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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 falls in crucial road game at Auburn in four sets

Freshman+OPP+Logan+Lednicky+%289%29+watches+Graduate+OH+Caroline+Meuth+%2816%29+spike+the+ball+during+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Alabama+at+Reed+Arena+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+2%2C+2022.
Photo by Photo by Luca Yaquinto

Freshman OPP Logan Lednicky (9) watches Graduate OH Caroline Meuth (16) spike the ball during A&M’s match against Alabama at Reed Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.

The Aggies came into their Saturday, Nov. 5, matchup against Auburn 12-11 overall, 4-8 in conference, and the Aggies were fresh off the heels of a disappointing loss to SEC bottom-dweller Alabama, which did nothing for their strength of schedule.
However, A&M had a chance to add to their resume against the Auburn Tigers, who came into their matchup against A&M with an 18-5 record and an 8-5 conference record. Despite being ahead of Auburn in blocks and digs, and tied with them in kills, aces and assists, the Aggies were not able to come away with a victory, dropping the match in four sets.
Set 1 was a back-and-forth contest, with the Aggies eventually falling 25-22. Auburn went on multiple scoring runs, including at one point a 13-8 lead. A&M did storm back, going on a 9-3 run from there to take the lead at 17-16. This run was fueled primarily by Auburn attack errors but also by multiple kills from freshman outside hitter Logan Lednicky. Auburn did retaliate with a 5-1 run, quenching any hope the Aggies had of winning the set.
The second set also saw A&M lose by a score of 25-22, with the Aggies making a desperate push late to attempt to send the game to a deuce, but it was too little too late for the Aggies. A&M led early 11-8, sparked by kills from Lednicky and graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth. The Tigers pushed the throttle on this set from there, going on a 12-2 run to give them what seemed at the time a comfortable 7-point advantage. The Aggies gave Auburn a scare late, as at match point 24-18, A&M rattled off three straight points with kills from Lednicky, Meuth and senior outside hitter Cierra Hecht. An Auburn error brought it within two, but the Tigers scored on a service error from freshman defensive specialist Ava Underwood to go up 2-0.
Set 3 was a victory for the Aggies, flipping the script from the first two sets and winning 25-22. After going up 4-3 early, A&M held onto the lead in this set the whole way. Auburn did manage to tie late in the set at 20-all on errors by Meuth and sophomore setter Nisa Buzlutepe, but the Aggies, led by Lednicky’s seven kills, held onto victory in Set 3.
Finally, in the largest point margin of the match at only four, the Aggies dropped the fourth set 25-21. Early in the set, A&M broke a 7-all tie on a service error to take the lead at 8-7, but a 4-0 Tiger run sparked once more by A&M errors gave them the lead. Auburn did not look back, never trailing again in Set 4 and even stretching the lead to seven at one point. A&M tried to mount a comeback, bringing it to 24-21, but surrendered a kill to freshman Auburn middle blocker Kendal Kemp to give up the final score of the set and the match.
Lednicky led all scorers with 24 kills, with eight digs as well, second on the team. Meuth followed that up with 18 kills in the game. Junior middle blocker Molly Brown led A&M with nine blocks, while junior libero Lauren Hogan had a team-best 14 digs. Buzlutepe had a team-high 35 assists for the Aggies.
Similarly to the last game against Alabama, the Aggies were plagued with errors that fueled runs by Auburn, forcing A&M to have to play catch-up in a majority of the sets. In all collective errors, the Aggies had 48 errors to Auburn’s 39, which in a series of close sets, proved to be the difference.
The Aggies hope to bounce back in a big way against the same Auburn team on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m.
For more information on A&M volleyball, visit 12thman.com or find them on twitter and instagram @aggievolleyball.

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