A&M Volleyball Sweeps GeorgiaSports Sunday, September 29th, 2013
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M opened Southeastern Conference play with an impressive 25-20, 25-17, 25-12 victory over Georgia today at Reed Arena.
Aggie sophomore outside hitter Sierra Patrick led all players with 13 kills and completed a double-double, tying A&M senior libero Kelsey Kinley for match-high honors with 14 digs. Senior setter Allie Sawatzky posted her team leading ninth double-double of the season, dishing out 32 assists and pitching in 11 kills with no errors while hitting at a career-high .647 clip. The 6-2 lefty came within two digs of posting her second consecutive and fourth overall triple-double of the season.
Sawatzky directed the A&M offense to a .333 hitting percentage, marking the team’s highest hitting percentage since hitting .338 in the season opener against South Dakota State. Meanwhile, Georgia, which entered the contest hitting .263 for the season, was held to a season-low .083 hitting percentage as Aggie redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers recorded nine blocks. Patrick added a career-high five blocks to help A&M outblock the Bulldogs, 12-7.
The Aggies appeared to be pulling away in the opening set after reeling off five unanswered points to build an 11-5 lead. The Bulldogs, however, began to chip away and eventually took their first lead at 18-17 following an A&M attack error. The teams traded sideouts before Babers and Patrick rejected a Georgia attack to put the Aggies ahead, 20-19. Patrick continued to score for the Aggies, getting three kills and a solo block as A&M extended its lead to 23-20. Georgia hit into the net on the ensuing play to put the Aggies at set point, and Patrick followed with a kill down the line, giving her seven kills for the set and giving the Aggies a 1-0 lead in the match.
Georgia held an 8-5 lead in the second set before a kill by A&M’s Angela Lowak began a 4-0 run that put the Aggies ahead, 9-8. Georgia managed to tie the score at 9- and 11-all before Patrick powered a kill through the Bulldog block, sparking a 4-0 run that gave the Aggies a 19-12 lead. Georgia ended the rally with a kill, but Patrick countered with thundering kill that marked the beginning of a 6-1 run that gave the Aggies a commanding 21-13 lead. Georgia twice got within six points, the last coming at 22-16. The Bulldogs then hit wide and Sawatzky notched a kill to put the Aggies at set point, 24-16. Georgia, which was outhit .235 to -.029 in the set, stayed alive as A&M served into the net, but Aggie sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan posted a kill to close out the set and give the Aggies a 2-0 lead in the match.
Georgia scored the first point of the third set, but it would be the Bulldogs’ only lead. Kills by Sullivan and Patrick bookended a Georgia attack error and gave the Aggies a 3-1 lead. The Bulldogs twice got within a point before A&M went on a 7-2 run that put the Aggies ahead, 11-5. A&M, which outhit the Bulldogs, .560 to .192 in the frame, continued to widen the gap and built a 21-11 advantage following a 3-0 rally. Georgia’s Tirah Le’au then posted her team-leading seventh kill of the match before a Sawatzky kill and an ace by Mariah Agre put A&M up, 23-12. Sullivan doubled up the score and put the Aggies at match point with a kill and then closed out the match by putting down a Georgia overpass for her fifth kill of the set.
A&M improved to 9-3 overall and 2-0 in all-time SEC openers. Georgia, which had won seven of its last eight matches and entered the contest riding a three-match win streak, falls to 11-3 overall and 1-1 in SEC play. It also marked the Bulldogs’ fourth consecutive loss when playing the Aggies, who improved to 9-3 in the all-time series between the two teams.
The Aggies hit the road next weekend for a pair of SEC matches, taking on third-ranked and defending SEC champion Florida, Friday, Oct. 4 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla., and South Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 6 at the Volleyball Competition Center in Columbia, S.C. First serve against the Gators, who were picked to repeat as SEC champions, is at 6 p.m. (CT), and the match will be televised live by Sun Sports. The match against the Gamecocks is slated for a 12:30 (CT) start.
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