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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 improves to 4-0 with wins over Wright State, Bowling Green

Photo by Photo by Madeline Tesch

Freshman OPP Logan Lednicky (9)  Jumps to hit the ball at Reed Arena on Sept. 25, 2022

Wright State
On Thursday, Aug. 31, Texas A&M volleyball continued its season at the Falcon Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. The Aggies picked up their third win of the season against the Wright State Raiders on Day 1 of the invitational.
“I’m happy that we got tested by a really good volleyball team and of course that we came out on top,” coach Jamie Morrison said. “Overall I’m excited about the response and the resiliency.”
In the first set, the Aggies struck quickly and gained the first point out the gate. Both teams battled hard and found themselves neck and neck throughout the set. Junior setter Nisa Buzlutepe delivered a tie-breaking service ace to give the squad a 9-8 advantage. However, halfway through the first set the teams were deadlocked again at 15-15.
Wright State took the opening frame, 25-23, creating a sense of urgency for the Aggies to respond in the second set.
The second set began with a huge response from the Aggies after taking the lead, 7-1. The seventh point was nailed by sophomore Logan Lednicky with a spike down to the opposite side of the net, forcing a timeout for the Raiders. A&M did not let up and continued to dominate, extending the lead, 17-11 to eventually take the set, 25-20.
In the third set, the Aggies continued to control the momentum, scoring six points to start and leaving little-to-no room for Wright State to respond. Mid-set, a service ace from freshman Margot Manning extended the Aggie lead, 20-15. Eventually, the Maroon and White secured the third set, 25-14.
Wright State struck back in the fourth set after both teams struggled to gain control. After going on a run to take a 7-3 lead, the Aggies slipped, allowing the Raiders to rally together and take the set by two points, 28-26.
Determined, the Raiders kept the momentum to open the fifth set, 8-2. The Aggies eventually found a response as both squads found themselves tied at 12. Freshman Bianna Muoneke gave A&M a spark with three straight kills and won the set, 17-15.
Teaming up to contribute to the win was graduate Caroline Meuth with 28 kills and six blocks. Muoneke followed behind with 20 kills of her own while Lednicky racked up 16 kills. Buzlutepe recorded 43 assists and two service aces as sophomore Ifenna Cos-Okpalla defended the net flawlessly with nine total blocks and six kills.
The Maroon and White are set for the second match of the Falcon Invitation against Bowling Green on Friday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
Bowling Green
After opening the Falcon Invitational with a win over Wright State, A&M returned to the Stroh Center on Friday, Sept. 1 to take on Bowling Green for Day 2 of the Invitational.
Under new head coach Jamie Morrison, the Aggies have started the new season off on the right note. A sweep that was highlighted by a 10-0 run to close the match gave the Maroon and White their fourth win of the season.
The first set started off with the Aggies and Falcons going back-and-forth, but A&M forced an early Bowling Green timeout after pulling ahead 7-2. The Falcons made a run out of the timeout, bringing the score to 10-7, but the Maroon and White brought it back to 14-7 to force another Falcon timeout.
The lead was cut short after Bowling Green went on a 6-2 run, bringing the score to 16-13. Both teams continued to trade blows, but after a service ace by freshman setter Margot Manning, the Aggies took control of the set 21-16. The Falcons brought the score back to 21-19, but a kill by freshman outside hitter Bianna Muoneke jumpstarted an Aggie run, with sophomore middle blocker Ifenna Cos-Okpalla ending the set 25-20 in favor of the Maroon and White.
The second set started off with both teams trading points, but an early 6-3 Aggie lead led to a Bowling Green timeout. The timeout looked to be the right call, with the Falcons going on a run to bring the score back to 11-11, but A&M would regain a small advantage near the end of the set, taking a 20-17 lead.
Both teams traded service errors and after a fantastic rally, Bowling Green would come within one point, 22-21. Kills from Muoneke and graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth brought the Aggies to set point. The Maroon and White would go on to claim the second set, 25-21, after a Bowling Green attack error from sophomore outside hitter Lauryn Hovey.
Bowling Green came out firing to start the third set, taking an early 3-1 lead. After trading service errors again, the Aggies evened the score at eight a piece thanks to a kill from sophomore middle blocker Morgan Perkins. Bowling Green retook control of the set, 14-11, into a media timeout.
The Falcons would keep up their lead, taking a 18-14 advantage, but the Aggies would battle back with four straight points to tie the set 18-18. A Cos-Okpalla block and kill would give A&M a 20-18 lead, forcing a timeout from Bowling Green.
Three straight aces by Muoneke and a block by Cos-Okpalla highlighted a 10-0 Aggie run, giving the Maroon and White a 24-18 advantage. Cos-Okpalla went on to earn the Aggies the final point to claim the set 25-19, taking the match in a 3-0 sweep.
Cos-Okpalla led the way defensively for the Fightin’ Farmers. She led all Aggies in blocks with five, as well as recording a .500 hitting percentage on the night. Cos-Okpalla also finished fourth on the team in kills with seven, just behind Meuth, Perkins and sophomore opposite hitter Logan Lednicky, who each recorded nine.
Muoneke also had an impressive match against the Falcons. The freshman recorded six kills on a .300 hitting percentage to go along with four service aces and 11 points. The latter two led all Aggies on the night.
Next up for A&M is the third match of the Falcon Invitational versus Loyola Chicago on Saturday, Sept. 2. The Aggies will look to continue their undefeated run to start the season with first serve set for 10 a.m.

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