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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) reacts in the dugout after Texas A&M’s game against Tennessee at the NCAA Men’s College World Series finals at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 24, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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A&M volleyball keeps sweeping ways with another over LSU

Not only was Texas A&M able to pull away with another easy win, but Shelby Sullivan and Stephanie Aiple earned SEC honors for week eight of the season.

The Aggies (13-6, 6-2 SEC) spiked the LSU Tigers (8-11, 4-4 SEC) in a quick sweep Wednesday night at Reed Arena. This marks the Aggies third consecutive sweep and their fifth in SEC competition.

Sullivan and Aiple have been back into action for the last few weeks after returning from injuries early on in the season. Sullivan and Aiple earned SEC Offensive Player of the Week and Setter of the Week, respectively. Aiple said that the honors are not hers alone.

“It’s great, [but] it’s totally not individual honors as it looks,” Aiple said. “It’s completely a team thing. I can’t look good without my passers, I can’t look good without my hitters. We’re healthy, we’re good, it feels awesome to be back and that connection is just really good right now.

Jazzmin Babers and Emily Hardesty opened the match with kills, but the Tigers were able to hang with the Aggies for the beginning of the set. With a media timeout, the Aggies led 15-11 and Aiple led A&M with a hitting efficiency of 1.000 and three digs. LSU errors let A&M pull away with a 25-19 set win. Babers and Kiara McGee finished the set with four kills each.

LSU clawed back by forcing a back-and-forth opening to the second set, but multiple consecutive plays by McGee and Babers brought the crowd and the Aggies back into it, 15-9. LSU drew in for the strike as the Aggies led by only one point at 23-22, but after an attack error by Gina Tillis, A&M caught the set 25-22. McGee finished the set with 10 kills.

Following intermission, LSU struck with a vicious 3-0 rally. The Aggies were down 9-5, but a six-point rally gave the Aggies a lead off of clutch plays by Sullivan and McGee. Ultimately, the comeback would prove successful as A&M led the rest of the set and eventually won 25-18 on a service error.

“We put ourselves in a hole,” head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “There were three errors in-a-row by us. We passed a ball to the left front poll, which is not a good target, and then we hit two balls out… I think they didn’t panic, they knew that, ‘Okay, we dug a little hole here. We’re going to have to be patient, and slowly work our way back in.’ I’m really proud for them being able to do that.”

Sullivan finished with the best overall hitting percentage at .529 with assistance by Aiple’s 40 assists on the night. Babers finished with 12 kills and Sullivan followed with 10. McGee finished with the team-high at 13 kills on the night. McGee said she also looks forward to a break after have three matches within a week.

“I feel like I make the kill instantly,” McGee said. “In practice, if you’re one-on-one, the hitter always gets the kill… This break will be helpful for us to come back and take on Kentucky and Tennessee next week. We’ll be rested and ready.”
A&M will have more than a week of rest for its return to the court next Friday night. The Aggies will challenge the Kentucky Wildcats at 6 p.m. Friday in Lexington, Kentucky.

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