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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 upsets No. 15 CSU at Reed Arena

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Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
Texas A&M Volleyball

The class of 2019 was greeted with a warm welcome at the “Fish Camp Night” volleyball game when the Aggies surprised the visiting Colorado State Rams.

Texas A&M Volleyball (6-3) defeated No. 15 Colorado State by a score of 3-2 Tuesday evening at Reed Arena. Both teams fell in the week 3 edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 poll prior to the matchup.

The Aggies rocketed off to a 6-0 start and did not tie or trail for the duration of the first set. With a lead of 13-4, the Aggies forced CSU head coach Tom Hilbert to call a timeout. Despite the break, the Aggies continued to rally ahead before CSU carried an impressive 3-0 streak, but the Aggies sustained a commanding 21-14 lead.  Although the Aggies had 6 errors, the team won the first set 25-15 off of a block error by CSU’s Julia Cubbedge. A&M’s Stephanie Aiple led the Aggies with 10 assists, and Amy Nettles led the team in digs, with 7. The Aggies outmatched the Rams with 15 kills to 8.

The Rams (6-3) start the second set off strong, forcing an Aggie break after a 3-0 rally, the Rams led 8-3. Moments later, the Aggies suffered an injury with Stephanie Aiple as she took a fall while setting up a spike and sprained her ankle, leaving the score at 22-18 CSU. The Rams led the entire set and with a service ace from Grace Gordon, Colorado State evened the score 1-1 with a 25-19 finish. Angela Lowak led the Aggies with 12 total kills and Stephanie Aiple led with a total of 23 assists.

“Sometimes it feels like we get these opportunities to do these types of things and we sometimes let that slip by too often,” Head Coach Laurie Corbelli said. “I saw that start to happen a little bit in the second set so I tried to find a way to get the team back on track and focused and determined that they can do this and I was really proud of how they came back.”

Following the intermission, the Aggies led the entire third set. However, the score changed back and forth with no team leading by more than one point before A&M led 13-11. The game remained close following a CSU timeout, but the Aggies were able to gain a six point lead sending the score to 24-18. A handling error by CSU’s Crystal Young allowed the Aggies to win the set 25-19.

Coach Laurie Corbelli stepped away from the bench to address the officials after a second controversial call. The judge initially awarded a point to the Aggies but quickly revoked the point to the Rams. Later in the set, the official awarded another point to the Rams placing the score at 15-14. The Rams carried a 4-0 rally to take the lead 19-16 forcing an Aggie timeout. With a dig by Amy Nettles that brought the 12th Man the its feet, the team rallied four points and the score settled at 22-21. An attack error by Jazzmin Babers gave Colorado State the fourth set, tying the score at 2-2. Emily Hardesty led the team in attacks with 14 kills. Amy Nettles led with 23 total digs. Kaysie Shebeneck filled in for the injured Stephanie Aiple to gain a total of 23 assists.

“I don’t know that many programs in this country have a backup setter that can step in and do what Kaysie Shebeneck did,” Coach Corbelli said. “She’s the ultimate team player, and I’ve been saying ‘You’re one play away from getting on the floor.’ She gets on the floor, and she did a beautiful job. I have a lot of respect for that.”

The Aggies started strong in the fifth and final set. A&M kicked off the set with a commanding lead at 4-1. A Ram streak followed, but the Aggies led 8-7 before switching sides for the second half of the final set. A&M won on a 3-0 rally from an attack error by Alex Reid. The Aggies gained the final point, 15-11.

“We made a decision tonight that we were going to come out and we were going to show ourselves that we are the best team,” Amy Nettles told Texas A&M Athletics. “We’re used to having injuries because so many people have gotten injured this year. We were like, ‘Stay focused, stay calm, and do your job, and everything will fall into place. My job is to get every ball up that I can and I just was not going to let a ball hit the floor. I wanted this win so bad.”

The game provided some interesting statistics based on the progress of the season. Although they left with a win, the Aggies gave up 13 aces, the most they have given up this year. However, Angela Lowak had a season high in kills and digs, and Amy Nettles tied her career record in digs.

“After coming off a tough weekend in Iowa, we were so thirsty for a win, and especially against a ranked opponent,” Lowak said. “We knew it was our time to capitalize on this opportunity and I think that now we see we can do that; and going up against Florida State, they’re a great team and so we just have to have that winning mentality.”
Following their strong win over No. 15 CSU, the Aggies will head to the sunshine state and play No. 18 Florida State (6-3) this Friday in the FSU/FAMU tournament. They will continue on Saturday against Florida A&M who has yet to win a match this season. Finally, the Aggies begin conference play against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday, September 27 at Reed Arena.

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    Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
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    Photo by Photo By: Wesley Holmes
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