Texas A&M closes out road slate at Alabama

By  | 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M Aggies (15-13, 8-8 SEC) at Alabama (19-11, 6-10 SEC)

Wednesday, Nov. 21, 7 p.m.

Foster Auditorium

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Stream: SEC Network +

Twitter Updates: @AggieVolleyball

Texas A&M (15-13, 8-8 SEC) plays its final road match of the season Wednesday as the Aggies face a rematch against Alabama (19-11, 6-10 SEC) at Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. First serve is a 7 p.m., and the match will be streamed on SEC Network +.

The Aggies, who fell to the Crimson Tide, 3-2, when the teams met on Oct. 26 at Reed Arena, have won their last two matches and are coming off a 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 25-14, 25-22) victory at Mississippi State on Sunday. Texas A&M, in sixth place in the Southeastern Conference standings, closes out the season on Friday at home against LSU.

Alabama is coming off a 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15) loss at Ole Miss on Sunday and is in eighth place in the SEC standings. The Crimson Tide close out the regular season on Friday as they play host to Arkansas.

Several Texas A&M season records are on the verge of being broken this week:

· Junior outside hitter Hollann Hans needs only one ace to tie and two to break the all-time program record of 59 aces in a season. The record, held by Chris Zogata, has stood since 1983, and is the program’s longest standing all-time season record.

· Sophomore setter Camille Conner has 1,175 assists this season and needs 12 assists to tie and 13 to break the record for most assists in the 25-point rally scoring era, which began in 2008. Allie Sawatzky is the current record holder with 1,187 assists in 2011.

· Senior libero Amy Houser needs only 20 digs to tie and 21 to break the 25-point rally scoring era record for digs in a season, currently held by Tori Mellinger, who had 467 digs in the 2010 season. Houser’s 447 digs this season currently ranks seventh in the program’s all-time season records.

TEXAS A&M-ALABAMA SERIES HISTORY

· Texas A&M leads Alabama, 8-4, in the all-time series which began in 1993.

· The Aggies hold a 6-4 lead against the Crimson Tide since the teams first met as SEC foes in 2012. The Aggies are 2-3 when playing at Alabama, including a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 25-15) A&M victory when the teams last met in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 25, 2017, in what was both teams’ season finale.

· Earlier this season, Alabama recorded its first-ever victory against the Aggies in College Station, defeating A&M, 3-2 (19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 14-25, 15-10) on Oct. 26 at Reed Arena.

· A&M is now 5-1 against the Crimson Tide in matches played in College Station.

· In the most recent meeting, Texas A&M fell to Alabama, 3-2 (19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 14-25 15-10) at Reed Arena. The match was the Aggies’ fourth of five consecutive five-set matches played.

· A&M outside hitter Hollann Hans posted a match-high 19 kills and added 13 digs. The junior also had two aces to give her a school-record 26 aces in SEC matches this season, breaking the previous record of 24 which she set last season. Middle blockers Makena Patterson and London Austin-Roark joined Hans in double-figure kills with 13 apiece, and Austin-Roark had a team-high seven blocks. Aggie sophomore setter Camille Conner recorded her ninth double-double of the season with 43 assists and 17 digs, tying senior libero Amy Houser for the team lead in digs.

· Overall, 14 players saw action for the Aggies, including Sydnye Fields and Skylar Scott, who made their first career appearances in an SEC match.

· Haley McSparin led the Crimson Tide with 14 kills while hitting .462 as Alabama outhit A&M, .201 to .165 for the match.

· A&M led Alabama in kills, 63-52, but committed a then season-high 33 attack errors. The Aggies also led in attempts (182-164), assists (55-46) digs (84-78) and points (75-66), while Alabama led in aces (5-3) and blocks (10-9).

TEXAS A&M NOTES

· With 15 wins on the season, A&M already has five more wins than it totaled in the entire 2017 season.

· A&M has played 115 sets this season with three matches remaining. The Aggies played 88 total sets in the entire 2017 season.

· With two matches remaining, A&M will finish the season having played in at least 121 sets. The last time A&M played in more than 121 sets in a season was 2003, when the Aggies played 125 sets in 33 matches after reaching the NCAA regional semifinals.

· Three of A&M’s five matches against ranked opponents have been decided in five sets, including narrow 3-2 SEC losses against No. 11 Florida, No. 15 Kentucky and No. 24 Missouri.

