COLLEGE STATION, Texas- Sarah Ammerman and Kelly Stanton paced a balanced attack with 10 kills apiece as Texas A&M defeated Centenary, 30-15, 30-18, 30-8, in front of 1,186 this afternoon at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
The Aggies improve to 2-0 and remain the frontrunner for the tournament title at the Texas A&M Invitational with only an evening match against Prairie View A&M remaining. Centenary falls to 0-2.
A&M middle blocker Jillian Phillips and outside hitter Jenny Banse both had career highs in kills with eight and seven, respectively. Outside hitter Mary Batis also tallied eight kills, and right-side hitter Kelsey Bryant added seven kills for the Aggies.
“[Balance] is something that we have been striving for,” A&M coach Laurie Corbelli said. “It is nice to see. It is one of the first things that strike me when I look out on the court. I know that when I do make substitutions, there is not going to be a drop-off. Offensively we are able to get the ball to the middle attackers a lot more. We are trying to spread it out and not rely so heavily on our left sides. Balance throughout from the lineup to the execution on the court and where we are attacking our opponents, it is really nice to have.”
Jola Kelner and Kristen Schevikhoven split time distributing the ball from the setter position and posted 19 and 21 assists, respectively.
Defensively, Batis led the Aggies with 10 digs. Libero Jen Moore added nine.
The Aggies scored 11 unanswered points early in the first game to quickly pull away. Ammerman had five kills during the run and finished the game with eight as A&M posted 21 total kills while allowing Centenary only five.
Centenary opened Game 2 with a kill before A&M scored four consecutive points to take the lead for good. The Ladies stayed within a point at 12-11 before three straight Centenary errors put the Aggies up, 15-11. A&M used an 8-1 run to build its biggest lead at 28-16. The teams exchanged points before Stanton executed the slide attack for the game-winning point and her fifth kill of the game.
The Aggies tied a school record for fewest points allowed in a single game, giving up only eight points in Game 3. In addition, A&M came within a point of tying the record for fewest points allowed in a match (40 vs. Lehigh, Sept. 3, 2005).
A&M was flawless on offense in the final frame, posting 13 kills and no errors in 19 attempts for a .684 hitting percentage. Phillips led the way with four kills in four attempts.
Centenary was held to a -.115 in the final game and finished the match with an overall .032 hitting percentage. Ashlee Freeman led the Ladies with 11 kills.
“I was pleased that we came to a noon match ready to go,” Corbelli said. “The team is just finding ways to prepare and is putting an emphasis on preparation, and that is nice to see as a coach that they are taking their mental approach very seriously.”
The Aggies conclude the tournament with a 6:30 p.m. match against Prairie View A&M (1-1).