COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M extended its win streak to five on Sunday, as the Aggies defeated the No. 24 Missouri Tigers, 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 16-25, 25-22) at Reed Arena. The last time A&M beat back-to-back ranked opponents was in 2014. Both wins came at the Baymont Inn & Suites Invitational, where the Aggies outlasted No. 6 Southern California on Sept. 11 and No. 13 San Diego State on Sept. 12.
The Aggies improved their overall season record to 16-5 and 8-3 in SEC conference action. Missouri falls to 14-6 overall and 6-4 in the SEC.
Sophomore defensive specialist Allison Fields set a season-high in digs, ending with a grand total of 19 on the afternoon. Fields also recorded a service ace and a pair of assists in Sunday’s action.
Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans recorded her 25th career match with 20 or more kills on Sunday, finishing with a total of 21. The Corpus Christi native also recorded eight digs and two service aces in the win.
Junior setter Camille Conner delivered 40 assists in the match, also recording seven digs with a pair of kills and a service ace.
On the defensive side, Taylor Voss, Camille Conner, and Camila Gomez each finished with seven digs apiece. Makena Patterson and Treyaunna Rush each recorded four blocks on the net, while Mallory Talbert rejected three.
Hans started the match off with a pair of kills, giving the Aggies an early 2-0 lead. The Aggies remained in control early on, but Missouri would keep it close thanks to a number of kills. Missouri would go on to take a 19-14 lead off multiple kills and service aces, leading to an Aggie timeout. The Aggies would keep it close and eventually regain their lead for good, winning 25-21 on a 3-0 scoring run. Hans led the team with five kills, while Fields led the set in digs with seven.
The set was tied early in the frame on eight different occasions, leading to a 9-9 score through the first 18 points. Missouri pulled ahead temporarily, but the set remained extremely competitive. A pair of kills and a service ace by Hans would force Mizzou into a timeout with the Aggies leading 18-15. The Tigers would make the final points interesting, but A&M would come out with the 25-21 win. Hans would reach the double-digit mark in the set with four kills, bringing her match total to 10. Connor tallied six assists in the set bringing her match total to 16.
Rush started things off with a powerful kill. Missouri would eventually break away and go on a 13-6 scoring run, leading to a 19-11 lead. Texas A&M would respond with a 3-0 scoring run of its own to force the Tigers into a timeout. Missouri regained control and end the set on a 4-0 run, winning 25-16. Hans logged three kills in the frame, while Rush, Lauren Davis and Patterson would enter two apiece. Fields would add three digs, bringing her total to 13 through three sets.
The fourth set began like the first three, with a close affair in the opening points. A Hans kill marked the beginning of a 6-1 Aggie run, giving A&M an early 8-4 lead. Missouri proceeded to go on a 5-0 scoring run to take a 13-10 lead. Multiple kills by Hans and Talbert slowed the Tigers’ momentum and tied the match at 17-17. Texas A&M pulled ahead by as much as four late in the frame, but Missouri remained close. Regardless, a marvelous kill by Talbert would guarantee the Texas A&M victory in the set and match, 25-22. Hans would fire down an incredible eight kills in the final set to secure the Aggie win. Six digs by Fields led the Aggie defense in the finale.
Texas A&M Post-Match Quotes
Texas A&M Head Coach Bird Kuhn
“Well this was a solid weekend. I’m so proud of this team. They’ve really started to trust their training and execution, and I’m really proud of them for that. They’ve been challenged a lot this season. They’ve had moments where they’ve been challenged internally and externally, and they responded very well.”
On the team’s ability to fight back from a deficit in the first set:
“I think we weren’t executing well to start out, but the team came out and finished that first set on an excellent scoring run. I was laughing when I was talking to Makena (Patterson) at the end of the set, because Trey (Treyaunna Rush) got a kill and we just ran points from there. Those are momentum points. I was proud of the way the team was responding and fighting through the whole match, not just set one.”
On the team’s ability to win key matches against strong opponents:
“This team just battles. It started all the way back last season, and they’ve bought in since then. There are just little things, especially this time of year, where you have to figure out how to inspire them and motivate them, but this group is great. They just want it. For them to start finishing matches like this, that’s where you get that belief deep down in your core that you’re capable of great things.
Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans
On the overall message in-between sets three and four that kept them going
“The main message was just playing our game. We know what to do and we just have to play our game. We have to build that confidence within one another and just close out the game.”
On the team’s ability to rebound against Missouri
“It says a lot because we have worked very hard and grown so much as a team. Everyone is doing their job and playing for each other, which is huge for us. We’ve gotten so much better since we played them last. It’s only going to go up from here. We’re excited.”
Sophomore defensive specialist Allison Fields
On the 11-2 run in the first set
“I mean we are really good at keeping everything balanced. If an opponent goes up two points, that doesn’t really change anything. That’s our rule on this team; just staying balanced. Nothing fazes us. We just have to keep our composure and keep working.”
On the team’s ability to keep the ball up throughout the match
“I think one of our biggest mottos as defenders – it’s us against our opponent’s hitters. Our goal is to keep the ball off the floor as much as possible. I think a huge person that takes on that role is Camila. She is always going for the ball and working hard. You always want to do the same thing for her. We are a team and we work hard together.”
The Aggies remain home when they host Arkansas Friday, Nov. 8. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m. at Reed Arena.
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