COLLEGE STATION - The Texas A&M volleyball team returns to action Saturday, playing host to the Iowa State Cyclones at G. Rollie White Coliseum. The match time, originally slated for 6:30 p.m., has been moved up to 1 p.m. to allow fans to also attend the A&M women’s basketball game against the Chinese National Team at 3 p.m. at Reed Arena and to watch the A&M football game at Oklahoma, which begins at 7 p.m.
Fans attending the volleyball match can use their ticket stub to receive a $2 admission to the women’s basketball game.
A&M (17-7, 6-7 Big 12) has won four of its last five matches and is in sixth place in the Big 12 standings with seven matches remaining in the regular season. The only loss in the last five matches was a 3-1 setback at No. 21 Oklahoma in the Aggies’ most recent outing. The Oklahoma match marked the beginning of A&M’s toughest stretch of the second half of conference play as each of the Aggies’ next four opponents are above A&M in the league standings, including next week’s opponents, No. 12 Kansas State and No. 3 Texas both on the road, followed by No. 2 Nebraska at home on Nov. 14.
Iowa State (14-9, 8-5 Big 12) has won three of its last four matches and sits in fifth place in the Big 12, two games ahead of both A&M and Baylor. The Cyclones, who are 3-4 in away Big 12 matches, are coming off a 30-23, 30-17, 30-20 victory over last-place Colorado, Wednesday in Ames.
LOOKING AT THE AGGIES
With a 17-7 record, Texas A&M has already surpassed its total number of victories in each of the last two seasons, and with only seven matches remaining, A&M is guaranteed to finish above .500 and be eligible for NCAA tournament consideration.
Sophomore setter Kristen Schevikhoven directs the A&M offense, which entered the week ranked eighth in the nation and third in the Big 12 with a .283 hitting efficiency. Middle blockers Kelly Stanton and Jillian Phillips are hitting a team-leading .375 and .360, respectively, for the full season and are ranked third and sixth in the Big 12. Right-side hitter Kelsey Bryant also is above the .300 mark, as she is hitting .329.
Outside hitter Sarah Ammerman leads A&M and ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 4.12 kills per game while hitting at a .262 clip. She also averages team highs of 0.36 aces and 4.72 points per game, ranking sixth and eighth, respectively, in the league.
Mary Batis is the A&M leader in digs with 3.63 per game and ranks second on the team with 3.37 kills and 4.0 points per game.
Phillips leads the Aggies and ranks sixth in the league with 1.27 blocks per game.
As a team, A&M is listed third in the Big 12 in aces per game (1.60) and fourth in the league in kills (16.16) and assists (14.49) per game. In addition, the Aggies are fifth for opponent hitting percentage (.188) and blocks per game (2.76) and sixth in digs (16.01) per game.
In Big 12 matches only, A&M ranks third in the league in aces per game (1.30), fourth in hitting percentage (.240) and digs per game (16.02), and fifth in kills (15.65), assists (14.24) and blocks (2.87) per game.
LOOKING AT THE CYCLONES
Iowa State (14-9, 8-5 Big 12) has won three of its last four matches and is in fifth place in the Big 12 standings. Like A&M, the Cyclones’ losses have been to Texas, Nebraska, Kansas State (twice) and Oklahoma, which occupy the top four spots in the league standings. The only team ISU has defeated and the Aggies have not is Missouri. ISU held off the Tigers, 3-2, in Ames, while A&M got swept by Mizzou in Columbia.
The Cyclones lead the Big 12 and entered the week ranked seventh in the nation with 3.38 blocks per game. Senior Erin Boeve and junior Jen Malcom lead the team with 1.35 and 1.34 blocks per game for the full season, while Boeve is averaging a Big 12-best 1.70 blocks per game in conference games only.
ISU also leads the league with 18.28 digs per game in conference matches only. Ashley Mass, who has reached double figures in digs in each of the last 16 matches, leads the Big 12 with 4.91 digs per game in conference matches.
Against Colorado, Boeve set a school record with six service aces. All six were in the third game, including four consecutive aces.
Head coach Christy Johnson (Nebraska ‘96), who is in her third season at the helm of the Cyclones, has turned around the ISU volleyball program, which is 51-33 during her tenure.
THE A&M-ISU ALL-TIME SERIES
A&M leads ISU, 22-4, since 1976, including 20-3 in Big 12 matches, as well as 10-1 in matches played in College Station. The Cyclones, however, have won the last three meetings, including their first-ever sweep against the Aggies in the most recent meeting. Last year, ISU swept the season series, defeating A&M, 3-1, in Ames, and then winning in College Station for the first time ever with a 26-30, 30-27, 29-31, 30-18, 15-13 victory at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
Earlier this season, ISU extended its overall winning streak to seven after recording its first-ever sweep against A&M in winning its third straight against the Aggies with a 30-27, 30-27, 30-23 victory on Sept. 15, 2007, at Hilton Coliseum in Ames. ISU outhit A&M, .287 to .168 in the match and posted 62 kills to A&M’s 43. The Cyclones also outdug A&M, 64-44, and led in blocks, 9-8. ISU’s Erin Boeve, who had eight kills in the first game, led all players with 16 kills. Jen Malcom and Mary Bisenius added 12 apiece for the Cyclones. Sarah Ammerman led the Aggies with 12 kills and 12 digs, and Jillian Phillips added seven blocks. Amy Vos and Ashley Mass led the Cyclones in digs with 16 each, and Laura Cady added 11.
The Aggies are on the road for both matches next week, and both are against ranked opponents. A&M takes on No. 12 Kansas State Wednesday at Ahearn Field House in Manhattan, Kan. The match begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised live by FoxSports Net-Midwest. A&M then heads to Austin, Texas, to face the No. 3 Texas Longhorns in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. Match time is 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym.
MATCH TIME CHANGES ANNOUNCED
Texas A&M has announced match time changes for two upcoming home contests that were conflicting with men’s basketball games. The Aggies’ match against No. 1 Nebraska on Wednesday, Nov. 14 has been changed to a 5:30 p.m. start, and A&M’s match against Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 17 also has been moved up an hour to a 5:30 p.m. first serve.
Space Still AVAILABLE for BUS TRIP TO AUSTIN
The Maroon Club is still accepting reservations for a bus trip to Austin to see the Aggies take on No. 3 Texas, Friday, Nov. 9. Match time is 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Gym.
The cost is $20 for Maroon Club members and $25 for all other Aggie fans. The price also includes one ticket to the game, a snack bag, a media guide and a chance to win free prizes.
The bus will depart Post Oak Mall Sears parking lot at 3:30 p.m. Riders must arrive by 3:15 p.m.
For more information or to sign up, contact Marty Walton at 979-846-3024 or firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP. This trip will be first come, first serve, so please RSVP as soon as possible.