SAN DIEGO – Texas A&M had its five-match winning streak snapped and Cal State Fullerton ended a six-match losing skid as the Titans topped the Aggies, 25-23, 25-19, 25-22 on the second day of the USD Tournament at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.
In the opening set, the Aggies (5-4) held their only lead at 12-11 after California native Darla Donaldson won a joust and Kelsey Bryant followed with a block solo. The teams then sided out until CS Fullerton went on a 5-1 run. The Aggies got within a point at 18-17 after A&M reeled off three straight points, but the Aggies were unable to get any closer. With the Titans up 24-21, the Aggies fought off two set points as Mary Batis got a kill on an effectively placed roll shot and Bryant punished a Titan overpass for a kill. Erin Saddler answered with her eighth kill to end A&M’s comeback attempt and clinch the set for the Titans.
The second set began with A&M scoring the first two points and CS Fullerton countering with the next five points. The Titans later used a 5-1 run to build a 17-11 lead, but two Sarah Ammerman kills and two aces by Kristen Schevikhoven aided a 5-0 run by the Aggies, which put them within 17-16.Once again, the Aggies were unable to catch the Titans, who then went on another 5-1 scoring spurt. A&M trailed 23-19 when Sydney McDowell put down back-to-back kills to end the set and give the Titans a 2-0 lead going into the break.
There were seven lead changes and 11 ties in the third set, the last tie coming at 22-all. Neither team had scored more than two consecutive points in the set until the end, when the Titans had back-to-back kills and A&M followed with an attack error into the net to end the set and the match.
CS Fullerton, whose last three losses were against No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 5 UCLA and No. 20 San Diego, outhit A&M, .316 to .179 for the match and improved to 3-6 for the season. Saddler led all players with 19 kills while hitting at a .457 clip.
Ammerman led A&M with 10 kills, and Schevikhoven and Jennifer Banse led in digs with seven apiece.
A&M concludes the tournament tonight against No. 20 San Diego. First serve is at 9:30 p.m. (CDT). Live audio of the match will be available at AggieAthletics.com with Matt Simon calling the action.