COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M senior setter Allie Sawatzky added another triple-double to her résumé while leading the Aggies to a 25-19, 25-21, 25-16 victory over Mississippi State tonight at Reed Arena.
The 6-2 lefty from St. Andrews, Manitoba, Canada, hit a career-high .714 while leading the Aggies with 10 kills and zero errors in 14 attempts. She also added 25 assists and tied for team-high honors with 12 digs to complete her fifth triple-double over the last 11 matches.
With the win, A&M snaps a three-match losing skid and improves to 10-6 overall and 2-3 in Southeastern Conference matches. Mississippi State drops to 9-8, 0-3 SEC.
A&M never trailed in the opening set while outhitting the Bulldogs, .324 to .244. Sophomore outside hitter Sierra Patrick had back-to-back kills and Mariah Agre served an ace as the Aggies broke away from a 5-5 tie. Mississippi State twice got within a point, the last coming at 13-12 before A&M reeled off five unanswered points to take an 18-12 lead.
The Aggies later held a 19-16 advantage when Sawatzky put down two of her six kills in the set, sparking a 4-0 run that put A&M up, 23-16. Mississippi State countered with two kills before sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan got a kill on the slide attack to put A&M at set point, 24-18. A&M committed an error on the next play, but Mississippi State served long to close out the set.
There were 13 ties and five lead changes in the second set. A block by Sawatzky and Sullivan put the Aggies ahead, 11-8, at which point the Bulldogs called a timeout. Mississippi State outscored the Aggies 6-2 coming out of the timeout to take a 14-13 lead. A&M tied the score three times before Patrick’s serve hit the tape and fell over for an ace to give the Aggies a 17-16 advantage. The Bulldogs regained the lead following a block and a kill, but A&M sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak connected on consecutive kills to put the Aggies ahead, 19-18. Mississippi State would tie the score at 19- and 20-all but was unable to retake the lead as redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers took control at the net, getting two blocks and two kills during a 4-1 run that put the Aggies at set point, 24-21. Patrick followed with a kill to cap the 25-21 win, giving A&M a 2-0 lead in the match.
A&M led the entire third set, outhitting the Bulldogs, .200 to -.025. The Aggies used an 8-1 run to build a comfortable 14-5 lead, but Mississippi State fought back and cut the deficit to 17-13. A kill by freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty began a 4-1 rally by the Aggies that gave A&M a 21-14 cushion. Taylor Scott posted her 11th kill of the match to put the Bulldogs within 21-15, but Aggie freshman opposite hitter Kaysie Shebeneck got a kill, senior setter/defensive specialist Mariah Agre served an ace and Sawatzky and Sullivan teamed for a block to put A&M at match point, 24-15. Kimmy Gardiner registered her team-leading 12th kill for the Bulldogs, before Sullivan followed with her seventh kill of the match to close out the victory for the Aggies.
A&M outhit the Bulldogs, .291 to .148 for the match, leading in kills, 42-39. Agre finished with three aces to help the Aggies to a 6-1 advantage in aces, and Sullivan had a career-high seven blocks to pace the Aggies to an 11-3 lead in team blocks.
Agre tied Sawatzky for the team lead in digs with 12, and senior libero Kelsey Kinley pitched in 11 digs.
Mississippi State’s Roxanne McVey led all players with 18 digs.
A&M returns to the road next week, taking on Alabama on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in Tuscaloosa and then facing Auburn Sunday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. in a match that will be televised by SportSouth.
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