Lone Star Showdown

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M (9-8, 4-3 Big 12) and No. 3 Texas (12-2, 6-1 Big 12) clash Wednesday in College Station in volleyball’s first edition of the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. First serve is at 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 break the G. Rollie White attendance record of 3,778 set against the Longhorns on Oct. 24, 2003. It also will be Greek Night, and all Greeks wearing their letters will be admitted free. In addition, fans presenting an A&M-K-State football ticket stub will be admitted for $2.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 1-888-99-AGGIE or by going online at 12thManFoundation.com. Tickets also will be available at the G. Rollie White ticket window beginning one hour before the match. General admission tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students/youth. Reserved seats are $9 each.
Live audio, with Matt Simon calling the action, along with statistics and video will be available free at AggieAthletics.com.

The Aggies enter the contest riding a three-match winning streak after sweeping Texas Tech Saturday in Lubbock. With the win against the Lady Raiders, A&M moved above .500 for both the full season and in Big 12 matches only for the first time this year and climbed into a tie with Baylor for fourth place in the conference standings.
Texas, which has won the last seven meetings against the Aggies and is in second place in the league standings, extended its winning streak to a season-high six matches with a 3-1 victory at Colorado on Saturday.

Junior outside hitter Mary Batis leads the Aggies and ranks ninth in the Big 12 with 3.40 kills per set for the full season. She also leads the team and ranks 10th in the league with a 3.80 point average. In addition, Batis is A&M’s dig leader with 2.89 per set.
Junior outside hitter Sarah Ammerman leads the team with 0.21 aces per set and ranks second on the squad with 3.05 kills and 3.47 points per set.
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.
Junior setter Jola Kelner has started the last three matches in place of Kristen Schevikhoven, who has been out with an ankle injury suffered at Colorado. With Kelner running the offense, the Aggies have outhit their opponents a combined .304 to .148 and outblocked them, 3.00 to 1.08.
As a team, A&M is hitting .229 and averaging 13.22 kills, 0.95 aces, 14.11 digs and 2.32 blocks per set for the full season. In Big 12 matches only, A&M is hitting .231 and leads the league with 2.57 blocks per set. In addition, the Aggies are averaging 12.69 kills, 1.07 aces and 13.69 digs per set in league matches.
The Aggies rank second in the Big 12 for opponent hitting percentage in conference matches, as opponents are hitting only .187 against A&M in league matches.
Opponents are hitting .196 and averaging 12.38 kills, 1.0 aces, 14.17 digs and 1.80 blocks for the full season. In Big 12 matches only, opponents are averaging 11.93 kills, 1.14 aces, 13.0 digs and 1.71 blocks per set

• Texas (12-2, 6-1 Big 12), the defending Big 12 co-champion along with Nebraska, is ranked No. 3 in the nation for the sixth consecutive week.
• The Longhorns’ only two losses were against then-No. 2 Stanford on Aug 31 at the Runza AVCA Showcase in Omaha, Neb., and at No. 2 Nebraska in their Big 12 opener on Sept. 20.
• Texas entered the week ranked second in the nation with a .333 hitting percentage and 10th in the country with 14.36 kills per set. In the individual statistics, senior 6-5 middle blocker Lauren Paolini is third in the nation with a .474 hitting percentage.
• In Big 12 matches only, Texas leads the league with a .348 hitting efficiency, 13,88 assists and 15.2 kills per set. In addition, the Horns are allowing opponents 1.4 blocks per set to lead the Big 12.
• Paolini is hitting a conference-best .576, and junior 6-4 outside hitter Destinee Hooker leads the Big 12 with 4.44 kills and 5.22 points per set in Big 12 matches only. In addition, freshman setter Michelle Kocher leads the Big 12 with 12.36 assists per set in conference matches only.
• Most recently, the Longhorns defeated Colorado, 25-19, 25-23, 21-25, 25-20, in Boulder. Sophomore Juliann Faucette led the Horns with 16 kills while hitting .406. Junior Ashley Engle hit .367 with 15 kills, and Paolini (.619) and Hooker (.133) pitched in 14 kills apiece.
• Ashley Engle was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and Michelle Kocher earned her third consecutive Rookie of the Week honor, the Big 12 announced on Monday.
• The Horns return five starters from last year’s team that went 27-4 and ranked No. 6 in the final poll after advancing to the NCAA regional finals.
• Jerritt Elliott (Cal State Northridge ‘91) is 168-60 in his eighth season as head coach of the Horns.

