Photo by Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
Texas A&M Volleyball

Aggies rally from early deficit, fall in fifth set to No. 14 Florida

October 13, 2019

Texas A&M Volleyball (11-5, 3-3) lost a 2-3 heartbreaker to the No. 14 ranked Florida Gators (13-3, 4-1), so close to completing the reverse sweep. The opportunity was there, as the Aggies fought back to even the match after dropping the first two sets and led 9-3 in the final set. The Aggies’ inability to close games out has been a recurring issue this season and will be the focus throughout the remainder of conference play.

Set One: Florida 25-23

The first set started even as the Aggie offense kept pace with the Gators. However, Florida began to pull away after the midway point of the set. The Gators took control after a service ace to go up 15-12. Florida found themselves up three at the 20-point mark, but the Aggies fought back, knotting it up at 23 after a long rally. Florida quickly claimed the final two points on a Texas A&M service error and a kill, taking set one 25-23. Hollann Hans led the offense with seven kills, followed by Treyaunna Rush and Camille Conner with three apiece.

Set Two: Florida 25-23

Set two was almost identical to set one in another close 25-23 Aggie loss. Yet again, it started even, and the Gators maintained around a three-point lead through the midway point in the set. The Aggies were down two when Florida hit the 20-point mark but got right back in the set, tying it at 21. The Gators took a 23-21 lead in which the Aggies yet again responded for the tie. However, A&M was unable to finish as Florida took a 2-0 lead. The Texas A&M offense was held to a .065 hitting percentage due to Florida’s strong return defense, but Hans added on another five kills, and Makena Patterson followed behind with three.

Set Three: Texas A&M 25-14

Angelina Alcantar, TexAgs
The Aggies dominated the third set, winning 25-14 as they attempted a comeback after falling behind in the match, 2-0. Texas A&M would fall short of the upset.

The Aggies flipped the script in set three, cruising to a 25-14 win. They took an early 13-3 lead and never gave the Gators a chance. Camila Gomez was on the service line for the 8-0 Texas A&M run and recorded an ace. The Aggie offense was using the entire floor on attacks and couldn’t ask for a better response after entering the set down 2-0. The defense was solid, holding the Florida offense to a .000 hitting percentage. Hans recorded five more kills, while Conner added three.

Set Four: Texas A&M 25-15

The Aggies were off to another hot start in set four with all the momentum in their favor from the previous set. Florida found themselves in a 5-1 hole, quickly calling a timeout to regroup, but the Aggies didn’t offer any opportunity for a Gator response. Hans was dominant all over the court, recording five more kills and serving two consecutive aces for the 12-6 lead. Florida took their final timeout down 17-8. The Aggies were in total control with impenetrable defense, leaving the Gators with a negative hitting percentage. Texas A&M took set four 25-15, evening the match at 2-2 and completely changing the narrative from the first two sets.

Set Five: 15-12 Florida

Texas A&M took the early lead of set five 7-3. Hans’ overpowering serves were a problem for the Florida defense, forcing free balls in returns. The Aggies tacked on two more points to go up 9-3 and forced a Florida timeout. The Gators responded with a 9-0 run for the lead at 12-9. Meanwhile, the Aggies were on the losing side of a couple of challenges. Texas A&M fell short 15-12 in set five, while No. 14 Florida survived 3-2. Hans led the offense with 26 kills on the day.

Postgame Thoughts: “We made a flip in set three. This team has proven we can compete at a high level when keyed in. We’re sitting on the brink of things; now, it just comes down to finishing. When they decide and believe and fight, that’s A&M volleyball,” said coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn.

Up Next: The Aggies take a road trip to Mississippi, facing the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Friday at 7:00 p.m. and the Ole Miss Rebels Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Texas A&M Volleyball returns to Reed Arena on Sunday, October 27, hosting the Georgia Bulldogs at 2:00 p.m.

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