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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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Volleyball looks for ninth straight win

Photo by Photo by: Morgan Engel
A&M Volleyball

Aggie volleyball shows no sign of slowing down, riding its eight-game win streak. The team is bidding for the top of the SEC standings amid preparation for next week’s matchup against the Kentucky Wildcats, but for now, the team must focus on the Rebels.
Texas A&M (17-6, 10-2 SEC) will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to face the Ole Miss Rebels (20-7, 6-6 SEC) Friday night at 6:00 p.m. The meet will be a rematch between the Rebels and the Aggies; A&M previously swept Ole Miss on Oct. 4, early on in SEC competition. The rematch will be broadcasted on SEC Network +.
Since the sweep, the Rebels have continued to struggle, losing three SEC matches. However, they have managed to push back with two wins over Arkansas, who defeated the Aggies in their SEC-home opener and forced their first home loss of the season.
“I feel like we’ve grown as a team mentally a lot since the beginning of the season,” sophomore Kiara McGee said. “We’ve always had the volleyball, it’s always been there, we haven’t changed. We have this new mentality, ‘work.’ If something bad happens, we’re not down about it. We believe in each other so much, and we believe we can win any game.”
A looming thought at the time of the Arkansas match was that of injuries. What once plagued the season seems to no-longer phase the Aggies as Shelby Sullivan has returned to finish her senior season with full force.
“Injuries are very hard, they are very humbling,” Sullivan said. “When your physical aspect that you have, you take for granted; when you push that in the back of your mind, you really appreciate being able to be out on the court and compete with your team. You learn a lot on the sidelines, strategy wise, and you can use that time to focus in. When you get back on the court, you use everything you have learned, you don’t take anything for granted.”
In the previous match between the two teams, the Aggies dominated the matchup on both sides of the court. A&M led over Ole Miss with 43 kills to 31, a .288 hitting efficiency to .064, five aces to one, and 11 blocks to four, respectively. Although they recorded a sweep, the Aggies were given a tough time at the hands of Ty Laporte and Nakeyta Clair, who are a dominant SEC duo with a combined 538 kills on the season.
Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said since early this season that the Rebels’ offensive attackers have been full of talent.
“They have some big, big attackers,” Corbelli said. “Maybe not size wise, but power delivery. They have a really good setter who distributes the ball beautifully, and very consistently. Their most athletic players are their middles, Nakeyta Clair and Ty Laporte.”
The Aggies hope to advance their win-streak to nine Sunday against the Georgia Bulldogs. The match will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Reed Arena and the will be broadcast on SEC Network +.

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