COLUMBIA, South Carolina -- After playing three consecutive matches at home, the Texas A&M volleyball team secured a 3-1 win (25-22, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16) over South Carolina Wednesday night at the Carolina Volleyball Center.
With tonight’s win, A&M improves to 21-6 overall and 13-4 in the SEC, while South Carolina drops to 18-11 and 10-7 in conference action. The Aggies are now 6-5 on the road and 9-1 in four-set matches.
Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans smashed down 20 kills on a .375 clip to record her 10th match of the season with 20 or more kills. Hans has also logged 23 straight matches in double figure kills.
Junior setter Camille Conner had yet another standout match, finishing just two digs shy of a triple-double. Conner finished with 10 kills, hitting .556 and dished out 34 assists to register her ninth double-double of the season.
The freshman duo of Treyaunna Rush and Lauren Davis slammed down nine and eight kills, respectively.
The Aggies were strong defensively, with three players finishing with double-digit digs. Freshman defensive specialist Karly Basham logged a career-high 15 digs, while tying her career-high in assist with five. Senior libero Camila Gomez notched her 19th career match in double figures after collecting 14 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Voss recorded 10 digs and two aces for the Aggies as well. Junior middle blocker Makena Patterson led A&M with eight blocks, tying her career-high with two solo blocks.
Taylor Voss started the match with an ace. Back-to-back points by Hans would help the Aggies take a 7-4 lead. Kills by Lauren Davis, Hans and Rush would keep A&M’s three-point lead until a 3-0 run by the Gamecocks knotted the frame at 16. South Carolina errors followed by a solo block by Lauren Davis gave the Aggies some momentum to go ahead 19-16, forcing the Gamecocks to call timeout. Conner would extend A&M’s run to four, but South Carolina pulled within one, 21-20. A kill by Hans gave the Aggies set point and a South Carolina attacking error sealed the first frame, 25-22. Hans led A&M with five kills, while Conner dished out eight assists and Karly Basham led the defense with five digs.
Patterson would put the Aggies on the board first with a kill, but South Carolina would hold a two-point lead for most of the frame. A&M continued to battle to pull within one, but a trio of errors by the Aggies gave South Carolina a 17-13 advantage. The Gamecocks took their largest lead of the frame, 21-17. A service error by the Gamecocks and an ace by Gomez would see the Aggies come within one, 22-21. Conner’s kill and a block by Patterson and Rush halted the Gamecocks’ set point twice, but an error by the Aggies would see South Carolina tie the match with a 25-23 win. Hans smashed down five kills to add to her total of 10.
South Carolina had a 3-0 lead to begin the frame, as the Aggies fell behind early. A&M stormed back to take its first lead after Hans fired down back-to-back kills. Hans began a 6-1 run for the Aggies to go on top 15-11, which included kills by Rush and an ace by Sabrina Sustala. A&M controlled its lead and a block by Conner and Patterson gave the Aggies set point. South Carolina was able to put down one more kill, but Conner closed out the frame with her eighth kill of the evening, 25-22. Rush was unstoppable after slamming down six kills. Gomez and Conner were solid on defense, recording four digs apiece.
The Gamecocks once again opened the set with a 4-0 run, but A&M used a 5-1 run to hold a 13-9 advantage. A block by Patterson and Rush would put A&M ahead by five, 14-9. The Aggies were unstoppable with Hans and Lauren Davis smashing down kills to put A&M on top 20-13. A 3-0 run helped the Aggies climb to a 23-14 lead. The Gamecocks stayed alive with two consecutive points, but kills by Rush and Hans solidified the set, 25-16. Hans led the Aggies with six kills, while Conner dished out eight assists in the fourth frame.
Texas A&M Post-Match Quotes
Head Coach Bird Kuhn
On the meaning of tonight’s road win…
“It was a big time road win and a team win. They earned every point and it was huge for us. We had some key swings out of system and in system, but we’re heading to Gainesville [Florida] feeling good – road warrior style. We just have to keep executing at a high level.”
On the defense tonight…
“The defense was stellar. It started with our block, but the back row grinded. Karly [Basham] was huge for us. She’s really been playing consistent the last few matches, and Makena’s [Patterson] blocking is great. For her to be that consistent, it’s so solid for our defense.”
The Aggies conclude their regular season with a match against the No. 15 Florida Gators on Saturday, Nov. 30. First serve is set for 3 p.m. (CT) at the Exactech Arena.
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