A&M Set To Spike With Sooners

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M puts its undefeated home record on the line as the Aggies play host to the Oklahoma Sooners Sunday at 2 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum.

The Aggies, 4-0 at home, are 5-6 overall and looking to break a three-match losing skid after dropping their Big 12 opener at Iowa State on Wednesday.

The Sooners, who have won the last four meetings against the Aggies, are 6-4 overall, 2-0 in Big 12 matches, and riding a five-match winning streak after defeating Missouri, 3-1, on Wednesday.

It will be “Fish Camp Day” at the Holler House, and any student wearing a Fish Camp shirt will be admitted free. In addition, admission is only $2 for fans presenting a ticket stub from the A&M-Miami football game.

Aggie three-time Olympian and silver medalist Stacy Sykora will be signing autographs following the match.

Free live stats, video and audio of the A&M match will be broadcast on AggieAthletics.com, with Matt Simon calling the play-by-play.

Junior outside hitter Mary Batis leads the Aggies with 3.43 kills, 3.32 digs and 3.81 points per set for the season. Junior outside hitter Sarah Ammerman is second on the squad with 3.03 kills, 2.28 digs, 0.19 aces and 3.4 points per set. Senior Kelsey Bryant, who has moved to the middle blocker position for the first time in her collegiate career while senior middle Jillian Phillips (1.33 bps) is out indefinitely with a stress fracture in her lower right leg, is hitting a team-high .308 and leads the active players with 0.94 blocks per set. Junior setter Kristen Schevikhoven is averaging 10.03 assists per set.

As a team, A&M is hitting .213 and averaging 13.45 kills, 0.84 aces, 14.37 digs and 2.13 blocks per set. Opponents are hitting .204 and averaging 12.63 kills, 1.03 aces, 15.18 digs and 1.93 blocks per set.

SCOUTING OKLAHOMA

• Oklahoma is 6-4 overall, including 2-0 in the Big 12, and is riding a five-match winning streak. Most recently, OU defeated Missouri, 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-15, 25-21), Wednesday in Norman, Okla.

• The Sooners are likely to have three freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors -- including a junior libero -- in their starting lineup against the Aggies after losing four starters from last year’s team that went 22-10 and advanced to the NCAA second round.

• OU, which placed 4th in the Big 12 last season with a 13-7 record, was picked to finish tied with Baylor for eighth place in the league standings according to a preseason vote of the Big 12 head coaches. The Sooners have already knocked off Missouri, which was picked to finish fifth.

• The Sooners are paced by 5-11 redshirt sophomore middle blocker Francie Ekwerekwu, who leads the team with 3.08 kills per game while hitting .340. Ekwerekwu was named to the preseason All-Big 12 team after earning Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors last year.

• Sophomore 6-1 middle blocker Chrissy Disarro leads OU and is ranked third in the Big 12 with 1.36 blocks per game for the full season.

• Freshman starting setter Brianne Barker (9.05 aps), a two-time Texas Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year, was A&M freshman Kelsey Black’s former teammate at Amarillo High School, and the pair led the Lady Sandies to back-to-back state titles in 2006 and 2007. Aggie freshman Stephanie Wells also was a member of the 2007 state championship team.

• Oklahoma ranks last in the Big 12 with a .165 hitting percentage for the full season. The Sooners are hitting .139 in their only two Big 12 matches.

• OU is 2-1 in away matches. Wins were at Texas Tech on Sept. 12 and at New Orleans on Sept. 14. The only loss was at No. 7 USC on Sept. 4.

• Santiago Restrepo (East Stroudsburg, 1986) is 75-59 in his fifth season as head coach at Oklahoma.

THE A&M-OU ALL-TIME SERIES

• A&M leads the overall series, 29-5, since 1976, but Oklahoma has won the last four meetings after sweeping the season series in each of the last two years.

• A&M leads the series, 10-2, in matches played in College Station, with both of OU’s victories coming in each of the last two seasons.

• A&M is 20-4 against OU in Big 12 matches only, including 10-2 in matches played in College Station.

• Last season, OU overcame a two-game deficit to defeat the home-team Aggies in both teams’ conference opener. The Sooners completed the season series sweep with a 3-1 victory in Norman.

• A&M’s most recent victory against Oklahoma was Oct. 28, 2005, in College Station as the Aggies defeated the Sooners, 3-0. It marked A&M’s 26th consecutive victory against the Sooners.

