College Station - Texas A&M aims to win its third consecutive Big 12 Conference match when the Aggies take on Texas Tech Saturday in Lubbock.
The first serve is at 7 p.m. at United Spirit Arena, and live stats of the match will be available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, fans can access live video streaming on Red Raiders All-Access at TexasTech.com.
The Aggies (8-8, 3-3 Big 12) evened their record and moved into a tie with Colorado for fifth place in the Big 12 Conference after defeating Kansas, 3-2, Wednesday in Lawrence. It was A&M’s third consecutive five-set match and the Aggies’ fourth five-setter in their last five outings.
Texas Tech (5-13, 0-7 Big 12) remained winless in the Big 12 and suffered its fifth straight loss after falling to Colorado, 3-0, Wednesday in Boulder.
Junior outside hitter Mary Batis leads the Aggies and ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 3.47 kills per set for the full season. She also leads the team and ranks ninth in the league with a 3.89 point average. In addition, Batis is A&M’s dig leader with 2.92 per set.
Junior outside hitter Sarah Ammerman leads the team with 0.22 aces per set and ranks second on the squad with 3.02 kills and 3.43 points per set.
Junior setter Jola Kelner, named the AVSR Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Aggies to the win against Missouri last week, is likely to draw her third start of the season against the Red Raiders while Kristen Schevikhoven continues to recover from an ankle injury suffered at Colorado.
Senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson leads the team and is ranked second in the Big 12 with 1.38 blocks per set in Big 12 matches only.
As a team, A&M is hitting .223 and averaging 13.25 kills, 0.90 aces, 14.18 digs and 2.30 blocks per set. In Big 12 matches only, A&M is hitting .217 and leads the league with 2.56 blocks per set. Opponents are hitting .204 and averaging 12.49 kills, 0.98 aces, 14.39 digs and 1.89 blocks for the full season.
SCOUTING THE RED RAIDERS
- Texas Tech is 5-13 overall and in last place in the Big 12 at 0-7.
- In addition to looking for their first Big 12 victory, the Red Raiders also are aiming for their first home win of the season after starting out 0-6 at the United Spirit Arena.
- The Red Raiders are mired in a five-match losing skid. They have not won a match since defeating Texas-Pan American, 3-0, on Sept. 20
- Most recently, Tech lost at Colorado, 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-11). Caroline Courtney led Tech with eight kills and a .533 hitting efficiency, but as a team, the Red Raiders were outhit, .372 to .061, and outblocked, 11-2.
- Freshman middle blocker Amanda Dowdy leads Tech with 2.76 kills per game and a .333 hitting percentage, which ranks seventh in the Big 12. Senior middle Brandi Hood is averaging a team-high 0.97 blocks per set, good for 10th place in the Big 12.
- Sophomore middle blocker Becca Baldwin grew up in the shadows of Texas A&M, as she was born and raised in Bryan, Texas. Her brother, Andrew, played baseball for the Aggies, lettering in 2005 and 2005.
- Nancy Todd (Arizona State ‘95) is 56-113 in her sixth season as head coach of the Red Raiders.
THE A&M-TECH ALL-TIME SERIES
- A&M leads the all-time series, 46-26, since 1976, including 17-7 in Big 12 matches only since the league began in 1996, and 17-12 in matches played in Lubbock.
- In the last six meetings, the series is even at 3-3.
- A&M swept the season series last year, defeating the Red Raiders, 3-2 (30-27, 30-21, 21-30, 27-30, 15-10) in College Station on Sept. 19 and 3-0 (30-21, 30-25, 30-14) in Lubbock on Oct. 20.
- A&M has swept the season series six times since the Big 12 began in 1996. In 2006, Texas Tech completed its only season-series sweep against A&M.
- A&M’s win in Lubbock last year snapped the Aggies’ two-match losing skid at Tech.
- In the most recent meeting, Oct. 20, 2007, in Lubbock, Sarah Ammerman had a match-high 16 kills, and Kelsey Bryant and Kelly Stanton added 11 and 10 kills, respectively, as Texas A&M began the second half of the Big 12 Conference season with a 30-21, 30-25, 30-14 victory over Texas Tech at United Spirit Arena.
- Tech found itself playing catch-up the entire match as A&M jumped out to early leads in each of the three games. The Aggies took the lead for good at 3-2 in each of the first two games. They never trailed in the third game and used a nine-point run to break away from a 2-2 tie.
- As a team, A&M posted 54 kills while hitting .336. Mary Batis had a team-high 14 digs, and Ammerman and libero Jen Moore pitched in 11 and 10 digs, respectively, as A&M totaled 49 on the night. Stanton tied for match-high honors with three blocks to lead A&M to a 7-4 advantage. Setter Kristen Schevikhoven finished with 37 assists as A&M picked up its third Big 12 sweep of the season.
