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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 wins opening match of NCAA Tournament

Friday night marked the the return of Angela Lowak for the Aggie volleyball team. After she suffered an injury nearly three months ago, Lowak made her comeback statement in the 3-0 A&M win over Texas A&M Corpus Christi. The senior not only earned a kill in her return – it came on her first play.
“It was really exciting for us to get to have our senior co-captain Angela Lowak on the floor for the first time since September,” Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. “That meant a lot to all of us, and to her as well… I was afraid she was going to break down in tears because of the crowd reaction.”
Conference champions clashed in the first round of the NCAA tournament, as the SEC Champion Aggies (23-6, 16-2 SEC) won their 15th straight win while they snapped the Islanders’ 21-game win streak. The Southland Conference Champion Islanders (31-4, Southland 16-0) were able to capitalize on longer, momentum-shifting plays and with Ivy Baresh’s power, TAMUCC was able to keep hope alive before the Aggies’ ability to finish sets put them firmly in the driver seat..
“I had to get used to [tall defenders] at first,” Baresh said. “Obviously [A&M] is bigger than 5’ 8”. I wasn’t scared. There was one ball where I looked to the middle and I was like, ‘I’m little but I’m good,’ and then they stuffed me and I was like, ‘It’s okay!’ You don’t have to freak out about points, play smart and play with a strong attitude; that’s all that matters.”
After a five-set thrilling victory for Hawaii over TCU, the energy brought by the Aggies in the first set was only amplified by Lowak’s electrifying return, which marked her first appearance since September 18. In her first play back, she gained a kill to give the Aggies a 23-14 lead where they would go on to win the set. However, Lowak was unable to make any defensive stands as her knee brace kept her from gaining any forward momentum.
Ashlie Reasor’s performance was highlighted in the second and third sets of the match, getting seven and five kills respectively. A&M struggled to win long rallies, but Reasor came to the rescue to tire the set twice, and then slam the door shut with a final kill to take the second set.
“It’s cool to get the win like we did,” Reasor said. “I’m not really stressing out that it’s match point or set point, it’s just another ball… Me and the middles weren’t clicking very good in the first [set], but our outsides did a phenomenal job with that, and as soon as we hit intermission, we figured it out. We got everything back and dominated that third set, and Ashlie took over and did what she needed to do.”
Kiara McGee contributed 11 kills, while Gabby Litwin’s and libero Amy Nettles’ defensive effort combined for 35 digs to create second efforts for the A&M offense. As in the opening set, the Aggies were able quickly and easily pull away in the third set, which allowed starters to get some rest before they hit the hardwood again on Saturday.
First serve begins at 6:30 p.m. between the Aggies and the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors at Reed Arena for the second round of the NCAA tournament. The match will be broadcast on ESPN3.

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