COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Texas A&M (5-1) aims to win its second consecutive tournament this weekend as the Aggies conclude their non-conference schedule at the Delaware Invitational, Friday and Saturday at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. A&M, which won the Yale Classic last weekend and is riding a four-match winning streak, opens against Xavier (3-2) on Friday at 9 a.m. (CT) and takes on the host Blue Hens (1-4) later that evening at 6 p.m. (CT). A&M closes out the tournament Saturday against Columbia (1-2) at 3:30 p.m. (CT).
A link to free live stats for all A&M matches will be available at AggieAthletics.com. In addition, live video of the A&M-Delaware match will be provided by 12th Man TV on AggieAthletics.com for a fee.
Sept. 7-8, Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Del.
Tournament Schedule (all times are Central):
Friday, September 7
9:00 a.m. Texas A&M vs. Xavier
11:00 a.m. Delaware vs. Columbia
4:00 p.m. Columbia vs. Xavier
6:00 p.m. Texas A&M vs. Delaware
Saturday, September 8
3:30 p.m. Texas A&M vs. Columbia
6:00 p.m. Delaware vs. Xavier
• Texas A&M and Xavier met for the first time last year at the Michigan/adidas Invitational in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Musketeers topped the Aggies, 25-22, 18-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-11, strapping A&M with its first loss of the season after the Aggies had opened the season with nine consecutive victories.
• Texas A&M will be facing both Delaware and Columbia for the first time in the history of the program.
• Xavier improved to 3-2 with a 3-2 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday. Senior libero Stephanie Vorherr, who had a school-record 46 digs in a 3-2 loss to Ole Miss on August 31, had 20 digs against the Redhawks to give her 1,735 career digs, setting the school’s all-time record for career digs. She is averaging 5.22 digs per set this season.
• Delaware (1-4) advanced to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Championship before falling to four-time defending national champion Penn State. The Blue Hens are off to a 1-4 start in 2012 and most recently fell to Virginia, 3-0, in the final match of the Holiday Inn Jefferson Cup in Charlottesville, Va. All four of Delaware’s losses have been in three sets.
• Columbia is 1-2 after defeating Jacksonville, 3-0, in its last outing. The Lions are led by sophomore outside hitter Caitlin Brenton, who is averaging 3.38 kills per set while hitting .302.
AGGIE QUICK HITS:
• A&M’s opening match against Xavier will mark Laurie Corbelli’s 600th match as head coach of the Aggies.
• Corbelli celebrated the 500th win of her 27-year head coaching career and her 400th victory in her 20th year at the helm of the Aggies in the season-opening win against Texas State. She is now 504-301 overall and 404-195 at A&M.
• Senior opposite Alisia Kastmo will be celebrating her 21st birthday on Friday when the Aggies take on Xavier and Delaware.
• The Aggies are receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll and are listed 31st this week.
• Senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger needs 12 digs to give her 1,177 for her career and move her into 10th in the A&M career records.
• A&M has used the same starting lineup in all six matches thus far: seniors Lindsey Miller and Stephanie Minnerly at middle blocker; senior Alisia Kastmo at opposite; senior Tori Mellinger and junior Heather Reynolds on the outside; and junior Allie Sawatsky at setter. Senior Megan Pendergast has started out every match as the team’s designated libero.
• Lindsey Miller and Allie Sawatzky continued their individual streaks of having started every match of their careers. Miller’s streak stands at 98 consecutive starts, while Sawatzky has started 67 straight.
• Stephanie Minnerly was named the MVP at the Yale Classic after leading the Aggies to a 3-0 record and the tournament title. Heather Reynolds and Allie Sawatzky joined Minnerly on the all-tournament team. It marked the first time Minnerly and Reynolds have received the honor in their careers.
• Miller, who has posted double-figure kills with no errors in two matches this season, leads the team with 2.84 kills, 1.26 blocks and 3.63 points per set. Minnerly leads the Aggies with a .387 hitting percentage, and Pendergast leads in digs (3.79) and aces (0.42) per set. Sawatzky is averaging a team-best 8.45 assists per set.
• As a team, A&M is outhitting its opponents .248 to .150 and averaging 14.2 kills per set to opponents’ 11.4 kill average. The Aggies also are averaging 12.85 assists, 1.4 aces and 16.15 digs per set, while opponents are being held to 10.75 assists, 0.70 aces and 15.1 digs per set. Opponents are narrowly outblocking A&M, 1.7 to 1.6.
• Miller tallied 11 blocks in the Yale Classic to give her 370 total blocks in her career and move her into eighth in the school records.
• Sixteen of 18 players have seen action this season, including five of seven freshmen after freshman defensive specialist Kate Praslicka made her career debut in the sweep against American.
• Pendergast has posted double figures in digs in five of six matches and Kastmo has reached double figures in kills in four matches this season.
• Reynolds and junior defensive specialist Kelsey Kinley both set career highs with 20 digs apiece in the 3-1 victory over Yale. Kinley, who has appeared in every match and 17 of 20 sets this season, had 19 digs for the entire 2011 season.
• Corbelli returns 10 letterwinners – including four starters plus the libero -- from last year’s team that went 23-8 and reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. She also welcomes one transfer and seven highly touted freshmen who represent the 20th-ranked recruiting class in the nation.
• Twelve of A&M’s 29 regular season matches will be against teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA tournament.
• In their inaugural season in the SEC, the Aggies have been picked to finish second in the SEC West behind seven-time defending west champion LSU. Tennessee is projected to win the East Division and the overall SEC title. A&M finished third in the Big 12 with an 11-5 record in 2011.
• Kastmo and Minnerly both have graduated with bachelor’s degrees and are continuing their education as they complete their athletic eligibility. Kastmo graduated in August with a degree in finance and is pursuing a master’s degree in real estate. Minnerly, a fifth-year senior, graduated in December 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in university studies. She is pursuing a second degree, a bachelor’s of science in agricultural leadership and development, and is scheduled to graduate in May 2013.
A&M plays its first-ever SEC match Friday, Sept. 14 as the Aggies play host to Ole Miss at Reed Arena. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. A&M also will host Auburn, Sunday, Sept. 16. Match time against the Tigers is at 1 p.m. at Reed.
Live video of all non-televised home matches will be available on AggieAthletics.com with a subscription. Chelsea Reber will be calling the action.