· Six of A&M’s eight conference losses have been in five-set matches. The other two losses were in four sets.

· A&M has played a program-record 11 five-set matches in 2018, breaking the previous record of nine five-set matches played in 1988, 2005, 2010 and 2014.

· A&M has played a program-record nine SEC five-set matches, surpassing the previous record of six five-set matches played in both the 2012 and 2014 SEC seasons.

· A&M is 3-8 in five-set matches, including 3-6 in SEC five-set matches only.

· Six of A&M’s nine matches in October were decided in five sets, including a streak of five consecutive five-set matches.

· For the season, A&M is 3-8 in five set matches, 6-3 in four-set matches and 6-2 in three-set matches.

· In SEC matches only, A&M has played more five-set matches than three- and four-set matches combined.

· In SEC matches only, the Aggies are 3-6 in five-set matches, 3-2 in four-set matches and 2-0 in three-set matches.

· Texas A&M is 6-5 in home matches, including 4-4 in SEC home matches.

· Texas A&M is 4-8 in true road matches, including 4-4 in SEC road matches.

· A&M is outhitting its opponents, .227 to .208 in all matches but is being outhit, .229 to .224 in SEC matches only.

· Despite a win at Mississippi State on Sunday in the Aggies’ only match of the week, A&M dropped six spots to No. 94 in the most recent NCAA RPI (rating percentage index), released on Monday.

TEXAS A&M IN THE SEC

· Texas A&M is in sixth place in the SEC standings with an 8-8 conference record.

· A&M was picked to finish eighth in the SEC in 2018, according to a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.

· A&M is two matches behind fifth-place South Carolina, which closes out the season on the road against 11th-ranked Kentucky, which is undefeated in SEC play and has already staked claim to at least a share of the SEC championship, and No. 13 Florida.

· Texas A&M junior outside hitter Hollann Hans was named to the nine-member 2018 Preseason All-SEC Team, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.

· Six of A&M’s eight SEC wins this season have been against teams that were predicted to finish above the Aggies, according to the preseason poll. A&M has two 3-2 victories against Georgia as well as a 3-2 win at LSU. Both of those teams tied for fourth in the preseason poll. The Aggies also have two wins against Auburn, which was picked to finish sixth, and a sweep against Arkansas, picked to finish seventh.

· A&M went 7-11 in conference matches last season to finish in ninth place in the SEC.

· With the win at Mississippi State on Sunday, A&M improved to 8-8 in SEC matches and surpassed the total number of SEC wins it had last season with two matches remaining.

· A&M’s best season in the SEC was 2015, when the Aggies, despite dropping their conference season opener to Arkansas, went 16-2 to capture the SEC title, A&M’s first conference championship in program history.

· In their inaugural SEC season opener, the Aggies defeated Ole Miss on Sept. 14, 2012, at Reed Arena, marking Texas A&M’s first SEC victory in any sport. The Aggies went on to finish 16-4, winning the SEC Western Division and placing second overall.

· Texas A&M is 85-41 (.675) all-time in SEC matches only.

· The Aggies are 44-20 (.688) all-time in SEC home matches and 41-21 (.661) in SEC away matches.

AGGIE PLAYER NOTES

· Hollann Hans needs two aces to give her an all-time school season record 60 aces, breaking the 35-year old record of 59 aces in a single season held by Chris Zogata since 1983.

· Hans’ 58 aces ranks second in the all-time school records and is the most in a season by an A&M player during the 25-point rally scoring era.

· Hans needs only two kills to tie and three to break the A&M record of 701 kills in an SEC career, held by Jazzmin Babers, who played in 266 SEC sets from 2013-16.

· Hans ranks eighth in the nation with 0.52 aces per set, having tallied 58 aces in 112 sets played. Even if the last two matches go five sets each and she does not record another ace, Hans will finish the season with at least a 0.48 ace average to break the all-time school record of 0.46 aces per set in a season, held by A.D. Achilefu since 2001.

· Hans has broken a combined 17 A&M career, season and match records this season and is on pace to break several more. (See Hans’ individual player page for complete list of records broken and records approaching.)

· Hans became the 19th player in program history to join the Aggies’ 1,000-kills club on Nov. 4, posting 14 kills at Tennessee to give her 1,010 for her career.

· Despite A&M playing a record-setting 11 five-set matches, Hans is ranked second in the SEC and 14th in the nation with 5.10 points per set.

· Hans is third in the SEC with 5.15 points per set in SEC matches only.

