COLLEGE STATION - Sarah Ammerman recorded a match-high 24 kills, and Mary Batis tied her career high with 21 kills to lead Texas A&M to a critical 30-28, 27-30, 30-22, 30-22 victory over Missouri in front of 1,243 today at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
The Aggies, who were coming off three consecutive losses after facing the top three teams in the Big 12 Conference – No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Texas and No. 12 Kansas State – improve to 19-10 overall and 8-10 in the Big 12 with two matches remaining in the regular season.
Missouri, which like A&M is fighting for a coveted spot in the 64-team NCAA tournament, had its three-match winning streak snapped and falls to 16-11, 9-9 in the Big 12. In addition, the Tigers drop to 1-11 all-time in matches played in College Station.
Aggie setter Kristen Schevikhoven dished out a career-high 66 assists as A&M tallied 78 kills while hitting .277. Kelly Stanton joined Ammerman and Batis in double-figure kills with 10. She also led all players with seven blocks, including a career-high three solo blocks, as A&M out-blocked the Tigers, 12-8, and held Missouri to a .255 hitting percentage.
Ammerman also led A&M with four aces as the Aggies tallied a season-high 11 aces, while Missouri was held to only three aces.
“I thought our serving was really good,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “We have been working really hard on being more aggressive in serving. It took them out of the speed of their offense. The films we have been watching, they are very crisp and very fast, so we had to serve them tough. The serving and the blocking, we were really doing some nice things in those areas.”
In the first game, Ammerman’s kill off the Missouri block followed by her back-to-back aces sparked a four-point run for the Aggies and gave A&M a 12-9 lead. Missouri stayed close and used a three-point rally to tie the score at 19-19. Batis ended the run with a kill and a block to begin a 5-1 run for the Aggies, who built their biggest lead at 24-20. A&M maintained the advantage at 28-24 when Missouri reeled off four straight points, three on kills by Lei Wang, to knot the score at 28-28. Batis then got a kill deep in the Missouri corner, and Stanton followed with a kill to clinch the win for A&M.
Missouri, which matched A&M’s .264 hitting percentage in the first game, out-hit the Aggies, .417 to .191 and overcame a late six-point deficit en route to a 30-27 win in game two. Trailing 21-15, the Tigers chipped away at the A&M lead, getting within 23-20 before ripping off five unanswered points to take their first lead of the game. Kelsey Bryant ended the run with a kill, and the teams continued to exchange point for point until, with Missouri up, 28-27, the Tigers blocked an A&M attack to be serving for the game. A&M was whistled for being in the net on the ensuing play to give Missouri the win and even the match at a game apiece.
The Aggies jumped out to a 7-1 lead coming out of the intermission and went on to build their biggest lead at 25-12. Missouri, which was out-hit, .300 to .156, made a late run to get within 28-22 before Ammerman and Jillian Phillips put down consecutive kills to end the threat.
Missouri held a 12-11 lead in the fourth game when A&M used a 7-1 scoring run to pull away. The Tigers got within 19-16 on consecutive kills by Na Yang, but that would be the closest they would get as A&M countered with five unanswered points. The Aggies, who hit .364 to Missouri’s .182, built their biggest lead at 28-20 after reeling off three straight points. Missouri ended the run with a kill, and the teams continued to trade kill for kill until Schevikhoven’s set over the net fell in for the match-winning kill.
Yang led the Tigers with 19 kills, and Weiwen Wang and Megan Wilson added 18 and 12 kills, respectively. Libero Tatum Ailes led all players with 22 digs.
Ammerman led a group of four Aggies to reach double digits in digs with 16. Jen Moore and Schevikhoven pitched in 15 and 13 digs, respectively, and Jenny Banse tied her career high with 10.
The Aggies conclude the regular season with two matches next week. A&M takes on Colorado on Wednesday in Boulder. Match time is 6:30 p.m. (MST) at the Coors Events Center.
A&M wraps up the regular season Saturday, Nov. 24, hosting Baylor on Senior Night at G. Rollie. Match time is 6:30 p.m., and Aggie seniors Jen Moore and Kelly Stanton will be honored prior to the match.