- Tech, which was held to a .123 hitting percentage, had 36 kills, with Michelle Flores leading the team with 10. Libero Jenn Harrell had 15 of the team’s 37 digs, and Brandi Hood had three blocks.
- Senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson, the only A&M player to have played in every set this season, is averaging 1.67 blocks per set over the last three matches and ranks second in the Big 12 with a 1.38 block average in conference matches only. In addition, she is hitting .411 over the last three contests and ranks eighth in the league with a .337 hitting efficiency in Big 12 matches only.
- With Donaldson leading the way, the Aggies recorded a season-high 16 blocks against Missouri, the most blocks by a Big 12 team in a conference match this season. In addition, the Aggies tied an A&M record for solo blocks in a five-set Big 12 match with seven against the Tigers.
- A&M followed that performance with 15 blocks against Kansas and now leads the Big 12 with a 2.56 block average in conference matches only.
- Texas A&M junior setter Jola Kelner was named Player of the Week by American Volleyball Scouting Report on Monday. In her first start since the first match of last season, the Poland native led A&M to a 3-2 victory against Missouri on Saturday. Kelner, who has started the last two matches in place of injured setter Kristen Schevikhoven, has led A&M to a .281 hitting percentage over the last two matches. She is hitting .368 with seven kills and no errors in 19 attempts and is second on the team with 1.0 blocks in her two starts. In addition, she is third on the team with 2.20 digs and 0.20 aces per set in the two five-set victories.
- A&M has been hit hard by injuries lately. Three starters did not see action against the Jayhawks due to injuries. Senior right-side/middle blocker Kelsey Bryant, who has been a starter since her freshman season, was out with a shoulder injury. It was the first time she did not appear in a match since 2005. Junior setter Kristen Schevikhoven had started 44 consecutive matches until an ankle injury suffered at Colorado on Sept. 27 forced her to miss the Missouri and Kansas matches. Senior middle blocker Jillian Phillips, who started all but one match last season and was sidelined after the third match of the 2008 season due to a stress fracture, saw limited action against Missouri but was unable to play at Kansas. All three are doubtful to questionable for the Tech match.
- Freshman middle blocker Stephanie Wells, who had appeared in only four sets prior to the Kansas match, drew the first start of her career against the Jayhawks and responded with four blocks, including one solo.
- In spite of A&M’s makeshift lineup against the Jayhawks, the Aggies hit .311, their highest hitting percentage in a Big 12 match this season and their highest in a five-set Big 12 match since hitting .378 at Missouri on Nov. 26, 2005. In addition, A&M posted 15 blocks, one shy of their season high, which they set against Missouri in the previous match.
- Junior outside hitters Mary Batis and Sarah Ammerman each surpassed 1,000 career points earlier this season. Batis, who leads the team and ranks eighth in the Big 12 with 3.89 points per set, surpassed 1,000 points for her career after posting 24.5 points against Oklahoma on Sept. 21. She enters the Tech match with 1080.5 total points, needing 54.5 points to pass Christi Hahn (2003-06) for third place in the career records.
- Ammerman recorded 15.5 points against Missouri on Oct. 4 to surpass 1,000 points. Ammerman, who is second on the team with 3.43 points per set, is the fifth A&M player to surpass the milestone since rally scoring began in 2001. Laura Jones (2002-05) is A&M’s all-time career leader with 2,346.5 points.
- Both Batis and Ammerman are on pace to also surpass 1,000 career kills this season. Batis, who leads the Aggies and ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 3.47 kills per set, needs only 45 more to join the 1,000 Kills Club. Ammerman, who is averaging 3.02 kills per set, is currently 103 kills shy of the 1,000-kill milestone.
- Twelve former players are members of A&M’s 1,000 Kill Club. The newest member was Laura Jones (2002-05), who is A&M’s all-time kill leader with 2,064.
- Jennifer Banse’s career-high 24 digs against Oklahoma on Sept. 21 marked the most digs in a match by an A&M player since former libero Holly Clay had 28 at Texas Tech on Oct. 22, 2005. The junior outside hitter leads the Aggies with 2.90 digs per set in Big 12 matches only and is second on the team with 2.48 digs per set for the full season.
- 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. The Aggies are now 1-4 against ranked opponents.
- Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli is 335-152 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 435-258 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 23-8 against Texas Tech in her head coaching career.
The Aggies return home Oct. 15 for volleyball’s first edition of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown against No. 3 Texas. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
It will be “Break the Record” night at the Holler House, as fans are challenged to come to the match and break the G. Rollie attendance record of 3,778 set against the Longhorns on Oct. 24, 2003.
In addition, it will be Greek Night, and all Greeks wearing their letters will be admitted free. Also fans presenting an A&M-K-State football ticket stub will be admitted for $2.
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