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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M volleyball sweeps No. 21 WKU in Game 2 of WKU Invitational

The+courtside+Aggies+hold+up+Gig+Ems+at+Reed+Arena+on+Friday%2C+Sep.+2%2C+2022.
Photo by Cameron Johnson

The courtside Aggies hold up Gig ‘Ems at Reed Arena on Friday, Sep. 2, 2022.

The Texas A&M volleyball team swept No. 21 Western Kentucky in Game 2 of the WKU Invitational on Friday, Sept 16.
After dropping the first match of the day 3-1 to Indiana, the Aggies responded with an upset win in Game 2 at Diddle Arena. The Hilltoppers were coming off a 3-1 victory over Tennessee Tech earlier in the day, but were unable to continue the momentum against the Aggies.
“It’s all about growing and learning,” coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said. “It’s frustrating that we have to learn the tough way, but I’m proud of them to bounce back and compete.”
The Aggies got off to a quick start in Set 1 building a 4-2 lead but the Hilltoppers responded with a 7-0 run to go up 9-4. The maroon and white then responded themselves by winning seven of the next nine points to even up the set at 11-11. The Hilltoppers went up 13-12 before going on a 4-0 run forcing the A&M to call a timeout trailing 17-12. Out of the timeout, the Aggies started to play better but still found themselves down 21-17. A&M then rattled off eight straight points on its way to a 25-21 first set victory.
Graduate transfer outside hitter Caroline Meuth led the Aggies with six kills in the set while freshman opposite hitter Logan Lednicky added five kills herself.
The Hilltoppers looked to respond in Set 2 as they used a couple of 3-0 runs to go up 8-4. The maroon and white were forced to call a timeout after the Hilltoppers increased their lead to 11-6. Once again, the Aggies started to play better out of the timeout, winning three of the next four points, but the Hilltoppers used another 3-0 run to force another A&M timeout trailing 16-10.
The Hilltoppers built a 22-17 lead but once again faced another late set run by the Aggies to shorten the lead to 22-21. After back-and-forth points the match was all tied up at 25. Lednicky then had a kill and an ace, respectively, to give A&M the 27-25 second set victory.
The Aggies were led by Lednicky and Meuth in Set 2 as they had five and four kills, respectively.
Set 3 was back-and-forth from the jump, with the Aggies building a 6-5 lead before a 4-0 run from the Hilltoppers to gain a 9-6 lead. The Hilltoppers led 12-9 before a 5-0 A&M run forcing a Hilltopper timeout, trailing 14-12. The match was tied at 15-15 before the Aggies won four out of the next five points to build a 19-16 lead, forcing another Hilltopper timeout. The maroon and white led 20-19 before going on a 3-0 run to extend their lead to 23-19. The Hilltoppers tried to fight back and forced a timeout, trailing the A&M 24-22. The game ended after a Hilltopper service error out of the timeout and the Aggies won set 3 25-22.
Meuth led the Aggies on the night with 17 kills, Lednicky had 12 and redshirt junior middle blocker Maddison Bowser had six. Junior libero Lauren Hogan led A&M with 13 digs on the night. Freshman middle blocker Ifenna Cos-Okpalla had a strong night with five kills and three blocks.
“I’m proud of Ifenna [Cos-Okpalla],” Kuhn said. “She’s a freshman, but she goes into the match, and she knows she’s got an arm and that she’s aggressive. The most you can ask for in a middle is what she did tonight. She goes into the match, and she does her job.”
The Aggies hit for 45.2% in the match, which is the highest hitting percentage since its Sept. 30, 2015 matchup against Auburn.
“As a team, they needed to figure out how good they are consistently, and tonight’s match was the first full three sets that we competed and showed who we were,” Kuhn said.
A&M will wrap up the WKU Invitational and non-conference play Saturday, Sept. 17 against Tennessee Tech at 12 p.m.

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