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    SEC Volleyball Roundup: Thursday, September 5

    THURSDAY VOLEYBALL RESULTS
    Texas A&M 3, Loyola Marymount 1
    Texas A&M 3, Lamar 0
    Missouri 3, Fairfield 0
    Florida 3, UTSA 0
    Tennessee 3, Chattanooga 0
    Kansas 3, Arkansas 2
    Green Bay 3, Auburn 2

     

    Texas A&M Fends Off Loyola Marymount

    SAN ANTONIO -- Sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak had a career-high 18 kills to lead Texas A&M to a 25-19, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23 victory over a scrappy Loyola Marymount team today in the Aggies’ UTSA Classic opener at the Convocation Center.

    Sophomores Sierra Patrick and Shelby Sullivan, also reach double figures in kills with 12 and 11, respectively, as the Aggies improve to 3-1.

    LMU, led by Litara Keil’s 18 kills, falls to 2-2.

    Back-to-back kills by Sullivan and Lowak gave the Aggies a 9-8 lead in the opening set. Although the Lions tied the score at 10, A&M used a 4-0 run to begin to pull away. After LMU scored two points to get within 14-12, Aggie setter Allie Sawatzky put down a LMU overpass for a kill, sparking a 6-1 run which lifted the Aggies to a 20-13 lead.

    LMU later cut the gap to 22-17 on consecutive errors by the Aggies, but the Lions then served into the net to give the Aggies a 23-17 advantage. The teams traded sideouts to close out the frame, with LMU hitting wide to end the set.

    In the second set, A&M struggled to get into system and was able to tie the score only once and unable to ever take a lead. With the score tied at 7-7, LMU mounted its first of three three-point rallies to begin to pull away. The Lions would build their largest lead at 20-12 after Keil posted one of her seven kills in the set. A&M got within 21-16 after LMU hit into the net, but the teams exchanged point for point over the next five plays. With LMU at set point, 24-18, Keil put down the set-winning kill to even the match at 1-1.

    The Aggies used a 7-1 run early in the third set to take a 9-5 lead. A&M, which outhit the Lions, .238 to .149, in the set, never trailed and used a 4-0 rally to build its biggest lead at 19-12. LMU chipped away at the lead and got within 23-21 following a three-point spurt, but Lowak unleashed on a LMU overpass to put the Aggies at set point. Patrick followed with a kill to win the set and give A&M a 2-1 lead in the match.

    LMU used a five point run to take a 12-8 advantage in the fourth set when A&M began a comeback. The Aggies cut away at the lead and trailed 16-15 when Sullivan and Babers had back-to-back kills, giving the Aggies their first lead since 8-7. LMU later regained the lead at 20-19 following a 3-0 run, but A&M countered with a three-point run of its own, with Babers tying the score with a kill and then teaming with Emily Hardesty for a block to put A&M ahead, 21-20. Patrick closed out the run, tooling the LMU block for a kill that put A&M up, 22-20.

    The teams began trading points, with an LMU ball handling error putting the Aggies at match point. The Lions staved off one match point before Patrick sealed the victory with a kill.

    Senior libero Kelsey Kinley led the Aggies with 15 kills and setters Mariah Agre and Sawatzky finished with 12 digs apiece. Sullivan and Hardesty tied for match-high honors in blocks with four each.

    A&M outhit LMU, .210 to .189, in the match and narrowly led in kills, 57-55. LMU led in digs (77-75) and blocks (8-7) and both teams tallied four aces each.

    The Aggies return to the court tonight at 7 p.m. to face Lamar. The Cardinals fell to host UTSA, 3-0, in their first match of the tournament. Live audio and stats will be available at AggieAthletics.com.


    Texas A&M Sweeps Lamar

    SAN ANTONIO -- Texas A&M won its second match of the day, sweeping Lamar 25-12, 25-17, 25-15, to improve to 2-0 at the UTSA Classic at the Convocation Center.

