COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Texas A&M extended its winning streak to four and kept Kansas winless at G. Rollie White Coliseum with a 30-25, 30-27, 30-21 victory over the Jayhawks tonight in front of a crowd of 1,409.
Sarah Ammerman led the Aggies with 16 kills, and Mary Batis and Kelly Stanton added 13 and 10 kills, respectively, to send Kansas home winless in 13 trips to College Station.
“It’s a great feeling to have another Big 12 win,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “Kansas is a little bit lower in the standings, so [the victory] probably was expected by a lot of people. But [Kansas] is still a team that went into Missouri and defeated Missouri and went to Nebraska and had a great performance. You can’t take any Big 12 match lightly, and so we can appreciate that even though we did struggle at times, particularly on our blocking, that we made some good adjustments and we were able to stay calm and composed and get the victory.”
A&M found itself in hole to begin the match, falling behind 12-6 in the opening game. But a strong performance by Ammerman, who had six kills and no errors in the game to lead A&M to a .378 to .279 hitting advantage, helped the Aggies get back on track. A&M used a four-point run to tie the score at 16-16 and tied the score again at 17-all before taking its first lead of the game at 18-17 after Kansas was whistled for a ball handling error. The point off the error was part of another four-point rally for the Aggies, who went on to build their biggest lead at 27-22. Kansas fought back with three straight points to cut the lead to 27-25, but Kelsey Bryant ended the run with a kill, and Stanton followed with back-to-back kills to close out the 30-25 victory.
In the second game, A&M tied the score four times before taking its first lead at 14-13 on a kill by Batis. The Aggies led by as many as three points, but Kansas managed to tie the score four times, the last tie coming at 25-25. Stanton got a kill, and Batis powered one of her nine kills of the game off the Kansas block to put A&M up, 27-25. Savannah Noyes answered with a kill to put the Jayhawks within 27-26 before Batis blasted another kill off the block. Ammerman followed with a kill to put A&M serving for the game, but her next attack went out of bounds, and the Jayhawks stayed alive at 29-27. Stanton and setter Kristen Schevikhoven would earn the game-winner on the ensuing play, as they teamed to block an attack by Jenna Kaiser.
A&M scored the first three points of the third game and never trailed. Kansas tied the score four times, the last at 17-all before Ammerman and Darla Donaldson posted two kills apiece to put the Aggies up, 21-17. Kansas, which was outhit, .306 to .086 in the frame, never got closer than three points the remainder of the game, and A&M scored four unanswered points to close out the stanza, 30-21, and complete the sweep.
“In some respects yes, but in many respects no,” Corbelli said when asked if she was pleased with her team’s performance. “It was very choppy in a lot of ways. Especially the first two games, we just really struggled getting into our rhythm. We just were impatient. Everyone was kind of running forward, and that is kind of a sign of impatience and wanting to hurry and get this done, and yet I really am glad that they took to heart the suggestions to be patient, stay back.
“We were a tiny bit out of position, but it was enough to make a difference against a team like KU. We just persevered.”
A&M hit .308 for the match, marking the fourth consecutive match the Aggies have surpassed the .300 milestone. A&M also posted 52 kills, four aces, 50 digs and nine blocks.
Emily Brown was the only Kansas player to reach double figures in kills with 11. As a team, Kansas tallied 45 kills but was held to a .176 hitting efficiency. The Jayhawks also recorded three aces, 44 digs and seven blocks.
With the win, A&M sweeps the season series against the Jayhawks and improves to 17-6 overall and 6-6 in the Big 12. Kansas suffers its fourth consecutive loss and drops to 10-12 overall and 3-9 in Big 12 matches.
Next up for the Aggies is No. 21 Oklahoma on Saturday in Norman. First serve is at 7 p.m. at McCasland Field House. The teams last met in the Big 12 opener in College Station on Sept. 12. A&M took a two-game lead against the Sooners, but Oklahoma came back to win the next three to win the match.