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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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Volleyball has home win streak snapped in SEC opener

Volleyball
Photo by FILE
Volleyball

The Aggies’ undefeated home game win-streak for the season was snapped in their first SEC game of the year Sunday .

The Aggies (7-5, 0-1 SEC) fell to Arkansas (12-2, 2-0 SEC) at Reed Arena Sunday afternoon. The Razorbacks held a 3-game winning streak prior to the meeting, including their upset against No. 11 Wisconsin and a SEC opener win against LSU. The Aggies looked to battle not only the rivaling Razorbacks, but a slew of injuries that has corrupted the season.

The Aggies started with a 3-0 rally to begin the match, but the Razorbacks remained close. After a 4-0 Aggie rally, Arkansas was forced to call a timeout while A&M led 12-10. The Aggies built up another demanding rally, increasing their lead to 17-14. The final two Aggie points were gained from kills by Emily Hardesty, setting the score at 25-21 to end the match.

The Razorbacks countered with a 3-0 start to the second set. A&M gained momentum with back-to-back kills by Kiara McGee, giving the Aggies a 7-5 lead. Arkansas later regained momentum with a 9-0 rally. Shelby Sullivan attempted to stop the momentum with a kill ending the rally, but Arkansas continued to dominate the set, ending with a service ace by Victoria Pilar. The set ended with a Razorback victory, 25-13, and a match score of 1-1.

“[Pilar] has a really fast arm swing,” A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “She’s dynamic, and you just have to adjust your blocking timing. Just the speed of her arm can be challenging.”

Following the intermission, the Aggies regained momentum by not trailing in the opening portion of the set and led by as many as three points. The Razorbacks tied the score at 11 and remained close before taking a 20-19 lead. The teams remained within a point of each other and tied fourteen times in the set. Arkansas closed out the set with a 27-25 victory from an attack error by Kaitlyn Blake. Hardesty struggled with an attack percentage of .167 at the end of the third set, leading the team with 30 total attempts.

“Personally, I didn’t put the ball away,” Hardesty said. “It was just individual performances, little things here and there, that weren’t sharp.”

The fourth set was back-and-forth with lead changes. A&M’s Kiara McGee spoke with the referee following a controversial call only to have a crowd-pleasing kill to set the score at a Arkansas lead of 14-13. The Aggies tied the set at 17 all and with back-to-back kills by Kaitlyn Blake, the Aggies forced two Arkansas timeouts. Arkansas wins the set and match off of a kill by Chanell Clark-Bibbs. A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said she was disappointed with Aggies’ performance in the match.

“You get a run of points in volleyball and it can really —  snowball effect” Corbelli said. “Lost 3 or 4 in-a-row, turned into 8, 9, or 10. It hasn’t happened in a while to us so when it was happening, frustration grew and we weren’t able to shake it off.”
The Aggies continue SEC play when they travel to Auburn on Wednesday night to challenge the Tigers (9-4, 1-0 SEC).

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