    Fourteen players contributed in the victory, including junior defensive specialist Hannah Hood, who made her first career start, and redshirt freshman opposite hitter Darby Graff, who made her collegiate debut.

    Despite the constantly changing lineup, the Aggies outhit Lamar, .295 to .036 for the match. A&M sophomore outside hitter Angela Lowak led all players with 10 kills while playing in two sets, and senior libero Kelsey Kinley took match-high honors in digs with 11. Sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan had a career-high five aces and tied redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers for team-high honors in blocks with four.

    A&M scored seven consecutive points to open the match and never looked back. Lamar, which was outhit .500 to .045 in the frame, got within five points at 8-3, but the Aggies quickly pulled away. A&M held a 19-11 lead when Lowak posted one of her four kills of the set, sparking a 3-0 run. A serve into the net only temporarily broke up the run, as Babers immediately returned the serve to A&M with a kill. Sierra Patrick then clinched the set for A&M with a kill down the line.

    The Aggies outhit Lamar, .333 to -.031, to take the second set. The Cardinals held a 10-7 lead before A&M went on a 7-1 run to take its first lead of the frame. Lamar was within 15-14 when the Aggies mounted an 8-1 run, including two kills and an ace by Lowak, to go up, 23-15. A service error ended the run, but A&M quickly got the ball back and was at set point following a block by Babers and freshman Kaysie Shebeneck. A&M served into the net on the ensuing play but then got a block from Shebeneck and Sullivan to end the set and give the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the match.

    Sullivan served the Aggies to a 7-0 lead in the second set, posting four aces and two kills in the run. Lamar later got within 14-10 but was unable to get any closer. A&M held a 16-12 advantage when Graff posted the first kill of her career. The Aggies were later leading, 20-15, and closed out the match on a five-point run, with Graff and Sullivan getting the match-clinching block.

    The Aggies, who defeated Loyola Marymount, 3-1, earlier in the day, improve to 4-1 on the season. They conclude the tournament Friday against host UTSA at 7 p.m.

    Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter by following @AggieVolleyball.




    Mizzou Volleyball Tops Defending MAAC Champion Fairfield

    FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Mizzou volleyball team topped defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Champion Fairfield (25-16, 25-11, 25-17) in its first true road match of the season on Thursday night (Sept. 5) at Alumni Hall. The win improves the Tigers to 5-0 on the season as senior setter Molly Kreklow (Delano, Minn.) led Mizzou to a balanced attack that got kills from seven different players and hit .341 as a unit. Kreklow spread 37 assists on 42 Tiger kills in the win. The loss for Fairfield was just its eighth home loss in the last seven seasons.

    “Fairfield is a good team – they won their league and brought back six starters from last year – so this is a very good win against a team a that was picked to win their league again, so I credit the team for getting a good road win,” head coach Wayne Kreklow said. “It was one of those situations you are nervous about, bringing in a team into someone else’s gym, but I thought we handled it really well. You never quite know what to expect playing on the road, but I was pleased with our effort and execution.”

    Kreklow was key for the Tigers all night, anchoring a great offense. Two-time All-American Lisa Henning (Blue Spring, Mo.) tallied 10 kills on .304 hitting while freshman outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Haw.) posted 10 kills on .471 hitting. The middle hitting duo of All-SEC middle Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and freshman Emily Thater (Springfield, Mo.) was also outstanding, combining for 12 kills on just 24 swings with five blocks. Junior Emily Wilson (Omaha, Neb.) also had a very good match, tallying six kills on .455 hitting in just two sets. Junior libero Sarah Meister (San Diego, Calif.) led the way with 41 digs as Mizzou out-dug Fairfield, 41-33. Henning and Kan pitched in eight digs apiece and frosh Loxley Keala (Honolulu, Haw.) pitched in five digs with her family in attendance.

