in Ohio University’s Convocation Center en route to claiming the mantle of tournament champions. VCU was the only team able to win a set against an Aggie squad that swept both Ohio University and Virginia Tech. Sullivan and Aiple were both named to the all-tournament team. Hardesty was tournament MVP.
The Aggies play again Thursday in Los Angeles at the Invitational USC Classic. They will play No. 6 Troy at 6 p.m. Thursday on the PAC-12 Network and No. 15 San Diego on Friday. The Aggies return to Reed Arena on Sep. 19 to welcome the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles for a two-game home series that will wrap up a four-game stretch against nationally ranked opponents.

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