Aggie Volleyball Must Beat Mizzou Friday

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M (15-14, 10-9 Big 12) concludes the regular season with a crucial, must-win match at Missouri (13-16, 7-12 big 12) on Friday. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. at the Hearnes Center in Columbia Mo.

Stats and subscription-based video will be available at mutigers.com.

The Aggies, who have not won at Missouri since 2003, must defeat the Tigers to finish the season above .500, a requirement to be considered for the NCAA tournament.

Even with a win against the Aggies, Missouri will not be eligible for postseason play, snapping the Tigers’ streak of eight consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

A&M, which entered into a must-win situation with six matches left in the regular season, defeated Texas Tech, 25-19, 25-8, 25-18, Wednesday in what was the final match to be played at G. Rollie White Coliseum for at least three years and possibly permanently. With the win against the Red Raiders, A&M extended its winning streak to five, tying its season high, and is now in a two-way tie with Iowa State for fourth place in the Big 12 standings.

Missouri is coming off a 21-25, 25-16, 25-15, 25-23 loss to No. 3 Texas in Columbia on Wednesday. It was the third consecutive loss by the Tigers, who are in a three-way tie with Colorado and Kansas for eighth place in the Big 12.

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week Sarah Ammerman has paced the Aggies over the last five matches. The junior outside hitter, who is hitting .208 and averaging 3.33 kills and 3.71 points per set for the full season, is hitting .358 and averaging 4.72 kills and 5.17 points per set during the winning streak. Kelsey Black, who averages 2.54 digs for the full season, is averaging 3.67 digs per set over the last five matches, and Jennifer Banse is averaging 3.06 digs over the last five matches compared to a 2.5 dig average for the full season. In addition, middle blockers Darla Donaldson and Kelsey Bryant are averaging 1.06 and 1.00 blocks per set, respectively, over the last five matches compared to 0.96 and 0.83, respectively, for the full season. Furthermore, setter Kristen Schevikhoven is averaging 11.13 assists per set over the last two weeks, compared to 9.91 for the full season. She has directed the Aggie offense to a .291 hitting percentage during the winning streak. A&M was hitting .208 for the season before the five-match run began.

Junior outside hitter Mary Batis leads the Aggies with 3.37 kills per set. She also leads the Aggies with 2.79 digs and 3.80 points per set for the full season.

Laurie Corbelli, who coached her 500th match at A&M on Wednesday, is 342-158 in her 16th year as head coach of the Aggies and 442-264 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 TIGERS

• Missouri’s 3-2 loss at Baylor last week knocked the Tigers out of contention for the NCAA tournament. It marks the end of eight consecutive NCAA appearances by Missouri.

• Missouri, in a three-way tie with Colorado and Kansas for eighth place in the Big 12, fell to No. 3 Texas Wednesday in Columbia. It was the third consecutive loss for the Tigers, tying their longest losing streak of the season.

• One of the younger teams in the league, the Tigers have no seniors on their roster.

• Missouri is 6-4 in home matches this season.

• Three Mizzou players posted double-digit kills against the Longhorns, including Julianna Klein who led all the Tigers with 13 kills. Megan Wilson added 12 kills and Amanda Hantouli pitched in 11.

• Libero Caitlyn Vann, who had 23 digs in the loss to Texas, entered the week ranked second in the Big 12 with 4.90 digs per set.

• Klein leads Missouri with 3.42 kills per set. Weiwen Wang, a preseason All-Big 12 selection, is second on the squad with 2.24 kills and 0.82 blocks per set.

• Wayne Kreklow (Drake ‘80) is 73-47 in his fourth season as head coach of the Tigers.

THE A&M-MISSOURI ALL-TIME SERIES

• A&M leads the all-time series, 20-8, since the teams first met in 1981, including 18-7 in Big 12 matches only.

• The series is knotted at 6-6 in matches played at Hearnes Center, where the Aggies have not won since 2003.

• Three of the last five meetings played at Hearnes have been decided in five sets, including 2003 when A&M got its most recent road victory over the Tigers.

• Last year, Missouri swept the Aggies in Columbia, 30-23, 30-23, 30-28.

• The teams have split the season series in each of the last two years with each team winning on its home court.

• In the most recent meeting, Mary Batis had a career-high 23 kills, including seven in the deciding fifth set, to lead Texas A&M to a 25-27, 25-19, 25-18, 23-25, 15-4 victory over Missouri on Oct. 4 at G. Rollie White Coliseum in College Station. Setter Jola Kelner, who was starting in place of injured Kristen Schevikhoven, directed A&M to a .257 to .154 advantage in hitting percentage and also helped defensively with a career-high 13 digs. Darla Donaldson came within a block of tying her career high, posting a match-high eight as A&M tallied a team season-high 16 blocks. Senior middle blocker Jillian Phillips, who had missed the previous 11 matches with a stress fracture, returned to action against the Tigers and finished with eight kills and three blocks, including two solos. Freshman libero Chelsea Ringel led the Aggies in digs with a career high 18. Jennifer Banse joined the group of four Aggies to reach double figures in digs with 14. Julianna Klein led the Tigers with 20 kills for the match.

