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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 prevails in 5-set battle against Cal Poly

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Senior middle blocker London Austin-Roark had a total of five kills during Wednesday’s game against Cal Poly. 

Texas A&M volleyball, 2-2, went head-to-head in a nail-biting 5-set match against the Cal Poly Mustangs, snapping their 32-game home winning streak and ending the longest active NCAA Division I streak in the nation.

The Aggies secured the late night win in San Luis Obispo, Calif., with a 3-2 match count, leaving Cal Poly with their first home loss since Oct. 28, 2016.

After last week’s disappointing season opener at the Hawaiian Airlines Rainbow Wahine Classic tournament, A&M bounced back with 60 kills, 13 blocks and six aces to come out on top against this relentless Mustang team.

Cal Poly came out on top with a 25-19 opening-set win to start off the night. A&M junior outside hitters Lauren Davis and Morgan Christon racked up four kills each. Junior opposite hitter Treyaunna Rush and senior middle blocker London Austin-Roark attempted to steer the momentum of the game with their consistent blocks, but came up short against the Mustang’s kills and aces.

Davis’s second set performance allowed the Aggies to get revenge, with a hard fought 29-27 win to knot the match at one. Austin-Roark and veteran senior setter Camille Conner also continued to put on a show, with an early block followed by a concluding block and ace by Conner securing the game.

“The team found their fight, and it was the first set where we earned points to finish,” head coach Laura ‘Bird’ Kuhn said. “That feeling is significant for any team and can really help you down the stretch.”

Continuing the fight, the Aggies caught a quick 12-5 lead in the third set with a handful of runs until Cal-Poly retaliated, tying the score at 14. Austin-Roark matched her season-high five kills to keep A&M afloat, but her efforts were not enough to win the back-and-forth battle, ending with the Aggies falling 26-24 and giving the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.

Attempting to swing the momentum of the game, big plays from Rush, Davis and Christon in the fourth set resulted in the Aggies taking their largest lead of the game. A&M’s push for control of the game led to the 10th block of the match and a 25-20 win, forcing the game to a fifth set.

In a final effort to clinch the game, the maroon and white jumped out in front by capitalizing on  errors by Cal-Poly and a pair of stuffs to continue the block party. The 15-11 win was set in stone with two kills by playmaker Conner, shattering the Mustangs’ 32-game streak of undefeated domination at home.

Davis and Christon dominated the night, with Davis recording 19 kills and Christon following just behind with 18. As a result, the two athletes earned the shared title of Co-Players of the Match. Their aggressive attacks gave the Aggies an edge on the Mustangs, ultimately resulting in A&M’s victory.

“The combination of [Davis’s and Christon’s] performances allowed us to continue to earn points because of their choices and play on balls during long rallies,” Kuhn said. “We talked to them about being consistent and knowing when to take big swings, and I thought you saw that tonight.”

The Aggies return to action Monday, Sept. 6 when they host A&M-Corpus Christi at Reed Arena in College Station for their first home match of the season, set to start at 2 p.m.

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