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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M volleyball hands Missouri its first SEC loss of 2016

Junior+setter%26%23160%3BStephanie+Aiple%26%23160%3Bsets+the+ball+for+Freshman+outside+hitter+Hollann+Hans.
Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

Junior setter Stephanie Aiple sets the ball for Freshman outside hitter Hollann Hans.

Texas A&M led for almost the entire first set Wednesday night against Missouri, the top team in the SEC, before the Tigers mounted a comeback to win the first set 25-22. The Aggies, though, were not discouraged and proceeded to win the next three sets to take the match 3-1 and hand the Tigers their first conference loss of the season.
A&M won the second, third and fourth sets by scores of 25-22, 25-20 and 25-23 to defeat Missouri (18-4, 9-1 SEC) for the fifth straight time.
“At that point you just have to forget it, take what you learned from it and move on,” junior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers said of overcoming the first set. “One thing Stephanie [Aiple] said at the beginning of the set is to stay positive no matter what happens. So after dropping the first set, we just put it behind us, kept our heads up.  We have to stay positive no matter what happens. “
Kiara McGee led the Aggies with 16 kills, Stephanie Aiple recorded her second straight double-double with 50 assists and 13 digs and Amy Nettles and Victoria Arenas each contributed 17 kills.
The Aggies (13-7, 7-2 SEC) were in control for the majority of the second and third sets, but the fourth set was a back-and-forth affair that featured 17 ties and nine lead changes. And after A&M called a timeout with the score tied at 23, Babers and McGee recorded consecutive kills to take the set and the match.
The consensus among the Aggies was that it was their biggest win of the season, especially considering that they had previously been unable to knock off a high-caliber opponent in 2016.
“They’re undefeated in conference over halfway through, so that’s the biggest one,” head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “I thought we had chances at great big wins that we didn’t take advantage of, so that was something that was on my mind the whole time. It was a big match. I think it helped us with our identity—who we are, what we can do and that we can come back and win.”
Aiple spread the ball around to her teammates all night long, as five different Aggies scored in double figures and four had 10+ kills.
Sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake was one of those scorers, as she collected 11 kills and maintained a match-high .500 hitting percentage.
“I love Blake’s fire, it’s so genuine,” Corbelli said. “She’s just so physically dominant that teams have to honor her and she just keeps going. She always goes 110 percent, it’s really fun to watch and I think our team really feeds off of that.”
Ashlie Reasor chipped in 12 kills and four blocks and did a nice job of keeping Missouri star outside hitter Carly Kan in check.
The Aggies’ next game will come Sunday at South Carolina, which is 2-6 in SEC play so far this season. First serve is scheduled for 3 p.m. and the match will be broadcast nationally on the SEC Network. Reasor said A&M must remain focused moving forward if it wants to play to its fullest potential.
“I think just take the next team and play like we did tonight,” Reasor said. “I think we were pretty consistent and everyone was just focused on this match, so we’re going to take it one match at a time for the nine matches we have left in the conference and keep our foot on the gas the entire time.”

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  • The Aggies bested the Tigers in all major stat categories including kills, digs, hitting percentage, and total blocks.

    Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel

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