• Texas has won the last seven matches against A&M and is 57-22 in the all-time series since 1976.
• Texas, A&M’s most common opponent, leads the Aggies, 14-10 in Big 12 matches only, 20-12 in matches played in College Station, 30-4 in matches played in Austin and 7-6 in matches played at neutral sites.
• The Aggies’ most recent victory against the Longhorns was Oct. 16, 2004. No. 20 A&M upset No. 9 Texas, 32-34, 30-24, 30-27, 30-21, in front of 3,150 at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
• In the most recent meeting, A&M ended No. 3 Texas’ record-setting streak for consecutive three-game sweeps but fell to the Longhorns, 3-1 (30-27, 30-17, 27-30, 30-22), on Nov. 9, 2007, at Gregory Gym in Austin. Texas, which had won 30 consecutive games en route to a school-record nine straight three-game sweeps, outhit A&M, .431 to .221 for the match. A&M’s Sarah Ammerman led all players with 23 kills, and Mary Batis added 14 for the Aggies. Both completed double doubles with 10 and 13 digs, respectively. Texas was led by Destinee Hooker, who had 22 kills while hitting .432. Juliann Faucette added 20 kills, and Ashley Engle and Brandy Magee added 16 and 10 kills, respectively.

• Senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson, the only A&M player to have played in every set this season, is averaging 1.61 blocks per set over the last four matches and ranks second in the Big 12 with a 1.38 block average in conference matches only. In addition, she is hitting .455 over the last four contests and ranks fifth overall in the league with a .369 hitting efficiency in Big 12 matches only.

• A&M leads the Big 12 with a 2.57 block average in conference matches only. Texas leads the league for allowing the fewest blocks with 1.4 per Big 12 set. A&M is holding Big 12 opponents to a .187 hitting efficiency, ranking second in the league, while Texas leads the Big 12 with a .348 hitting percentage in league play.

• A&M recorded a season-high 16 blocks against Missouri (Oct. 4), which equals 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.

• The Texas match marks the beginning of A&M’s toughest stretch of the season. The Longhorns are the first of five ranked opponents the Aggies will face in the next seven matches. In addition, Baylor, A&M’s next opponent after the Texas match, is receiving votes. A&M will face No. 2 Nebraska and No. 3 Texas twice in the next seven matches, in addition to a match at No. 16 Kansas State.

• The A&M-Texas match is the second competition in this year’s State Farm Lone Star Showdown, the official moniker for all varsity men’s and women’s athletics competitions between the state’s two flagship state institutions. The schools are tied at .5 after the soccer teams finished in a 0-0 tie on Sept. 26 in Austin. A&M won the State Farm Lone Star Showdown for the first time last year, 10.5 – 8.5

• A&M held Tech to a .029 hitting percentage on Saturday, the lowest by an A&M Big 12 opponent since the Aggies held Iowa State to a -.016 hitting efficiency on Sept. 27, 2002. Meanwhile, the Aggies themselves hit a season-high .387 against the Lady Raiders, the highest by an A&M team since the Aggies hit .402 at Kansas on Oct. 6, 2007, a span of 31 matches.

• Junior setter Jola Kelner, who has started the last three matches in place of injured setter Kristen Schevikhoven, has directed the A&M offense to a .304 hitting percentage and a three-match winning streak.

• A&M has been hit hard by injuries lately. Three starters did not see action in the last two matches 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. 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, Kansas and Texas Tech 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 is once again out indefinitely. Bryant and Schevikhoven are questionable for the Texas 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. She has now started the last two matches.

• In spite of A&M’s makeshift lineup, the Aggies hit .311 at Kansas, the Aggies’ highest hitting percentage 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 10th in the Big 12 with 3.80 points per set, surpassed 1,000 points for her career after posting 24.5 points against Oklahoma on Sept. 21. She enters the Texas match with 1086.5 total points, needing 48 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 3.47 points per set and now has 1038 for her career, 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 ninth in the Big 12 with 3.40 kills per set, needs only 39 more to join the 1,000 Kills Club. Ammerman, who is averaging 3.05 kills per set, is currently 95 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 2.47 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 336-152 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 436-258 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.

The Aggies conclude a two-match home stand Friday as they play host to the Baylor Bears. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum. Baylor and A&M enter the week tied for fourth place in the Big 12 standings.
It will be Texas A&M Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night. In addition, the match marks the beginning of a volleyball reunion for all former Aggie volleyball players.

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