COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M fell to Alabama, 3-2 (19-25, 25-14, 25-16, 14-25 15-10) in a Southeastern Conference match-up tonight to conclude the Aggies’ three-match homestand at Reed Arena.
The Aggies, playing their third consecutive five-set match and a school-record seventh SEC five-set match this season, fall to 12-10 overall and 5-5 in conference play. It marked A&M’s ninth five-set match in the full season, tying the school record for most five-set matches played in a season in the 25-point scoring cap era.
Alabama earned its first victory against the Aggies in six all-time trips to College Station and improves to 18-6, including 5-5 in SEC matches.
Texas A&M outside hitter Hollann Hans posted a match-high 19 kills and added 13 digs to complete her team leading 11th double-double of the season. 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 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).
A&M begins a three-match road swing on Sunday as the Aggies head to Columbia, Missouri, to take on the Missouri Tigers. First serve is at 1:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena, and the match will be streamed on SEC Network +.
Set 1 – Texas A&M used solid passing to jump out to a 12-7 lead and went on to outhit the Crimson Tide, .405 to .333, in the frame. Alabama got within 18-16 before Hans had a kill from the back row, and junior outside hitter Brookah Palmer followed with a kill as her dig fell in untouched to put A&M up, 20-16. The teams traded points before kills by London-Roark and Hans put A&M ahead, 23-18. An attack error put the Tide within 23-19, but Hans put the Aggies at set point with her seventh kill in the stanza. Austin-Roark followed with her fifth kill to close out the 25-19 win.
Set 2 – Although the Aggies’ passing was effective in the opening set, it broke down in the second set, and Alabama never trailed while outhitting A&M, .250 to .000. The Tide use a 3-0 run to take their largest lead, 22-11, before Austin-Roark led a late charge, combining on two blocks and getting a kill during a 3-0 A&M run that put the Aggies within 22-14. That would be A&M’s final push, as the Aggies committed three consecutive attack errors to give Alabama the set, 25-14, and even the match at a set apiece.
Set 3 –Alabama carried the momentum into third set, leading start to finish after A&M spotted the Tide a 7-0 lead to begin the set. Alabama took advantage of the Aggies’ passing woes and outhit A&M, .278 to .125, to win the set, 25-16, and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set 4 – It was A&M that led the entire set as the Aggies jumped out to a 4-0 lead and continued to pull away while outhitting Alabama, .188 to -.133. A&M later used a 10-2 surge to build a 15-5 advantage. The Tide could get no closer than eight points and trailed 21-13 when back-to-back kills by Palmer and Patterson and an ace by Haley Slocum put A&M at set point, 24-13. A&M had a service error before the set ended on an Alabama attack error.
Set 5 – Alabama jumped out to a 7-2 lead, but A&M went on a 4-0 run to get within 7-6, forcing Alabama to call a timeout. The Tide recorded three consecutive kills coming out of the timeout before Patterson broke the streak with a kill. A&M, however committed back-to-back errors to put Alabama up, 12-7. The Tide later led, 14-8 before Patterson and Austin-Roark had consecutive kills to put A&M within 14-10, but Alabama setter Mylana Byrd ended the comeback attempt, as she dumped the ball over for the match-winning kill.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn
“We made too many errors. It’s a game of momentum, and we didn’t execute or hold on to the momentum when we had it. Alabama defended well and earned points when they had opportunities. Finishing is our biggest challenge.”