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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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Texas A&M volleyball looks to bounce back

Photo by Meredith Seaver

Texas A&M triple blocks LSU.

No. 14 Texas A&M volleyball is looking for a comeback.
On Nov. 4 and 5, A&M suffered its first losses of the season to Mississippi State, a team that hadn’t had a single win all semester prior to its matchup against the Aggies. However, A&M has reset its focus on its final doubleheader of the fall season against the unranked Arkansas Razorbacks on Friday, Nov. 13 and Saturday, Nov. 14 in Fayetteville, Ark.
A&M coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn said the Aggies are always learning who they are and who they want to be as a team.
“That’s why you play the game, you have to show up to compete and respect your opponent,” Kuhn said. “In wins and losses you have to learn, you have to learn from that. We’re learning a lot about who we are and who we’re striving to be.”
The Maroon and White and the Razorbacks each head into this weekend’s matchup with a 4-2 record. Both teams are coming off of dual losses in their prior double headers, with Arkansas losing to Missouri on Nov. 4 and 5.
A&M sophomore outside hitter Lauren Davis remains the team leader in kills with 63. She is followed by junior middle blocker Mallory Talbert at 58. Two more offensive standouts for the Aggies this season are sophomore outside hitters Morgan Christon and Treyaunna Rush.
Christon has posted 30 kills and 27 digs, while Rush has delivered 54 kills and 11 blocks. Rush was also A&M’s leader in kills during the last game of its doubleheader against Mississippi State.
Kuhn said Arkansas’ biggest strength is in its left-side hitters.
“They have strong pins, so their left sides are going to be very good, they’re their go-to players,” Kuhn said. “We’re going to have to manage and maintain their left sides and know that that’s what we’re defending.”
This can be seen on the Razorbacks statsheet, as freshman outside hitter Jillian Gillen is Arkansas’ team leader in kills. The Stilwell, Kan. native has a total of 97 kills and is predicted to break 100 kills during the matchup against A&M.
Leading the way defensively for the Aggies are junior libero/defensive specialist Taylor Voss and sophomore libero/defensive specialist Karly Basham. Basham has put up 87 digs and 28 assists, while Voss has 55 digs and 10 assists and is also the team leader in aces, with eight.
Kuhn said this game is key for the Aggies because it determines whether A&M will be able to recover from its recent losses while also trying to end the fall season on a positive note.
“I think building the momentum off of these last two matches is huge for us,” Kuhn said. “It’ll be a solid way to wrap up the fall; we’ve already touched on learning who we are, [but] we have to keep grinding and becoming who we are through wins and losses.”
First serve on Friday is set for 7 p.m. at Barnhill Arena. The matchup will be streamed live on ESPNU.

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