· Hans entered the week ranked 22nd in the nation and third in the SEC and with 4.31 kills per set in all matches.

· She ranks fourth in the SEC with 4.24 kills per set in league play.

· Hans leads the SEC with 10 double-doubles in SEC matches only. She is second in the league with 14 double-doubles for the full season.

· Hans has posted double-figure kills in each of the last 15 matches and in 25 of 27 matches played.

· She has reached the 20-kill milestone a team-high 14 times, including in 10 of the last 15 matches.

· Hans recorded the first 20-20 of her career with match highs of 22 kills and 21 digs against Tennessee on Oct. 19.

· Her 32 kills and 34 points at No. 11 Florida (10/5) are school records in the 25-point scoring era and broke the previous record which she held with 28 kills and 32.5 points against Penn State in 2017.

· Hans also set a school record with eight aces against Georgia on Sept. 23, breaking the previous A&M all-time record of six, reached 12 times, most recently accomplished in 2013.

· Her eight aces against Georgia are the most by an SEC player in all matches this season, and her 32 kills against Florida ties for first in conference matches only.

· Hans has served at least one ace in 16 of the last 17 matches and in 23 of 27 matches played in 2018.

· She has a school-record 42 aces in the SEC season, breaking the previous school record of 24 aces in an SEC season, which she set last year.

· Hans, only a junior, already has a school-record 83 aces in her SEC career, shattering the previous record of 46 set by Shelby Sullivan (2012-15).

· She is second on the team in digs per set (2.54 dps) for the full season and in SEC matches only (2.72 dps).

· Hans proved she also can block as she recorded a career-high and match-high eight blocks at Missouri. Her career-high three block solos are the most in a match by an A&M player this season, and it ties the A&M record for most solo blocks in a five-set SEC match.

· Sophomore setter Camille Conner and freshman middle blocker London Austin-Roark are the only two A&M players who have started every match this season.

· Conner has started every match and played in every set in her two-year career, and she is the only player who has appeared in all 115 sets in 2018.

· Conner has 1,175 assists this season and needs 13 assists to break Allie Sawatzky’s 2011 school record for assists in a season in the 25-point rally scoring era.

· Conner is the only player in the SEC to record a triple-double this season.

· Conner had 46 assists and career highs of 18 digs and 13 kills while hitting .385 in the Aggies’ 3-2 win at LSU on Sept. 30. It was Conner’s second triple-double of her career, as she was one of only two players in the SEC to accomplish the feat in 2017, having tallied 12 kills, 12 digs and 43 assists against No. 5 Penn State (Sept. 2, 2017).

· Conner came within one dig of posting a triple-double in both a 3-1 win against Ole Miss on Nov. 11 and a 3-2 victory against Georgia on Sept. 23.

· Conner had 10 kills without an error in 15 attempts against the Rebels for a .667 hitting efficiency. It is the highest hitting percentage in a match (minimum 10 kills) by an A&M player this season.

· Conner is third in the SEC with 10.22 assists per set for the full season and is fourth in the league with 10.14 assists per set in SEC play only.

· Conner is second on the team and tied for second in the SEC with eight double-doubles in SEC matches only.

· She is second on the team and tied for fifth in the SEC with 11 double-doubles in all matches.

· Team captain Amy Houser, the only senior on the team, has started every match as the designated libero and has played the position in all but one set.

· Houser needs only 20 digs to tie and 21 to break the 25-point rally scoring era record for digs in a season, currently held by Tori Mellinger, who had 467 digs in the 2010 season.

· Houser’s 447 digs this season currently ranks seventh in the program’s all-time season records.

· Houser has reached double-figure digs in 20 consecutive matches and in 25 matches overall this season.

· Houser has tallied 20 or more digs in a team-leading seven matches, including a career-high 26 digs against South Carolina on Nov. 9.

· Houser is seventh in the league with 3.92 digs per set in SEC matches only and eighth in the SEC with 3.92 digs per set for the full season.

· Houser’s point-saving play at set point in the third set at Georgia on Oct. 14 was No. 5 on ESPN SportCenter’s Top 10 plays of the day and was NCAA Volleyball’s No. 2 play of the week.

· Houser recorded the first double-double of her career in the 3-2 win at LSU (Sept. 30), posting a career-high 11 assists and tying her career best with a match-high 24 digs.

· Houser had a match-high 19 digs in the three-set victory over Arkansas, tying a school record for most digs by an A&M player in a three-set SEC match.

