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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 prepares for Iowa Comfort Suites Challenge

Ashlie+Reason+blocks+a+spike+against+New+Mexico+State+on+Sunday%2C+September+6th.
Photo by Tim Lai

Ashlie Reason blocks a spike against New Mexico State on Sunday, September 6th.

The Texas A&M volleyball team opened their 2015 season with a tough first game in the Golden State against No. 2 ranked Stanford. The Cardinal were simply too much for the Aggies, sending them home with a 3-0 loss. However, the next day, with some minor tweaks, the Aggies turned around to defeat Minnesota in a 5-set game.

The Aggies then returned to Aggieland to host the Texas A&M Invitational tournament. The team defeated Wichita State (3-0) and Abilene Christian (3-1) and advanced on to play New Mexico State in the finals. They proved victorious and claimed the tournament championship in a close 3-2 final and extended their winning streak to 4 games.

Kiara McGee and Jazzmin Babers finished the game with 20 kills each, and Babers was later named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Stephanie Aiple was also named one of PrepsVolleyball.com’s Players of the Week.

Despite ending the tournament undefeated, the Aggies lost both of their senior captains, Shelby Sullivan and Angela Lowak. This caused some panic as the Aggies will head to Iowa City to compete in the Iowa Comfort Suites Challenge this Friday. The team will face Iowa State, Milwaukee and Iowa. However, Lowak was soon cleared to re-enter practice on Tuesday, and Sullivan was able to return to practice on Thursday.

Lowak was delighted to see her team elevate after both were injured.

“They responded so well, and I’m so proud of them,” said Lowak. “I saw so many girls step up and take that role and it didn’t look like anything was wrong. They handled it beautifully. There was something really special about being out and seeing the other girls respond so well.”

Sullivan watched over practice Wednesday night and was enthusiastic about her own return. “The recovery process is moving much faster than I expected.” Sullivan and Lowak are both eager to return to the court and lead the team to victory in Iowa.

Coach Laurie Corbelli has some experience playing Iowa and Iowa State in the past. She holds an undefeated record of 3-0 against Iowa and a record of 24-10 against Iowa State. This will be her first matchup against Milwaukee. In regards to her upcoming competition, she simply said, “Our serving and passing game cannot let up.”
The team’s objective is quite clear, to go to the tournament and win. Sophomore transfer student, Gabby Litwin, has made a smooth transition back onto the court after sitting out a year and is eager to play in the next tournament. “Iowa State has been really good for the last couple of years. Every year their defense is good and they get on it quick. We’re trying to get on them and beat them quick.”

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