Conner Breaks Assist Record in Five-Set Loss to Ole Miss

BRYAN-COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Fifth-year standout Camille Conner broke the Texas A&M 25-point rally scoring era record for assists on the first point of the match Wednesday night, as Texas A&M (11-6, 4-3 SEC) fell to Ole Miss (13-4, 2-4 SEC) in five sets. She finished with 44 in the match, while adding 12 digs for her seventh double-double of the season.

Additionally, Ciera “CiCi” Hecht turned in a career outing, as the junior recorded her second double-double in as many tries with a career-best 15 kills and 22 digs. Mallory Talbert led the team with a .417 hitting efficiency and four total blocks.

Conner’s record-breaking assist paved the way for a 4-0 Aggie start in the opening frame. Ole Miss battled back and evened the match at 12-all, eventually taking a 16-13 advantage with a 5-1 run. A&M used a 3-0 run punctuated by a Conner service ace to tie the set once again, but the Rebels closed the set out by a 25-18 score.

A kill from Morgan Christon and a series of Rebel errors gave the Aggies an early 4-1 lead in the second stanza. Ole Miss managed to maintain a two-point lead toward the middle of the set, owning an 11-9 advantage, before a pair of Aggie rejections at the net deadlocked the score. Kills from Christon and Treyaunna Rush spoiled set point for Ole Miss, before Conner’s second service ace gave the Aggies a one-point edge. The Rebels outlasted A&M in the extended set, taking it 29-27.

The Aggies used a plethora of lineup adjustments in the third set to charge ahead with a 5-0 run guided by Camryn Ennis behind the service line. A trio of kills from Hecht and Conner’s third service ace granted the Aggies a 12-7 lead, with A&M’s momentum carrying over for a 15-11 advantage at the media break. The Maroon & White used a kill from Madison Bowser and a block by Lauren Davis to take their largest lead of the match, sitting at 22-16, before wrapping up the 5-0 run for a 25-16 win.

Talbert booked her 10th kill of the match on the first point of the fourth, but Ole Miss took an early 8-6 lead. Both sides continued to trade points with the Rebels rattling off a 4-1 run to hold a 15-11 advantage at the intermission. The Aggies utilized a 3-0 scoring run to cut the Ole Miss lead to just a pair, before Hecht registered her second career double-double with a kill and added three more to tie the set at 24-all. The Aggies reached set point on Davis’ 10th kill, as Rush sealed it for the Maroon & White, 26-24.

A&M capitalized on a pair of Rebel errors to take a 2-1 lead, but things remained tight in the early points. The Rebels pulled ahead once again at 8-5, before a kill from Madison Bowser leveled the set at 10-all. Ole Miss regained control towards the end of the frame, grabbing the 15-13 deciding-set win.

The Aggies will hit the road this weekend for a single match at No. 23 Florida on Saturday. First serve between A&M and the Gators is set for 4 p.m. CT and airs on SEC Network+.

Texas A&M Head Coach, Laura “Bird” Kuhn
Overall thoughts on the match…
“We’ve talked about how we need to be consistent, just controlling our side and the errors. It’s one thing to execute a game plan against an opponent, but you still have to play clean on your side. We made some changes in the third set, moved some people around and Trey (Rush) was back tonight, which was nice for her. We need to execute and play clean. I think we figured out a flow and found that rhythm in the third and fourth sets.”

On what she liked with adjustments that were made…
“With Sabrina (Sustala) coming in at libero, that was awesome to see her embrace that and own it. CiCi (Hecht) did great tonight, and she does her job when she’s called on. Trey (Rush) came in after being out for some time and took big swings, and she played aggressive which is what we wanted to see. All in all, it has to be a team effort.”

Fifth-year senior setter, Camille Conner
On passing career milestone…
“It’s awesome and it’s a reflection of our team, and Bird and what she’s done here. Personally, I think it’s really cool to just see myself grow and it’s an awesome feeling.”

Junior outside hitter, Ciera “CiCi” Hecht
On how the team moves on from this match…
“I think every single person on our team can step up and dominate on the court. We get back in the gym tomorrow and everybody has the mindset that they need to earn their spot, and they need to go hard every single day, because nothing is given to anyone. There are no bad teams or easy wins in the SEC, so we have to grind every single day. We can’t take a day off.”