No. 25 Texas A&M Sweeps Arkansas in Dominant Fashion
Texas A&M volleyball extended its conference win streak to six on Friday night, as the Aggies swept the Arkansas Razorbacks (25-10, 25-18, 25-13). With the win, the Aggies established their longest conference win-streak since 2016, where the Aggies rattled off eight-straight from Oct. 21 to Nov. 16.
The Aggies continued their climb in the SEC standings, rising to 17-5 overall and 9-3 in conference play. Arkansas falls to 8-16 on the season with a 2-10 record in SEC action.
Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans notched her eighth double-double of the season against Arkansas, putting in 13 kills and 10 digs to go along with a pair of assists and a service ace. Hans also finished with a .375 hitting clip on the evening.
Junior middle blocker Makena Patterson performed magnificently in Friday’s win, earning a career-high in assists with three. She also came up one block shy of her career best with seven. The Phoenix, Ariz. native added nine kills and finished the evening with a total of 13.5 points.
Junior setter Camille Conner put in an excellent effort on Friday, delivering 29 assists to go along with eight digs, four blocks and three kills.
Defensively, the Aggies submitted one of their strongest performances of the season, holding the Razorbacks to a negative hitting percentage. This is the first such game for A&M in the 2019 season, forcing Arkansas to a -.011 hitting clip. Statistically, Mallory Talbert and Treyaunna Rush each added four blocks apiece. Senior libero Camila Gomez and sophomore defensive specialist Allison Fields recorded seven and six digs respectively.
Patterson and Rush opened the match with a number of blocks, giving A&M an early 3-0 lead. After a powerful start with kills by Conner and Hans, the Aggies forced Arkansas into a timeout, leading 10-3. The Aggies’ dominance persisted throughout the first frame, never trailing and leading by as much as 15. A&M would go on to defeat Arkansas 25-10 in the first frame. Rush led the Aggies with four kills, while Patterson led in blocks with four. Conner delivered 11 assists and led the Aggies in digs with four in the first set.
The Aggies opened the second set with an early 3-1 advantage, but Arkansas would battle back and eventually lead by as much as four. Spectacular work from Hans on the service line would see A&M tie the frame at 13-13. A second touch kill by Conner capped off a strong run by the Aggies, forcing the Razorbacks into a timeout trailing 19-14. The Aggies would maintain their lead, defeating Arkansas 25-18. Hans finished the second set with four additional kills, bringing her match total to seven. Hans also added six digs in the frame, bringing her total to nine.
A&M got out to a strong 3-0 start with a pair of kills and a block by Patterson. A trio of kills by Hans gave the Aggies a 7-2 advantage and forced Arkansas into a timeout. After the break, Arkansas showed life, but strong work on the net by Conner and Patterson helped the Aggies maintain control. An attack error by Arkansas would close the set and match for the Aggies, winning 25-13. London Austin-Roark and Morgan Davis would each register a kill in the set, while Haley Slocum delivered up three assists in the closing frame.
Texas A&M Post-Match Quotes
Texas A&M Head Coach Bird Kuhn
“I am more proud of that win tonight than some of the others just because of the response this team had and the true team feeling. We were able to put everyone in and they were able to execute at such a high level. That just speaks to our team and their mentality they have been able to carry this season.”
On Makena Patterson’s performance tonight…
“Makena has learned how to balance herself. She knows what she needs to be doing offensively, defensively and owning all her blocks. That has happened over time and now she has stayed consistent enough to play both sides of the court to find ways to score. It’s her mindset that she is in control and that’s been the biggest change.”
Junior Middle Blocker Makena Patterson
On what has been the biggest change from last year to this year…
“Working hard in the spring and in the offseason has made it a lot easier on myself. Staying discipline has been a big thing that I have had to focus more on this year than ever before. It’s not about the guessing game anymore. It’s about my playing and making those big moves to stay discipline.”
On what it means to be the SEC leader in blocks…
“It feels as though everything is finally paying off, which is so amazing.”
Senior Outside Hitter Hollann Hans
On the key moments to take away the win…
“We all knew who we were keying in on the other side of the court tonight. Makena [Patterson] did an amazing job shutting down the biggest hitter for them, which made it a lot easier for us in the background to play our game.”
On what it means to have the longest winning conference streak since 2016…
“That is awesome. We came out focused on this game tonight and are happy with this win. We are already looking towards LSU this weekend and staying in the mindset of playing one game at a time.”
The Aggies hit the road to take on LSU Sunday, Nov. 10 in Baton Rouge. First serve is set for 3 p.m. at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
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