· Middle blocker London Austin-Roark, who has started all 28 matches, leads A&M with 0.91 blocks per set in conference matches only.

· She also leads A&M with 0.82 blocks per set in all matches.

· Austin-Roark led A&M with 11 kills in the 3-1 win at Mississippi State. It was the 10th time this season she has posted double-figure kills, including the fifth time in the last seven matches.

· Austin-Roark had a career-high nine blocks against Georgia on Sept. 23. It still is the most blocks by an A&M player this season.

· Sophomore middle blocker Makena Patterson leads A&M and is ranked seventh in the SEC with a .339 hitting percentage in conference matches only.

· Patterson played the last two sets at Mississippi State and hit .556 with seven kills.

· After having appeared in only one match over the first nine matches of the season, sophomore pin hitter Samantha Sanders has appeared in 18 of the last 19 matches, having seen action on both the right and left sides.

· Freshman defensive specialist Allison Fields has started 22 of 28 matches and has posted double-figure digs 11 times, including a career-high 20 digs against Missouri State.

· Junior Sydnye Fields, a transfer from North Carolina, has played in each of the last seven matches with four starts at opposite hitter, the first starts of her A&M career.

· Freshmen defensive specialist Taylor Voss has seen action in each of the last 25 matches and appeared in the starting lineup for the first time in her career in each of the last three matches.

· Freshman middle blocker Mallory Talbert drew the starting nod in each of the last four matches. It marks her first starts in an SEC match.

· Talbert reached double-figure kills for the first time in her career with 10 kills in the 3-1 victory against Ole Miss last Sunday.

· Freshmen middle blockers London Austin-Roark and Mallory Talbert and freshman lefty setter Kaitlyn Rogers all graduated high school early and participated in A&M spring drills and also went on the team’s foreign training tour to Europe in May.

ALABAMA QUICK HITS

· Alabama, 19-11 overall, is 6-10 in conference matches and in eighth place in the SEC standings, two matches behind sixth-place Texas A&M.

· Alabama, 9-6 in home matches only, was picked to finish 12th in the league according to a preseason poll of the SEC head volleyball coaches.

· With two matches remaining, the Crimson Tide have surpassed their total wins from last season in which they went 18-14.

· Alabama is No. 63 in the NCAA RPI, released Monday.

· Alabama leads the SEC with 16.07 digs per set for the full season and 17.03 digs per set in conference matches only.

· In their most recent action, the Crimson Tide fell to Ole Miss, 3-1 (25-18, 22-25, 25-16, 25-15), as the Rebels completed the season series sweep.

· Three Alabama players posted double-figure kills, including Ginger Perinar and Hayley McSparin, who had 12 kills each.

· Four Alabama players recorded double-digit digs, including senior libero Quincey Gary, who had a team-high 19 digs against the Rebels.

· Gary ranks third in the SEC with 4.56 digs per set in conference matches.

· Four players have started all 30 matches: middle blockers Cidavia Hall and Hayley McSparin, setter Meghan Neelon and outside hitter Doris Carter.

· Junior outside hitter Ginger Perinar leads the team with 3.19 kills and 3.55 points per set in all matches.

· Alabama won its first 11 matches of the season, marking its best start since becoming an NCAA program in 1989. On Sept. 10, Alabama was No. 25 in the AVCA Top 25 Poll, marking the first time in program history Alabama appeared in the AVCA top-25 rankings.

· Ryan Freeburg was named interim head coach after former head coach Ed Allen, who was in his eighth season as head coach at Alabama, resigned on Nov. 9.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

· A&M closes out the season Friday, Nov. 23 at noon against LSU at Reed Arena. It will be Senior Day, and lone senior and team captain Amy Houser will be honored.

· Several promotions will be offered on match day:

o FREE Friday: Bring your 11/24 football game ticket to receive FREE admission.

o Bring Your “A” Game: Show your report card with an “A” (or equivalent mark) to receive FREE ADMISSION. Only available as a walk-up sale on the day of the event. No advance purchases.

o Tripleheader (VB, WBB, MBB): Fans are encouraged to stay for all three events with their purchased ticket, which serves as a GA ticket to the non-purchased games.

o Tripleheader Giveaway: Texas A&M wrapping paper to be given out at the main entrance 12th Man marketing table in Reed Arena all day long.

o Concessions Special: Half-off Aggie nachos