    Mizzou opened a 4-1 lead in the opening frame, but allowed Fairfield to hang around, but after Fairfield went on top briefly at 7-6, the Tigers rallied to take a 13-7 lead after an ace from Meister. That was all the cushion that Mizzou needed, running away with the set, 25-16, punctuated by a Thater kill, her fourth of the set as she led Mizzou with 5.5 total points in the first, doing so on .500 hitting.

    The second set was controlled by Mizzou almost from the onset as Fairfield used both of its timeouts before reaching 10 points as the Tigers opened a 16-9 lead after a kill from Little. Following the timeout, Mizzou continued to roll before closing out the set with a 25-11 win. Kreklow had 14 assists and guided a well-balanced attack to 15 kills and no errors on just 26 attacks in the second, good for a .577 clip as the Tigers ran away with the set.

    Fairfield hung tough out of the intermission, but ultimately, the Tigers had too many weapons as Kreklow continued to set a well-balanced offense. In fact, Mizzou opened an 18-12 lead and then ran away with the set before subbing out the starters while up 21-13. They wound up winning the set, 25-17.

    The Tigers will continue play in the Northeast tomorrow as they take on Yale at 6 p.m. in their first match of the Yale Invitational. Yale is the defending Ivy League Champion, posing a tough road test for the Tigers early in 2013.For all the latest on Mizzou volleyball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouVB.




    Total Team Effort Aids No. 8 Gators in Sweep of UTSA

    The No. 8 Florida volleyball team stayed perfect on the season, sweeping host University of Texas-San Antonio in three sets (25-18, 25-17, 25-20) Thursday afternoon to continue their undefeated start to 2013.

    Sophomore outside hitter Živa Recek (Koc(evje, Slovenia) led the Gators with a team-high 12 kills against the Roadrunners. Senior setter Taylor Brauneis (Crystal Lake, Ill.) directed the Gator offense to a .292 hitting percentage, dishing out 36 assists and 11 digs for her fourth career double-double.

    QUICK HITS

    • Freshman Alex Holston, a right-side hitter from Olney, Md., and sophomore Gabby Mallette, an outside hitter from Orange Park, Fla., each contributed nine kills. For Holston, it was a new career high in her young Florida career. Mallette’s tally was her highest in a three-set match and just off her career high of 10 kills, a mark she put forth in two five-set matches on the road at Arkansas and Texas A&M last season.
    • Junior libero Taylor Unroe scooped 17 digs Thursday, two under her career best for a three-set match.
    • The Gators opened their season 4-0, the 12th time in program history and first time since 2011.
    • Thursday’s match was the third of the season where Florida did not allow a service ace.
    • Junior defensive specialist Madison Monserez tallied her first career kill thanks to a diving dig that caught the Roadrunners on their heels.

    NOT ON OUR WATCH: UF held preseason C-USA Player of the Year McKenzie Adams to a .098 hitting percentage, her lowest of the season. Florida has held every opponent in 2013 to under .200 hitting efficiency. The Gators kept the Roadrunners to a .143 offensive clip.

    UP NEXT: Florida heads up I-35 to Austin to participate in the final installment of the Nike Big Four Classic. The Gators take on the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Florida faces 2012 Final Four participant and newly-minted No. 1 Penn State on Sunday, September 8 at 11 a.m. ET. Both of the Nike Big Four matches will air tape-delayed on the Longhorn Network with Chris Marlowe and Nell Fortner on the call Saturday at 11 p.m. ET and Paul Sunderland and Fortner calling the action together Sunday airing at 6 p.m. ET.

    IT’S BEEN A WHILE: Thursday night was UTSA’s first home match against a ranked opponent in nearly 20 years. The Roadrunners last hosted a team ranked in the AVCA Top 25 on Sept. 1, 1994 when UTSA was swept by then-No. 12 Texas. The highest-ranked opponent the Roadrunners faced was then-No. 5 Texas in a loss in three sets on Sept. 1, 1993.

