COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M volleyball team concludes its spring exhibition season Saturday as the Aggies participate in the Texas Tornados Spring College Tournament in Houston.
Match play begins at 9 a.m. at the Texas Tornados Training Facility (8835 Wheat Cross Drive). Bracket play begins at 12:30 p.m.
A&M is scheduled to face Louisiana Tech at 9 a.m. followed by a match against UNLV at 10 a.m. Matches are two games to 30 points with a deciding third game to 15 points played if necessary.
“This tournament is going to at least feel a little more official, because a deciding game will be played, teams advance to brackets and there will be a full slate of officials,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “And the fact that there are teams from all over the country with so many different conferences represented is also going to be good. We will have a chance to see so many styles and some very strong programs.”
Twenty-one teams from nine conferences make up the three-team, seven-pool bracket. Pool winners advance to the Gold Bracket; second-place finishers go to the Silver Bracket and third-place teams will compete in the Bronze Bracket.
“Our first tournament of the spring was quite strong, and we’ll be able to gauge our progress since a month ago when we were (at the Pepperdine tournament),” Corbelli said. “I hope that we can get the opportunity to get into a bracket with some very strong teams. The stronger the better for us right now; to play the biggest block, the hardest hitters, the best defenses that we can see during our training season.”
Six of the teams participating in the Tornados tournament are coming off NCAA tournament seasons, including Pacific 10 Conference-representative Southern California, which advanced to the third round and ranked No. 8 in the final poll. Other NCAA tournament teams are Oklahoma (Big 12), LSU (Southeastern Conference), and New Mexico State (Western Athletic Conference), who were all ranked in the final top 25 poll, as well as Alabama (SEC) and Stephen F. Austin (Southland).
“Going against this strong of a group, just some of the offenses that we will see, we will have to really serve them tough and try to take them out of system,” Corbelli said. “And then we’re going to really focus on continuing to work on our blocking. Those are our main goals.”
The complete list of teams (with conference in parentheses) is as follows:
USC (Pac 10)
Baylor (Big 12)
Tulane (Conference USA)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
New Mexico (Mountain West)
Texas Tech (Big 12)
SMU (Conference USA)
New Mexico State (WAC)
Stephen F. Austin (Southland)
Houston (Conference USA)
Wichita State (Missouri Valley)
Rice (Conference USA)
North Texas (Sunbelt)
Louisiana Tech (WAC)
UNLV (Mountain West)
Texas A&M (Big 12)
TCU (Mountain West)
Texas-El Paso (Conference USA)
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students with IDs.