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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M volleyball falls at home to Alabama in four sets

The+Aggies+celebrate+a+point+during+A%26amp%3BMs+match+against+Alabama+at+Reed+Arena+on+Wednesday%2C+Nov.+2%2C+2022.
Photo by Luca Yaquinto

The Aggies celebrate a point during A&M’s match against Alabama at Reed Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, Texas A&M volleyball returned home after a successful road stint at South Carolina, and a little over a week after a sweep of No. 16 Kentucky, to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Aggies ended up falling to the Crimson Tide in four sets, bringing their record to 12-11 and their conference record to 4-8.
Alabama came into the game looking to right the ship against the Aggies, having lost nine of its last 10, which led the Crimson Tide to a 7-15 record, putting them second to last in the SEC. Alabama’s win against A&M snapped a three-game losing streak for the Tide and also gave them their first road victory of the season.
The first set saw the Aggies trade blows with Alabama all the way to 15-all. It seemed as though A&M would handily run away with Set 1 after that point, however, they outscored the Crimson Tide 9 to 2 to get to 24-17. From there, Alabama scored 5 unanswered to cut the lead to 2 for the Aggies, but a kill from graduate outside hitter Caroline Meuth sealed Set 1 for the Aggies 25-22.
Set 2 was another close contest, with yet another tie at 15-all, before two Alabama attacker errors and a kill by freshman outside hitter Logan Lednicky gave the Aggies an 18-16 advantage. Alabama retaliated, going on a 6-1 run from which A&M could not recover. The Aggies did manage to send it to a deuce at 24 on a kill by Lednicky, but a kill by junior Alabama middle blocker Chaise Campbell and a block by Campbell and junior outside hitter Kendyl Reaugh on the following point gave the Crimson Tide the victory in Set 2, 26-24.
The third set was reminiscent of Set No. 1, except the roles were reversed, with Alabama holding on against a late A&M comeback to take the set. The Crimson Tide jumped out to an early 14-8 lead, where the Aggies saw a setter switch, going from graduate Elana Karakasi to sophomore Nisa Buzlutepe. Alabama stretched the lead to 18-10 thanks in part to a host of A&M errors. The Aggies mounted a 12-4 run due to multiple kills from Meuth, Lednicky and senior outside hitter Cierra Hecht, tying the game at 22. The Crimson Tide hung on, however, and secured the set 25-23.
The fourth and final set saw A&M lose to the tune of 25-20. The Aggies held the lead for a portion of this match until Alabama gained the lead at 11-10 and did not lose it for the rest of the set. The Aggies did manage to tie it up at 14-all and 15-all with two Lednicky kills, but Alabama was able to comfortably coast to victory from that point, not allowing A&M within 2 for the rest of the match to secure the victory over the Aggies.
Lednicky led all scorers with 24 kills on a .360 hitting percentage and had 18 digs as well. Meuth was second for A&M with 13 kills, paired with 13 digs. Defensively, junior libero Lauren Hogan led the Aggies with 22 digs, and junior middle blocker Molly Brown led with five blocks. Despite not finishing the game, Karakasi finished with the most A&M assists with 26, with Buzlutepe finishing with 21.
The Aggies, after the first set, struggled to find rhythm and execute, with A&M having 35 collective attack, block and reception errors to Alabama’s 18. They were also out-blocked 11 to 7.
“We were playing us,” head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said. “When we’re in system we always talk about our first contacts, whether that’s serve/pass but even off our block. When we’re controlling things and working in transition, that’s our game, and we need to be consistent in that, and that’s kind of where we lost that focus.”
A&M’s next matchup will be on the road at Auburn in a weekend series on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6, at 4 p.m.
For more information on A&M volleyball, visit 12thman.com or find them on twitter and instagram @aggievolleyball.

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