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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

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Talbert notches career-high 14 kills in win over Mississippi State

The Texas A&M volleyball team (12-5, 4-3 SEC) bested the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday in Starkville.
After letting a five-set match slip away at home against Florida last Friday, the Aggies set the tone early against the Bulldogs and were able to find consistent offensive rhythm to close out the match in four sets (25-22, 25-19, 22-25, 25-15).
A&M coach Laura Kuhn said she was satisfied with the overall effort that the team put forward on the road.
“It’s a solid road win,” Kuhn told 12thman.com. “We always wish we could finish in three but we’ll take that fourth set. They played clean. I think we got back to our game plan and it was good to see them execute at a high level.”
Through the opening of the first set, both teams kept the match close as neither was able to establish more than a one-point lead before kills from freshman outside hitter Lauren Davis and senior outside hitter Hollann Hans pushed the Aggies out for the 14-11 advantage.
Back-to-back kills from sophomore middle blocker Mallory Talbert and a block from Hans helped build the Aggies’ largest lead of the set and put the score at 23-17. Attack errors from Hans and a service ace brought the Bulldogs within three. Following three A&M set points, another kill from Talbert closed the 25-22 opening set.
After starting the second set behind 3-1, the Aggies came right back with a kill from Hans and two blocks from Talbert and freshman opposite hitter Treyaunna Rush for the 5-3 lead. Effective offense and strong play up at the net throughout the set allowed the Aggies to build a nine-point lead toward the end of the set. At the set point, a block from junior outside hitter Samantha Sanders and junior middle blocker Makena Patterson, the SEC leader in total blocks, earned the 25-19 set win for the Aggies.
With both teams faulting on multiple attack errors at the start of the third set, the score was tied at 10 before Mississippi State was able to take advantage of solo blocks and A&M attack errors to quickly push them to a 15-10 lead.
After falling behind by six midway through the set, the Aggies came back to pull within one point following a block from Hans and Talbert. As the next two points were split, a kill on the Bulldogs’ side and a bad set from junior setter Camille Conner granted the 25-22 set for Mississippi State.
At the start of the fourth set, Hans added on a kill to force the Bulldogs into a timeout after a 6-3 lead. The Aggies continued with their offensive production behind multiple kills from Davis, causing Mississippi State to need to call another timeout at 16-9. Shortly following the break, Talbert and Conner came together at the net for another block to push A&M to an eight-point lead. Hans tallied back-to-back kills for the Aggies’ match point and to close the four-set win at 25-15.
Talbert had a career-high 14 kills in the match, while tying her personal-best seven blocks.
After the match, Patterson said the team can build from this SEC road win and now wants to see how she and her teammates can feed off this effort moving forward.
“I think we’re really excited to have a road win,” Patterson said to 12thman.com. “Any win in the SEC is a huge deal. We really talked about it before the game, just coming in strong…Just continuing to stay disciplined is the big thing I’m focused on.”
The Aggies will look to keep their momentum as they stay on the road head to take on Ole Miss, the current SEC leaders, on Sunday at the Gillom Sports Center at Oxford, Mississippi.

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