Credit to Sam Thornton | Assistant Director, Athletics Communications – 12thman.com
BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M volleyball team swept Mississippi State to open SEC play Wednesday evening at Reed Arena (25-20, 25-22, 25-18).
Mississippi State (7-4, 0-1 SEC) opened the match as the aggressor, scoring the first four points of the match. The Aggies (9-2, 1-0 SEC) responded with a 6-2 run of their own, knotting the squads at six. A&M held its advantage as it was the first squad to double digits, 10-8. The Maroon & White wouldn’t let up, as they maintained a steady three-point lead prompting a timeout from the Bulldogs (20-17). Needing only five points, the Aggies put their foot on the gas with a 5-3 streak to claim the opening set, 25-20.
A&M started the second frame with a quick 5-2 run, however, Mississippi State countered as it led (12-10). The Maroon & White showed no quit, as they leveled the match at the halfway point (15-15). The Aggies found their rhythm and created some separation, forcing a Bulldog timeout (21-18). Mississippi State responded with a 4-2 streak (23-22), as head coach Jamie Morrison called a timeout to reset his squad. The team answered the call, closing out the set (25-22), doubling their advantage, 2-0.
Carrying all the momentum, A&M started the set once again with a 5-2 streak. A back-and-forth ensued as the squads were knotted at 12. The Aggies tacked on three-straight points to hold the advantage at the media timeout, 15-12. A service ace from Margot Manning and a pair of blocks from Bianna Muoneke and Ifenna Cos-Okpalla prompted a timeout from Mississippi State, as the Maroon & White led by six (18-12). Nothing stopped the Aggies’ progress as they closed out the set (25-18) and match, 3-0.
The Aggies head to Fayetteville, Arkansas, for a match with the Razorbacks September 24 with first serve set for 3 p.m. CT.
Head coach Jamie Morrison the team’s first SEC Win.…
“Being in this conference, the first one is really cool. We talked about making a statement and showing who we were. I am happy with the adjustments that we made mid match and our ability to find different ways to score. It’s going to be tough finding ways to put balls down in this league so making those adjustments faster is the difference in winning and losing.”
Morrison on the team’s chemistry…
“One thing we can credit our wins to is the team’s balance. Where our points come from can be dispersed out, making it difficult for the defense and adding trust on our side of the court. It is nice knowing you have someone there to make a kill or dig a ball.”
Sophomore RS Logan Lednicky’s thoughts on the first SEC match…
“We came back to the basics this week during practice and [Head coach Jamie Morrison] had talked about SEC play being a new chapter and working on those basics in practice showed a lot. Our blocking was amazing during the match and our serve and receive.”
Lednicky on the importance of the 12th Man during SEC Play…
“The atmosphere tonight was awesome despite the fact it was a Wednesday night. As we get into SEC play and have some weekend games and as we continue to have success that we have, we can keep building off of that. Hopefully everyone tells their friends and family to come out, it is all about spreading the word.”
Sophomore MB Ifenna Cos-Okpalla on the versatility of the offense…
“I feel like it’s very important that our team has so much depth in every position. It helps tremendously because if one thing isn’t working, we can always go to something else, and if that’s not working, we can always go to someone else. The setters trust all the hitters, the hitters trust all the setters, we all just work together.”
Cos-Okpalla on turning the early season lessons into success on the upcoming road trips…
“We just need to take control of the space we are playing in, whatever gym we are at or place we are playing, we just have to bring our energy to that gym since there aren’t many A&M supporters on the road. We have to bring that energy ourselves, as players, as people on the bench, as people on the court. It’s our responsibility to do that, and I think we have been doing a really good job of that. Hopefully we can that into the next couple matches.”
- Logan Lednicky – 11 kills – .471 hitting percentage – 5 blocks
- Ifenna Cos-Okaplla – 10 blocks
- Caroline Meuth – 12 kills – .421 hitting percentage – 3 service aces
- Ava Underwood – 10 digs – 5 assists
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