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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 to Arkansas 3-1

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Sophomore MB Morgan Perkins (21) and Freshman OH Bianna Muoneke (13) jump to block the ball during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State at Reed Arena on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023.

Coming off a two-game winning run, Texas A&M volleyball was back on the road in its second SEC match against Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas where it fell 3-1.
Sophomore opposite hitter Logan Lednicky came out with the first A&M kill after a 2-0 run by the Razorbacks. The Aggies started off slow with four service errors but quickly sided out as Lednicky kept the Aggies alive throughout the first set. She brought in seven kills as the Aggies made a 5-1 run late in the first set.
Arkansas junior middle blocker Zoi Evans kept the Aggies on their toes with two blocks and graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth kept the Aggies holding on at set point for the Hogs. Despite the Aggies .260 hitting percentage in comparison to .175 from the Hogs, they still came up short 25-23 in the first set.
Senior outside hitter Taylor Head went head to head with Lednicky in the first set fighting for the most kills, but trailed behind with four. Regardless, she led Arkansas in digs and continues to be a leader, coming in second on the team in kills per set this season.
Early in Set 2, both teams were tied and went back and forth as Arkansas graduate outside hitter Jill Gillen trailed behind Head with five kills. The 5-foot-7 Gillen is no stranger to the game sitting at No. 3 in program history in career kills with 1,731.
Back-to-back kills by junior middle blocker Sania Pettis for the Razorbacks brought a tie between both teams and continued a point-by-point match. Both teams’ hitting percentages were within a .50 difference.
Arkansas did a good job of placing the ball and using its volleyball IQ to outsmart the A&M defense, but Lednicky doubled Arkansas’ kill leader with 15 kills while hitting .542 late in the second set.
Sophomore libero Ava Underwood gave the Aggies some hope with a pancake that saved a much needed rally for the Aggies, but the Razorbacks answered with a kill and trailed only 21-20.
A block by Lednicky and sophomore middle blocker Ifenna Cos-Okpalla, who leads the SEC in total blocks with 72, pushed the Aggies closer to finishing out the set. An overpass by Arkansas’ serve-receive and an answer by freshman outside hitter Bianna Muoneke closed out the second set with the Aggies on top, 25-21.
The Razorbacks came out strong in the third set, going 6-2 before the Maroon and White answered with an ace and back-to-back blocks. This combination brought the momentum back for the Aggies, but unlike the first two sets, this one was composed of 3 and 4 point runs, forcing coach Jamie Morrison to call a timeout for the Aggies as they trailed 9-6.
The 6-foot-4 Evans clinched two blocks for the Razorbacks that put the momentum on their side and pushed their lead to 11-8. She had five blocks and led Arkansas halfway through the third set. Two errors by the Aggies gave the Razorbacks a 3-point run and forced a timeout for Maroon and White.
An attack error by the Razorbacks stopped their run, but Head quickly answered with a kill, making it 23-16. Another error by the Aggies closed out the third set, 25-18.
In a must-win set for the Aggies, Meuth clinched the first point with a kill as back-to-back service errors for both teams made it a back-and-forth set, but a 3-point run for A&M forced a timeout for Arkansas and the Aggies led 8-4.
Alternating kills from both teams made the score a nail-biter, but double kills from preseason All-SEC selection Gillan pushed the lead in Arkansas’ favor at 13-12. Evans defended the net well, while errors by A&M pushed the lead to 19-15, forcing a final timeout by Morrison.
Triple kills by Arkansas, an error from the Aggies and Head’s 15th kill clinched the Razorbacks their second SEC win.
The Aggies will face No. 3 Florida in Gainesville, Florida on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

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