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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

Volleyball finishes regular season with a win over Arkansas

Texas A&M volleyball extracted revenge to capture its fourteenth straight victory with a 3-1 win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Both teams met earlier in Texas A&M’s SEC home opener on Sept. 27, where the Razorbacks upset the ranked Aggies 3-1 in their only home loss for the entire season.
No. 19 Texas A&M (23-6, 16-2 SEC) was able to finish out the regular season with a win in Fayetteville. The Aggies were able to recover from dropping the opening set to the Arkansas Razorbacks (17-13, 7-11 SEC) in a 3-1 match victory. The Razorbacks’ defense was easily penetrated by A&M’s outside hitters. Kiara McGee and Emily Hardesty combined for a total of 28 kills in the win and AVCA Player of the Week Jazzmin Babers also had double digit kills in the win.
Similar to the SEC opener, Pilar Victoria posed a massive threat to the Aggies in the late-November matchup. Victory, who finished with a total of 19 kills on the afternoon, was the first to strike in the matchup in the opening play, which would give momentum to her six total kills in the first set and the Razorbacks’ only set victory of the day. Arkansas’ 4-0 start, however, did not prove as an easy set win as the Aggies were able to tie and even capture a lead late in the set, but failed to complete the comeback and lost 27-25.
The Aggies surged in the second set, which would give momentum to carry out through the entire match. With early kills by Babers and Hardesty, the Aggies were able to get a quick second set lead over Arkansas. At one point, the Aggies were even leading by as much as 11 points in the set, and would eventually claim the set to tie the match.
Like the opening set, Arkansas took a 4-0 rally to push momentum in favor of the Razorbacks before the Aggies would fight back to take an 8-7 lead. The Aggies and Razorbacks exchanged the lead back and forth, with two kills by Ashlie Reasor in the latter half of the set to give an A&M edge. The final few plays were decided through attack errors which gave the Aggies a 25-23 set win to go up 2-1 in the match.
Senior team captain and middle blocker Shelby Sullivan started off the fourth and final set with a momentous kill. No team had clear momentum as the set progressed and there were 12 ties in the set. With the final tie at occuring at 18-18, the Aggies were able to pull away for a final push to claim the match and their fourteenth straight victory. At match point, Emily Hardesty gave the Razorbacks a point off of an attack error to set the score at 24-23, but she redeemed her error with a kill to finalize the 25-23 set, and win 3-1.
After a claimed victory over Arkansas, the Aggies will head into the NCAA tournament with an overall record of 23-6 and the SEC champions. The team has also beaten all SEC teams at least once this season, only losing one time to both Florida and Arkansas. The NCAA tournament times and locations of the first and second rounds are to be decided. The dates for the first two rounds are scheduled to take place on Dec. 3 through Dec. 5.

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