COLLEGE STATION -- Texas A&M (10-14, 5-9 Big 12) returns to action Wednesday to play host to the Iowa State Cyclones (16-10, 8-7 Big 12). First serve is at 6:30 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
It will be “Class of 2012 Appreciation Night” at the Holler House, and MSC FISH will be holding a pre-match carnival in front of G. Rollie featuring free pizza, drinks, games and inflatables.
General admission tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students/youth. Reserved seats are $9 each. Call 1-888-99-AGGIE or go online at 12thManFoundation.com to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets also will be available at G. Rollie White beginning one hour
before the match.
Free audio with Matt Simon calling the action, as well as free video and stats will be available at AggieAthletics.com.
The Aggies, who had a bye on Saturday, are coming off a near-upset against No. 3 Nebraska last Wednesday, falling 15-13 in the fifth set. The match against the Huskers completed a grueling seven-match stretch in which the Aggies faced Nebraska twice, No. 3 Texas twice and No. 16 Kansas State. A&M has dropped to 10th place in the Big 12 standings but is only one win away from Colorado and Missouri, who are tied for sixth place.
Iowa State is coming off a 3-0 loss to No. 4 Texas Wednesday in Ames. The Cyclones are in fourth place in the Big 12 and are the only team other than the top three to have a winning record in conference matches only.
A&M’s Sarah Ammerman enters the match needing only 13 kills to reach 1,000 for her career. The junior outside hitter, who had a match-high and season-high 20 kills against No. 3 Nebraska, will become the 15th player in Aggie history to accomplish the feat, joining current teammate Mary Batis, who joined the 1,000-Kill Club earlier this season.
Batis leads the Aggies and is ranked ninth in the Big 12 with 3.38 kills per set. She also leads A&M with 3.78 points per set for the full season. Ammerman is second on the squad with 3.05 kills and 3.41 points per set.
Senior middle blocker Darla Donaldson, the only A&M player to see action in every set this season, leads the team and is ranked sixth in the Big 12 with 0.98 blocks per set in Big 12 matches only.
Junior setter Kristen Schevikhoven, who missed six starts after
suffering a severe ankle injury at Colorado, has started the last four matches and is averaging 10.12 assists per set since returning to the starting lineup.
Senior Kelsey Bryant, who missed six starts due to a lingering shoulder injury, has played in every set in the last two matches. She had seven kills with no errors along with seven blocks against No. 3 Nebraska.
Freshman Kelsey Black has been the designated libero in the last four matches and has posted double-figure digs in three of the last four contests, including a career-high 23 against the Huskers.
Junior outside hitter Jennifer Banse had 20 digs against Nebraska, the second time she has reached 20 or more digs in her career.
Aggie head coach Laurie Corbelli is 336-158 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 436-263 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.
SCOUTING THE CYCLONES
• Iowa State (16-10, 8-7 Big 12) is in fourth place in the Big 12 and is receiving votes in the Bison/AVCA Top 25 Poll, where the Cyclones are listed 31st.
• The Cyclones, who are 9-3 in home matches but only 3-7 at away matches, went 1-1 last week. ISU defeated Texas Tech, 3-0 Wednesday in Lubbock and then fell to No. 4 Texas, 3-0, Saturday in Ames. Victoria Henson led ISU with 14 kills while hitting .357 against the Horns.
• Henson, a sophomore outside hitter from Leavenworth, Kan., has recorded double-digit kills in each of the last 12 matches and ranks third in the Big 12 with 4.15 kills and 4.56 points per set. She ranks second in the league with 4.23 kills and 4.59 points per set in conference matches only.
• Sophomore libero Ashley Mass had 15 digs against the Longhorns to surpass 1,000 career digs in only her 59th match. She leads the Big 12 and ranks 16th in the nation with 4.98 digs per set for the entire season.
• Junior setter Kaylee Manns leads the Big 12 and ranks fifth in the nation with 11.68 assists per set.
• As a team, ISU is ranked 11th in the country with 13.36 assists per set and 16th in the nation with 14.26 kills per set. The Cyclones are third in the Big 12 with a .247 hitting percentage in conference matches.
• Senior middle blocker Jen Malcom leads the Cyclones with a .381 hitting percentage and 1.2 blocks per set.
• Christy Johnson (Nebraska ‘96) is 72-50 in her fourth season as head coach of the Cyclones. She has led ISU to the NCAA tournament each of the last two seasons, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2007.
THE A&M-IOWA STATE ALL-TIME SERIES
• A&M leads ISU, 23-5, since the teams first met in 1981, including 21-4 in Big 12 matches only. The Cyclones, however, have won four of the last five meetings, including a 3-0 victory against the Aggies in the teams’ conference opener on Sept. 17 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.
• The teams split the season series last year with each team winning on its home floor.
• A&M is 11-1 against ISU in matches played at G. Rollie White Coliseum. ISU’s only win in College Station was in 2006 as the Cyclones completed their first and only Big 12 season series sweep against the Aggies.
• In the most recent meeting, A&M fell to the Cyclones, 25-16, 25-11, 26-24. The Aggies were held to what still is a season-low .062 hitting percentage and suffered their third straight loss at ISU.
Freshman Kelsey Black, who came off the bench to play outside hitter, led the Aggies with seven kills. Jennifer Banse and Chelsea Ringel led A&M in digs with seven each, and Darla Donaldson posted a team-high four blocks.
Ashley Mass led ISU with 18 digs, marking her 38th consecutive match to reach double figures in digs. She also had three aces to lead ISU to an 8-2 advantage in aces. Victoria Henson, the only player on either team to reach double-digit kills with 18, hit .441 to lead ISU to a .214-.062 advantage in hitting percentage.