QUICK HITS

• A&M received points in the Bison/AVCA Top 25 Poll this week and is listed No. 32. It is the first time the Aggies have been mentioned in the poll since the August 19 preseason poll.

• The Aggies will relocate to Reed Arena, home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams, for at least the next three seasons while personnel from the Memorial Student Center is relocated to G. Rollie during the massive renovation of the MSC. The future status of volleyball’s return to the Holler House will be evaluated upon completion of the renovation.

• The Aggies’ final home match against Texas Tech marked the 500th match of Laurie and John Corbelli’s A&M coaching careers.

• The win against Tech gave the Aggies their fifth consecutive win, equaling their longest winning streak of the season set before Big 12 play began. It also put the Aggies above .500 for the first time since they were 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12 following the sweep against Tech on Oct. 11.

• Sarah Ammerman was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career after leading the Big 12 in points (5.50) and kills (5.00) per set, while averaging a .356 hitting percentage in the Aggies’ two victories last week. Ammerman also was named to Collegiate Volleyball Update’s Top Performers list.

• Junior outside hitter Mary Batis had eight digs against Colorado on Saturday to become only the ninth player in A&M history to record both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career. Batis joined the 100-Kill Club when she posted 11 kills against Kansas on Oct. 25, giving her 1,009 kills for her career. She now has 1,111 kills, ranking 11th in the A&M career records.

• A&M is outhitting its opponents, .291 to .176, during the Aggies five-match winning streak. The Aggies also are averaging 14.39 kills, 2.11 blocks and 16.17 digs per set while allowing opponents 12.0 kills, 1.14 blocks and 14.22 digs per set.

• Junior setter Kristen Schevikhoven, who missed six starts after suffering a severe ankle injury at Colorado on Sept. 27, has started the last nine matches and is averaging 10.61 assists per set since returning to the starting lineup. She is averaging 9.91 assists for the full season. In addition, Schevikhoven recorded 41 assists at Baylor on Nov. 5 to surpass 2,000 assists for her career. In only her second season with the Aggies, Schevikhoven ranks ninth in the A&M career records with 2,099 assists.

• Freshman libero Kelsey Black has posted 20-plus digs in two of the last six matches, including a career-high 24 digs at Oklahoma to tie the team season high. Black leads the team with 2.81 digs per set in Big 12 matches only.

• The match against No. 3 Nebraska on Nov. 5 was A&M’s league-leading 10th match against a ranked opponent this season.

• Senior middle blocker Jillian Phillips, who has missed 23 matches with a stress fracture in her lower leg, got the match-winning kill in the Aggies’ final match at G. Rollie. Phillips, who was seeing action for the first time since playing the final four points at Kansas State on Oct. 29, Last year, Phillips played in every match and led the team and ranked seventh in the Big 12 with 1.21 blocks per game in Big 12 matches.

• A&M has set its season high in hitting percentage in each of the last two matches. The Aggies hit a season-high .402 against Colorado on Saturday, equaling the highest hitting percentage by an A&M team since the Aggies hit .402 at Kansas on Oct. 6, 2007. Against Texas Tech on Wednesday, the Aggies hit .471, which ties for fourth in the A&M all-time records. It is the highest hitting percentage since the Aggies hit an all-time high .533 against Missouri on Sept. 22, 1999.

• A&M held Texas Tech to a .029 hitting percentage in Lubbock on Oct. 11, the lowest by an A&M Big 12 opponent since the Aggies held Iowa State to a -.016 hitting efficiency on Sept. 27, 2002.

• In spite of injury-plagued A&M’s makeshift lineup against Kansas on Oct. 8, the Aggies hit .311, the Aggies’ highest hitting percentage in a five-set Big 12 match since hitting .378 in a five-setter at Missouri on Nov. 26, 2005. In addition, A&M posted 15 blocks, one shy of its season high, which the Aggies set against Missouri in the previous match.

• Mary Batis and Sarah Ammerman each surpassed 1,000 career points earlier this season. Batis, who leads the team with 3.80 points per set, surpassed 1,000 points for her career after posting 24.5 points against Oklahoma on Sept. 21 and now ranks third in the A&M career records with 1,257. Ammerman recorded 15.5 points against Missouri on Oct. 4 to surpass 1,000 points. Ammerman, who is second on the team with 3.71 points per set, now ranks fourth in the A&M records with 1,220 points for her career.

• Kelsey Black and Jennifer Banse share the team-season high for digs with 24. The 24 digs is the most by an A&M player since former libero Holly Clay had 28 at Texas Tech on Oct. 22, 2005, when the 30-point scoring system was being used.

• 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.

NCAA SELECTION SHOW

The NCAA Selection Show to announce the 64-team field is currently scheduled to air on ESPNU on Sunday, Nov. 30 from 9-9:30 p.m. (CST).




 
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