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 evens series with Georgia

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Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Seniors London Austin-Roark and Mallory Talbert block the ball. 

Determination and perseverance carried the Aggies to another SEC victory at Reed Arena.

Texas A&M volleyball survived a late comeback bid from Georgia to defeat the Bulldogs 3-2 on Friday, Oct. 8. The Aggies avenged their Thursday matchup versus Georgia in which they were swept 3-0. The victory improves their record to 11-5 overall, with a 4-2 record in conference play.

“I think our team has really found a way to respond well after being challenged by the opponent,” A&M head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said. “I love the fight. They came out, and I believed they would respond. It makes me proud that I can go to battle with them anytime.”

The A&M offense was paced by junior outside hitter Morgan Christon, who churned out 18 kills, and fifth year setter Camille Conner, who had 47 assists. Defensively, the Aggies were led by senior middle blocker Mallory Talbert, whose seven digs led the team in that category, and transfer libero Macy Carrabine, who tallied 24 digs.

The maroon and white wasted no time taking the lead in the first set, going on a 7-3 run to start the game. However, the Bulldogs battled back, going on an 8-3 streak of their own to make it 10-8. It was Georgia’s set from there, as, after a brief A&M lead of 12-11, the visiting team would not relinquish its lead for the rest of the set. 

Much like the first set, the Aggies got off to a 6-2 lead before a 10-3 Georgia run made the score 12-9 in the Bulldogs’ favor. Not giving up, A&M battled for two separate 4-0 runs to take a 25-21 victory in the set. Junior outside hitter Lauren Davis and senior middle blocker London Austin-Roark were key contributors to A&M’s winning effort with three kills each, while senior libero Taylor Voss had two service aces.

The Aggies won the third set in come-from-behind fashion, as Georgia pioneered a 15-11 lead before the maroon and white shifted the score in its favor at 18-17 with an attack error by Georgia junior outside hitter Amber Stivrins. After tying the set at 22, both teams traded points until the Aggies came out on top at 29-27, using Davis’ sixth kill of the set. 

Following the theme of the first two sets, A&M jumped to yet another early lead before an 8-0 run by the Bulldogs gave them a 10-5 lead. Georgia wouldn’t trail for the remainder of the set, despite the Aggies tying things at 21. A 4-0 Georgia run, powered by freshman outside hitter Lyric Stewart’s two kills, carried the Bulldogs to victory.

In the game’s fifth and final set, A&M capitalized on multiple service and attack errors from Georgia, helping the Aggies garner a 9-3 lead. But with plenty of fight still left in them, the Bulldogs tied things up at 12. In an ending that mirrored that of the third set, both teams traded points before a kill by Davis sealed a 17-15 victory for A&M.

“That was definitely a team win,” Conner said. “We had a bunch of different people coming off the bench, so that brought energy on the court. I’m proud of how we played and how we finished the match.”

With their eyes on the horizon, the Aggies must now prepare for  upcoming matchups against Ole Miss and No. 20 Florida. 

“There are no bad teams in the SEC,” junior outside hitter Ciera “CiCi” Hecht said. “Every team is good, and on any given night, it could be anyone’s game. We just have to come out and work hard in every single match.”

The Aggies noted that being swept by Georgia on Thursday was a teaching moment for an A&M squad that hopes to compete for a conference championship this season.

“I think that we lacked consistency yesterday, and we were never able to get into a rhythm on either side of the ball,” Conner said. “So, we know going into each game that we need to have more consistency in those areas.”

A&M continues its SEC schedule on Wednesday, Oct. 13, when it welcomes the 12-4 Ole Miss Rebels to Aggieland. First serve is set for 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.

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