    MARY’S MINUTE: “I was so impressed with UTSA. They’re going to have a great year. Alex had another great outing and as our lefty gets better, we’ll get better too. I was so happy with Gabby. She had a great match and almost had a new career high. Defensively, I was proud of Taylor Unroe. 17 digs in just three sets is fantastic. She had a great serving night and her serve is high risk, high reward. What we need is for the others around her to step up behind the service line. Taylor was a little quiet to start off the match but once she got behind the service line and got comfortable, I think her leadership in the back row improved.”

    RECORDS: Florida: 4-0; UTSA: 2-3

    FOLLOW THE GATORS: For all of the latest information on Florida volleyball, please visit GatorZone. For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Florida Volleyball (@GatorZoneVB) and Coach Mary Wise (@GatorMary) on Twitter. You can also find the Gators on Facebook.
     



    UT Sweeps Mocs, Mullins Sets Record

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Tennessee opened up the Country Inns & Suites Invitational with a three-set sweep (25-11, 25-22, 25-21) of host Chattanooga on Thursday night in front of a record crowd of 1,532 at Maclellan Gym.

    SeniorEllen Mullins scooped up 28 digs, setting a Tennessee program record for most digs in three sets during the 25-point rally scoring era. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Week, Mullins has recorded 20 or more digs in every match this season. Chloe Goldman previously held the record with 25 digs against Arkansas in 2008.

    "We've been talking about Ellen Mullins from the beginning of the season and how important she is to the success of our team," head coach Rob Patrick said. "She has a huge effect on what we do offensively and defensively and she continues to give our team more opportunities to score because of how she performs defensively."

    Tennessee was led by freshman Jamie Lea and junior Shealyn Kolosky on the offensive side. Lea tallied 12 kills, the only player in the match to record 10 or more kills. Kolosky hit at a .421 clip, a game-best and team-best on the night.

    Sophomore Lexi Dempsey recorded her second double-double as she dished out 33 helpers with 10 digs.

    The Lady Vols got off to a fast start in the opening set, jumping out to a 10-3 lead before the Mocs took a timeout. UT continued playing low-error volleyball as team hit .379, the best mark for the Orange & White this season in a set. Lea led UT hitting .667 with four kills on six attempts. Senior Whitney Heeres also recorded four kills, hitting at a .429 mark during the set. Tennessee took the first set 25-11, holding the Mocs to the school's seventh lowest set score of the rally scoring era.

    UT held down the lead most of the second set by as many as five points before the Mocs made a late-run tying it up 20-20. The Big Orange battled back and edged out Chattanooga 25-22. The Lady Vols hit .225 compared to the Mocs' .060 in the second set.

    Coming out of the break for the third set, the Lady Vols powered to a 10-4 lead. Chattanooga climbed back, tying it three times before the two teams were knotted at 16-16. UT then responded with a six-point streak and eventually took the match-set 25-21.

    Under Rob Patrick, Tennessee is now 21-1 against in-state rivals. It was the first match against another Tennessee opponent in two years.

    UT returns to action in the Country Inns & Suites Invitational at 12:30 p.m. Friday taking on UNC Asheville.




    Razorbacks Lose Five Setter To Kansas

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- The University of Arkansas volleyball team dropped a five-set decision (29-27, 22-25, 25-19, 17-25, 10-15) to Kansas Thursday night at Barnhill Arena. Junior Meredith Hays paced the team with 22 kills and 15 digs, her first double-double performance in a Cardinal and White jersey. Senior libero Emily Helm matched her career high with 27 digs while sophomore Summer Morgan and redshirt freshman Ana Sofia Jusino each registered six total blocks.

    Before the match, senior Raymariely Santos received a game ball from head coach Robert Pulliza in recognition of her 3,000-assist milestone reached during Tuesday night’s match at Oklahoma. She is just the third setter in program history to reach that mark. Santos finished the match against Kansas with 27 assists, eight digs, seven kills and three total blocks.

