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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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A&M volleyball drops Game 2 against Kentucky in 4 sets

Photo by Photo by Luca Yaquinto

Redshirt Junior MB Madison Bowser (15) and Graduate S Elena Karakasi (6) jump to block the ball during A&M’s match against Kentucky at Reed Arena on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.

Texas A&M volleyball wrapped up its pair of matches against Kentucky on Sunday, Oct. 23, in Reed Arena. The annual “Maroon Out” match started off strong for the Aggies but ultimately ended in a four-set loss to the Wildcats due to inconsistency and defensive struggles later in the game.
A&M beat Kentucky in three sets in Game 1 on Saturday, Oct. 22, the first home win against this team since 2015, and ended its six-game losing streak. The Aggies also handed the Wildcats their first Southeastern Conference sweep since 2017 with Saturday’s win. A&M carried the energy from this major win, and Game 2 took off with fast-paced play. Kentucky was able to readjust its offense successfully, and A&M struggled to keep consistency as the match continued and ended in a four-set loss for the maroon and white.
Set 1 began with booming hits from A&M, and Kentucky answered with scrappy defensive digs to keep the rallies moving. A&M battled to 12-all with big swings from both sides of the net to create a tight matchup in the first half of the set. The Aggies began to trail off from the Wildcats and forced back-to-back timeouts by the Wildcats. A&M took Set 1 25-19 in a demanding manner, led offensively by freshman opposite hitter Logan Lednicky with five kills. Junior middle blocker Molly Brown was a dominant force at the net with four blocks this set.
A&M struggled with out-of-system play in Set 2 and shifted from the previous set’s energy. Kentucky was off to a quick 10-5 start. Tensions were high at 20-15 with Kentucky in the lead, and coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn called her second and final timeout of the set to regroup. Kentucky was able to readjust around the A&M block to put down more hits and took back Set 2 25-16.
The back-and-forth battle continued in Set 3, marked by seven ties and five lead changes. Lednicky continued as a dominating force with back-to-back blocks and another rally kill to pull the Aggies only two points away from the 21-19 lead. The Fightin’ Farmers were unable to stay consistent on serve receive, and Kentucky took Set 2 25-22 by banking on defensive errors.
Kentucky played with high energy in Set 4 and took off with a quick 5-3 lead. A&M began to fall behind on serve receive again but were able to battle back to the 13-all tie and 1-point lead after back-to-back kills by graduate setter Elena Karakasi. After the Wildcat timeout, Kentucky went on a 4-point run and banked on more A&M errors to regain the 1-point lead at 19-18. Graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth put up a fight with back-to-back kills, but Kentucky pulled away with the win 26-24 in Set 4 and secured the match win in Reed Arena.
Kuhn answered to her team’s struggle for consistency both offensively and defensively throughout the matchup.
“Kentucky’s a good team, and we knew it would be another battle,” Kuhn said. “We need to stay true to us and continue to grind and fight, but at the same time, be clean when finishing games.”
Karakasi commented on her back-to-back kills in Set 4 and five-kill total game today.
“I want to play offensive whenever I can,” Karakasi said. “It allows me to open up the court for my hitters so we can be as balanced as possible.”
A&M will hit the road again this week for its next matchup against South Carolina on Friday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.

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