COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M ran its winning streak to four after cruising to a 25-14, 25-13, 25-23 victory over Texas State in front of 1,421 tonight at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
With the win, the Aggies improve to 4-3 on the season. It also was A&M’s 13th consecutive victory against the Bobcats, who fall to 4-5.
Aggie outside hitter Mary Batis led all players with 13 kills while hitting at a .321 clip. Teammate Kelsey Bryant added 10 kills and hit .533 as A&M posted a season-high .350 hitting percentage with 11 of 12 suited players seeing action.
“It’s really important to the team that we have as many players ready to be on the floor in case we need them,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “I saw that our first group had good rhythm and came to play. I knew that they had done their jobs, and I thought it was time to see some other players do their job and get them some time. It’s just really difficult to do during Big 12, and a lot of other opportunities just don’t come that quickly. Game time is very different than training.”
The Aggies never trailed in the first set, and the only tie occurred on the second play of the match. A&M then went on a four-point run and continued to pull away. The Aggies, who outhit the Bobcats, .438 to .030 in the set, closed out the set with another four-point run, with Sarah Ammerman, who had six kills in the set, ending the frame with back-to-back kills.
Identical to the first set, Jennifer Banse put the Aggies on the scoreboard with a kill on the first play of the second set. The Bobcats tied the score with a kill, but A&M answered with three consecutive points and never looked back.
The Aggies used an eight-point run to blow open their lead, 12-2. Texas State, which was out-hit, .387 to .061 in the stanza, never mounted more than a two-point run throughout the set. Back-to-back Bobcat errors gave A&M its biggest lead at 24-12. Emily Jones Wilkes kept TSU alive with a kill before setter Jola Kelner put down a kill to give the Aggies a 2-0 set lead.
Texas State made it interesting in the final set, keeping within striking distance by outhitting A&M, .382 to .250. Although A&M’s lineup had a different look with match starters Ammerman and setter Kristen Schevikhoven sitting out the final set, the Aggies still managed to prevail. Bryant got six kills on six attacks, and Batis added five kills to propel A&M in the completion of the sweep.
“We didn’t want to have to make a change (to the third-set lineup),” Corbelli said. “We wanted that group to complete the match and to have the success that we knew they could have. You saw the whole court environment change when you take ‘Schevi’ off and take Ammerman off. It is very different, so they just needed to settle in, and sometimes it takes a half a game. I thought (TSU) played a much nicer third game.”
The Aggies, who were coming off an impressive win against No. 16 BYU on Saturday, were glad to get this midweek match behind them and begin preparing for their matches against Southern Miss, Cal State Fullerton and No. 20 San Diego this weekend at the USD Tournament. The tournament marks A&M’s final tune-up before beginning Big 12 Conference play at Iowa State on Sept. 17.
“As a coach, sometimes (midweek matches) are really tough matches, because we are coming off upsetting a top-25 team, and we are anxious to get to our next tournament,” Corbelli said. “But I never sensed it once from this group that they weren’t going to be ready for this match. They knew we were going to have a good night and a good opportunity to get a win, but they knew they had to play the game and they had to execute. They wanted to take care of their side. They came prepared and ready to play.”
Amy Weigle led the Bobcats with seven kills and no errors in 11 attempts. Jones Wilkes, the sister of former A&M two-time All-American and Aggie all-time kill leader Laura Jones, led all players with four blocks.
The Aggies open the USD Tournament against Southern Miss at 6 p.m. (CDT) at the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Live audio will be available at AggieAthletics.com, with Matt Simon calling the action.