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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M volleyball sweeps Alabama to snap losing streak

Sophomore+MB+Ifenna+Cos-Okpalla+%281%29%2C+Freshman+S+Margot+Manning+%2810%29%2C+and+Freshman+OH+Bianna+Muoneke+%2813%29+celebrate+after+a+play+during+Texas+A%26amp%3BMs+game+against+Alabama+at+Reed+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+3%2C+2023.
Photo by Jaime Rowe

Sophomore MB Ifenna Cos-Okpalla (1), Freshman S Margot Manning (10), and Freshman OH Bianna Muoneke (13) celebrate after a play during Texas A&M’s game against Alabama at Reed Arena on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023.

After a road loss against the No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M volleyball hosted Alabama on Friday, Nov. 3. Despite the Crimson Tide’s efforts, the Aggies dominated three sets in a sweep. The victory improves the Aggies record to 15-7 overall and 7-5 in SEC play.
“I’m happy that we put together a clean 3-0 win,” coach Jamie Morrison said. “The thing I was most fired up about was we’ve been working on being the better defensive team. We started in the beginning just by getting a lot of volleyballs up in the air and then they started dialing in to get the ball to the middle of the court and then we were able to run full offense out of transition.”
The Aggies got off to a fast 3-0 start in the first set. Graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth got the first kill for the Aggies, and freshman outside hitter Bianna Muoneke followed with a kill of her own while an attack error on Alabama completed the Aggies’ quick three.
The Crimson Tide couldn’t find an answer for the Aggies, as the pressure continued at the net, forcing Alabama to call a timeout after A&M took an 18-11 lead.
Freshman Alabama setter Gabbi LeBlanc subbed in to give a spark to the Crimson Tide, assisting with a kill by senior outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh. LeBlanc followed with a service ace to give Alabama 13 points.
The Crimson Tide continued to rally back, but the Aggies managed to take the first set, 25-20.
Sophomore opposite hitter Logan Lednicky opened the second set with back-to-back kills to continue the momentum for the Aggies.
Midway through the set, sophomore middle blocker Morgan Perkins and Lednicky teamed up on the right side of the net for a kill to extend the Aggie lead, 13-9.
Reaugh then rattled off two points for Alabama after a kill and a service ace, cutting the lead to 4 points.
Despite this, Junior setter Nisa Buzlutepe sealed the set for the Aggies after three-straight serves.
The Aggies opened the third set with three-straight points after a pair of kills from Muoneke and Perkins, followed by an error. Alabama battled back after a series of errors and back-to-back kills by Reaugh to bring the score to 10-6.
Midway through the set, Alabama took their first lead of the game at 17 points after a bad set from sophomore middle blocker Ifenna Cos-Okpalla.
The set went back-and-forth but the Aggies were able to close out 25-18 after kills from Meuth and Lednicky and one final service ace from Buzlutepe.
“I think our volleyball IQ was super high this game,” Muoneke said. “Every little split we crushed a ball in there, we were reading really well on defense and I think that’s really important cause the SEC is a very difficult conference. So if we can just be smart with our plays and rely on each other, we’re going to do a really good job.”
The Aggies return to Reed Arena on Sunday Nov. 5, to take on the No. 24 Auburn Tigers at 3 p.m.

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