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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 Aggies host Arkansas to start conference competition

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Photo by PROVIDED
Texas A&M Volleyball

The Aggie football team isn’t the only A&M program opening up SEC play this weekend against Arkansas

The Aggies (7-4) open up their conference slate against the border-state rival Razorbacks (11-2, 1-0). A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli and the Aggies will compete to retain their 4-game home win streak at Reed Arena Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

A&M and Arkansas suit up just outside of the top-25 ranking with both teams receiving votes. A&M received 21 top-25 votes while the Razorbacks followed just behind with 16. As the Aggies attempt to re-enter the top-25, Arkansas hopes to breach the polls for the first time this season.

Absence has been a reoccurring theme for the Aggies this year. From incoming freshman Montse Castro leaving for international play, to the recent loss of sophomore setter Stephanie Aiple, the team has had to rely on younger talent to shine through.

The team just lost senior team captain, Angela Lowak for the second time due to injury this season against Florida State. Corbelli said she was looking forward to having a week-long break to recover before returning to the court against Arkansas.

“We need rest, we need a lot of recovery from injuries to key starters,” Corbelli said. “That’s been an issue. It’s a good time to get rest. One thing we really like to do in these times when we have a few days without playing is learn from video.”

The Razorbacks have also had a successful stint through non-conference competition. Aside from losses to Kansas and Creighton, the Razorbacks have had no trouble dominating their opponents. Most recently, they upset No. 11 Wisconsin with standout player, Pilar Victoria who leads the team with 184 total. Victoria’s performance has helped launch Arkansas to a (11-2) start to the season.

Junior setter Kaysie Shebeneck said that the road ahead of them will not be easy, but it is the tough matches that push the team to reach its true potential.

“It’s definitely going to be a fight,” said Shebeneck. “This is SEC season, and this is what really counts. It will be a battle for sure, but we definitely are focused and ready to play them.”

Last year, the teams first met in mid-October where the Aggies fell 3-1, but later in November the Aggies avenged their defeat in Fayetteville, topping the Razorbacks 3-1. They have competed against Arkansas several times, boasting a 4-1 total record since entering the SEC in 2012. Jazzmin Babers said she was ready to start SEC play with Arkansas in front of the 12th Man.

“Our 12th Man always comes out and supports us,” said Babers. “As soon as SEC starts, everything is important. Pre-season is important, but we’re out to win the SEC. We definitely want to take down Arkansas.”
The match between Aggies and Razorbacks is set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Reed Arena.

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