AUBURN, Alabama -- Texas A&M outside hitter Hollann Hans had 24 kills while hitting .408 to lead the Aggies to a 25-17, 17-25, 25-15, 25-15 victory over Auburn on Halloween night at Auburn Arena.
Texas A&M won its eighth consecutive match in the series against the Tigers and improved to 13-11 for the season, including 6-6 in Southeastern Conference matches, while ending a stretch of four consecutive five-set setbacks. Auburn falls to 10-12 overall and 3-9 in SEC play.
Hans’ 24 kills set an A&M record for most kills in a four-set SEC match and put her within four kills of reaching 1,000 kills for her career. She also had 11 digs to record her sixth consecutive and 13th overall double-double of the season, and she finished with 30.5 points, as the Corpus Christi native added five aces and two blocks.
Junior opposite hitter Sydnye Fields, making her second career start for the Aggies, finished with a career-high seven kills, and sophomore outside hitter Samantha Sanders came off the bench and also added seven kills without an error, hitting . 583 for the match.
Sophomore setter Camille Conner dished out 50 assists, the most in a four-set match this season, while directing the A&M offense to a .359 hitting efficiency. Defensively, senior libero Amy Houser led the way with 17 digs as she extended her streak to 16 consecutive matches with double-figure digs.
Tatum Shipes led the Tigers with 11 kills.
A&M outhit the Tigers, .359 to .231, and led in kills (58-40), assists (53-36), aces (7-3), digs (48-36) and points (72-52). Auburn led in blocks (9-7).
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn
“We finished in four sets. Offensively, Hollann [Hans] had a great match. We still need more balance when there are one-on-one opportunities. Taking care of the little things continues to be our focus. I’m proud of the response and the players for doing their jobs when called upon. Our energy throughout the match was consistent, and that was key in finishing the way we did.”
Set 1 – Texas A&M hit .545 as Hans and Sydnye Fields led the way with four kills each without an error. There were 13 ties and four lead changes early before a block by Fields and London Austin-Roark gave the Aggies a 15-14 lead at the media timeout. Auburn got a kill coming out the timeout but Conner set up Austin-Roark for a crushing kill that gave A&M the lead for good, 16-15. It marked the start of a 6-0 run by the Aggies. Auburn ended the streak with a kill, but Fields and Makena Patterson countered with back-to-back kills to put A&M at set point, 24-16. Auburn fought off one set point with a block before Fields hammered down the set-winning kill.
Set 2 – Auburn never trailed, and the only tie occurred at 1-1 before the Tigers pulled away for an 18-8 lead. Freshman middle blocker Mallory Talbert and Sanders came off the bench to help get the Aggies back within 19-14. The deficit, however, was too big to overcome, and the Tigers, who outhit A&M, .323 to .189, went on to take the set, 25-17.
Set 3 – Hans had eight of A&M’s 13 kills in the frame as A&M cruised to a 25-15 win. Auburn was within 12-10 before a Hans kill marked the start of 9-1 run by the Aggies. A&M, which outhit Auburn, .417 to .182, in the frame, went on to win the set as Sanders closed out the set with a cross-court kill.
Set 4 – Hans had five of her seven kills of the set during a 9-0 run that put the Aggies ahead, 18-7. A&M outhit the Tigers, .382 to .267, and Conner put down an Auburn overpass for the match-winning kill.
The Aggies conclude a three-match road stretch at No. 25 Tennessee on Sunday. First serve is at 4 p.m. (5 p.m. ET) at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, and the match will be televised on ESPNU. A&M will be aiming to avenge a 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12) loss to the Lady Vols when the teams met at Reed Arena on Oct. 19.
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