    “I think we came out with a lot of energy,” Helm said. “We had the momentum after the first set but we just weren’t consistent enough to close out the match and we couldn’t come out with a ‘W.’”

    In the fifth set, Kansas held an 8-5 lead when the teams switched sides but the Razorbacks won the next four points to take a 9-8 advantage on an attack error by the Jayhawks. However, the visitors won seven of the final eight points to pull away for the five-set victory. Thursday’s match was Arkansas’ second five setter of the season, previously knocking off New Mexico last Friday during the Arkansas Invitational.

    In the first set, Arkansas (3-2) trailed by as much as six before surging with a six-point run to take an 18-17 lead on a kill by Santos. The remainder of the set featured eight ties and six set points, four for the Razorbacks. On both of Kansas’ set points, Hays responded with a kill to extend play. On the team’s fourth chance to close out the opener, Santos sent a shot down the line for the set-winning kill.

    The Razorbacks carried the momentum into the second set, building an early eight-point lead on a service ace by Morgan to force a Kansas timeout. However, the visitors began to chip away and took the lead at 16-15 on an Arkansas attack error. The Jayhawks used a four-point run late in the set to take control and went on to even the match with a 25-22 win in game two.

    After intermission, the two teams split games three and four. Arkansas turned in a .462 hitting percentage during the third set with Hays shouldering the load with six kills including the game winner. The Jayhawks built an early lead in the fourth and maintained their advantage to come away with the set win to force a decisive fifth game.

    To complete the home-and-home series, the Razorbacks will travel to Lawrence, Kan., to face Kansas on Saturday afternoon at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center. First serve of the regional matchup is scheduled for 1 p.m. (CT) and will also be available on ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app.

    For more information on Arkansas volleyball, follow @RazorbackVB on Twitter.




    Green Bay Outlasts Auburn, 3-2, in Home Opener

    AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn got a combined 41 kills from Kia Bright and Katherine Culwell, but Wisconsin-Green Bay was able to get points at crucial times as they outlasted the Tigers, 3-2 (29-27, 24-26, 25-17, 22-25, 12-15), on Thursday at the Student Activities Center.

    The Tigers (4-1) fell for the first time this season, mostly thanks to a stellar defensive effort from Green Bay (3-2) that saw the Phoenix record 13 blocks.

    "We knew they were a scrappy team," Auburn head coach Rick Nold said. "We played them last year, and it was a battle. They've got a little different style than us. And it was kind of what we talked about last week, it was a matter of who was going to be able to control the pace of the game and play their style of volleyball. I thought they did a good job of being really aggressive. We've talked about these situations and how we have to respond, and we've got to make some adjustments. We'll start with that tomorrow."

    Bright, a freshman playing in just her fifth collegiate match, racked up a career-best 21 kills to lead all hiters in the match. Culwell, meanwhile, recorded her third career 20-kill match and also was in on three blocks.

    Senior Kathia Rud matched a career-high with 16 kills and picked up her first career double-double with 11 digs as well. Setter Chelsea Wintzinger also had a double-double, with Wintzinger posting 33 assists and 10 digs, along with two service aces. Freshman middle blocker Stephanie Campbell had five kills along with three service aces, and Camila Jersonsky turned in an 11-kill night.

    Green Bay out-hit the Tigers .241-.209 and had 13 blocks to Auburn's four, but the Tigers won the remainder of the statistical categories with more kills (75-65), more digs (79-75) and more service aces (5-2).

    The Phoenix were led by Leah Van Zeeland with 16 kills, 11 digs and five blocks, and Katie Mroczenski was a force at the net with nine blocks along with five kills.

    Auburn will play two matches on Friday in the Active Ankle Challenge. The Tigers will face Mercer at noon, then close out the tournament with a match against Troy at 7 p.m. All matches are taking place in the Student Activities Center, and admission is free.

    For the latest on Auburn volleyball, follow @AUVolleyball on Twitter and visit AuburnTigers.com.