AGGIE QUICK HITS:

• The Aggies are 8-4 all-time in their first home Big 12 match of the season. They have lost their first home conference match in each of the last three seasons, including losses to OU in each of the last two seasons.

• San Diego is the only common opponent between the Aggies and Sooners. OU lost to the then-21st-ranked Toreros, 3-0, on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles, and A&M was swept at No. 20 USD on Sept. 13.

• Mary Batis needs 12 points to reach 1,000 points for her career, and Sarah Ammerman is 51 points shy of 1,000 career points. Batis moved into fourth place in the A&M career records after posting 13 points against San Diego to give her 981.5 for her career, surpassing Kendra Felder (2001-05) who had 973.0. Batis leads the Aggies with 3.81 points per set, and Ammerman, who is in sixth place in the career standings with 949, is second on the team with 3.4 points per set. Laura Jones (2002-05) is A&M’s all-time career leader with 2,346.5 points.

• A&M’s win against No. 16 BYU on Sept. 6 was the Aggies’ highest ranked victory since upsetting No. 9 Texas on Oct. 16, 2004, in College Station. Prior to the BYU match, A&M’s most recent win against a ranked opponent was against No. 22 Minnesota on Sept. 2, 2006, at the Billiken Invitational in Saint Louis.

• A&M played four matches against ranked teams during the pre-conference schedule and went 1-3 against those teams. No other Big 12 team played more than three matches against a ranked opponent during the pre-conference season. OU went 0-3 against ranked teams.

• A&M’s match at No. 18 Kansas State on Oct. 29 will be televised by FSN Kansas City. Match time is 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Field House in Manhattan.

• Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli is 332-150 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 432-256 in the 23rd season of her head coaching career. She is A&M’s winningest coach in terms of total victories and ranks second for winning percentage. Corbelli is 21-6 against Oklahoma in her head coaching career.

• The Aggies, who went 10-10 to tie NCAA-bound Missouri for sixth place in the Big 12 last year, have been picked to finish fourth in the league this season, according to a preseason poll of the conference coaches. Defending Big 12 co-champions Texas and Nebraska are picked to finish first and second, respectively, with Kansas State following at third place. A&M is followed by Missouri, Iowa State, Colorado, and Baylor and Oklahoma, who tied for eighth. Kansas and Texas Tech round out the poll.

NOTABLES

• Countdown to 1,000 kills: Mary Batis and Sarah Ammerman both are on pace to surpass 1,000 career kills this season. Batis, who had 377 kills last year, needs 126 to join the 1,000 Kills Club. She leads the team with 3.43 kills per set. Ammerman, who is averaging 3.03 kills per set, posted 447 kills in 2007 and is currently 172 kills shy of the 1,000 kill milestone.

Twelve former players are members of the 1,000 Kill Club. The most recent member was Laura Jones (2002-05), who is A&M’s all-time kill leader with 2,064.

• Freshmen facts: Freshman Chelsea Ringel has been the designated libero in all but one of A&M’s 38 sets. She is averaging 2.24 digs per set, ranking third on the team. Rookie Kelsey Black, a 5-11 outside hitter, has provided a valuable spark off the bench. She has seen action in every match, including a start against Creighton, and has played in 24 sets. She is averaging 1.46 kills, 1.62 digs and 1.67 points per set after posting a career-high and team-leading seven kills at Iowa State on Wednesday.

• Reunion set for Oct. 17 weekend: Many of A&M’s former players will be converging on College Station on Friday, Oct. 17 for a volleyball reunion weekend. Activities include the Big 12 match against Baylor, Friday at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum, as well as A&M’s football game against Texas Tech on Saturday. For more information, call the Lettermen’s Association at 979-846-3024.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

A&M concludes a two-match home stand Wednesday as the Aggies play host to 18th-ranked Kansas State. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum.

It will be Volleyball Camp night, and children wearing an A&M volleyball camp T-shirt will be admitted free. Also volleyball posters will be given away, and the team will be on hand for autographs following the match.

AGGIES ON THE INTERNET

Free video streaming of all 14 A&M home matches will be available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, audio broadcasts of 19 matches, both home and away, are slated with Matt Simon providing the play-by-play. Simon will call the action for all Wednesday and Sunday matches and selected Saturday matches.




 
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