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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 evens Tennessee series with upset win

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Photo by Photo by Abbey Santoro

Setter Camille Conner was named player of the match during the Oct. 3 game against the University of Tennessee. The Aggies pulled out the win over the Tennessee Volunteers over five sets. 

Texas A&M volleyball won in exciting fashion to beat the Tennessee Volunteers in five sets.
After being swept in three sets by No. 20 Tennessee on Saturday, Oct. 2, the 10-4 Aggies staved off three match points to beat Tennessee on Oct. 3 to improve to 3-1 in the SEC. The loss marks the Volunteers’ first in SEC play and third of the season.
A&M coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said she was impressed by the way her team fought through adversity to pull out the victory.
“We talk about the response all the time, and we grinded those first two sets to put ourselves back in position,” Kuhn told 12thman.com. “For the team to start believing and earning their own points totally flipped the momentum. I’m proud of their fight and their finish to earn that win.”
In the first set, A&M lost 26-24 after being tied with the Volunteers at 21. The set loss marked the fourth straight set A&M had lost to Tennessee going back to the Aggies’ three-set loss Saturday night.
However, A&M bounced back in the second set with a close 25-23 victory despite trailing 7-5 to the Volunteers early on. A&M took the set in large part due to a 7-1 run from Davis and senior middle blocker Mallory Talbert.
In the third set, Tennessee took back the momentum with a dominant 25-17 set victory behind a 5-0 scoring run. Christon continued her strong play by notching her 11th double-kill showing of the season. Going into the fourth set, A&M faced a must-win situation to force a decisive fifth set.
The maroon and white overcame a slow start to the fourth set to tie the score at seven behind a pair of kills from fifth year setter Camile Conner. A&M and Tennessee battled back-and-forth for the remainder of the set before Christon notched two kills to win the set 25-21 and force a fifth.
A&M’s strong play continued early on into the fifth and built leads of both 8-5 and 9-6. The Aggies lost one of their best players in junior outside hitter and opposite hitter Destiny Cox to a leg injury in the fifth set. Cox finished third on the team with 15 kills behind junior outside hitter Lauren Davis and junior outside hitter Morgan Christon with 16 and 20 kills, respectively.
Tennessee went on a run following Cox’s injury to force a match point with the Volunteers leading 14-12. A&M won the point and the following match point at 14-13 to keep the match going. After winning yet another match point later on in the set, A&M closed out the Volunteers 17-15 in an impressive upset victory.
Kuhn said Conner’s consistent play during the match’s crucial moments was one of the reasons A&M ended up pulling out the victory over Tennessee. Conner totaled nine kills, five blocks and an ace in the match.
“Camille [Conner] is great at managing the court and making an impact in critical moments,” Kuhn said. “Her two blocks in the fifth [set] were huge. She wills it with how she competes, but she also keeps our team steady.”
A&M returns home to Reed Arena for another two-match SEC series against Georgia from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8.

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