Photo by Jamie Maury, TexAgs
Texas A&M Volleyball

No. 13 A&M volleyball sweeps St. John's in opening round of NCAA Tournament

December 5, 2019
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Texas A&M Volleyball (22-7, 13-5) opened the first round of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament with a sweep of the St. John’s Red Storm (22-12, 12-6) advancing in the playoffs for the first time since 2015. St. John’s was coming off a two-game win streak to secure their playoff spot, but the Aggies put an end to the momentum and earned an opportunity in round two.

Sunday night, the Aggies awaited their playoff fate, ultimately earning a No. 13 seed and a host site at Reed Arena. After missing the playoffs for two straight seasons, the Aggies proved their enthusiasm to play in the postseason and in front of the 12th Man with a statement win.

Anna Peterson, TexAgs
Hollann Hans was named to All-SEC Team at the conclusion of the regular season. 

Texas A&M has been extremely successful at home in the regular season, going 12-1, with the only loss in five sets to the conference-leading Florida Gators.

Just hours before it was revealed that the Aggies would host the first two rounds, four players received SEC honors while head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn was named SEC Coach of the Year.

Hollann Hans and Camille Conner were named to the All-SEC team, while Treyaunna Rush and Lauren Davis earned spots on the SEC All-Freshman team.

Set One: Texas A&M 27-25

The Aggies forced an early St. John’s timeout, up 4-1 behind two kills by Mallory Talbert. Camila Gomez served an ace to put the Aggies up 9-5, maintaining a comfortable lead up until the midway points of the set. The Red Storm broke a tie to go up 15-14, capitalizing off four A&M errors with five straight points. The Aggies took a timeout to regroup, and Hans took over the offense coming out of the break. The next four A&M points were off three kills and an ace by Hans. Texas A&M reclaimed the lead, up 21-19 and forcing another St. John’s timeout, which resulted in a 3-0 Red Storm run. At a St. John’s set point, Hans kept the Aggies alive with the tying kill, sparking the 27-25 comeback win. She led the Aggies with six kills in the set, while the offense totaled a .290 hitting percentage.

Set Two: Texas A&M 25-21

Texas A&M took another tight set to go up 2-0 in the match. The Aggies led 10-5, earning points off long rallies despite a strong Red Storm blocking presence at the net. St. John’s fought their way back into the match, knotting the score at 13 with a service ace. Despite faltering the lead, the Aggies were solid on offense, hitting a .429 clip while holding the Red Storm to only .156. Taylor Voss and Makena Patterson each recorded an ace. Surrounding the 20-point mark, Texas A&M went on a 4-0 run led by the hitting leaders, Hans and Rush, who finished the set with four each. Two of Rush’s kills occurred at points 24 and 25, clinching set two for the Aggies.  

Set Three: Texas A&M 25-13

In set three, the Aggies jumped out early and did not give the Red Storm an opportunity to contest the lead. Texas A&M went up 6-3 on a kill by Talbert into the face of a defender, resulting in a St. John’s timeout. Immediately following the break, Hans slammed down a kill to continue the offensive momentum. Shortly after, the Aggies went on an 8-0 scoring run, racking up an impressive .500 hitting percentage while holding the Red Storm to .029. At the 20-point mark, the Aggies led by eleven points and cruised to the 25-13 set and match victory. Hans led the offense in set three with five kills, totaling 15 on the night.

Postgame

“We’re super happy,” said outside hitter Hollann Hans.

“We celebrated a little bit but we’re moving on to Rice and we’re excited to play tomorrow. Everyone did their job and we talked about that a lot. It was a really good team win.”
- A&M Outside Hitter Hollann Hans

“We celebrated a little bit but we’re moving on to Rice and we’re excited to play tomorrow. Everyone did their job and we talked about that a lot. It was a really good team win. We’re super thankful for the 12th Man’s support. It’s huge for us to have that momentum and energy on our side.”

“Serving aggressive was a big focus for us this game,” said defensive specialist Taylor Voss. “We’re a grind team and we worked for every single point.”

“That was a great win to start the tournament,” said coach “Bird” Kuhn. “It’s a 3-0 sweep against a good team [that rolled] into the tournament beating two ranked teams. The execution was high-level. The way they finished in the third set sent a message.

“Hollann was on and we went to her at the end of set one. That’s a gamechanger when you have a go-to attacker that can put a ball away. The finish was all them. I’m proud of the situation we’ve earned ourselves.”

Up Next

The Aggies will host the Rice Owls, who swept the Oklahoma Sooners in their first-round matchup, tomorrow in round two of the NCAA Tournament. First serve is set for 6:30 p.m at Reed Arena.

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No. 13 A&M volleyball sweeps St. John's in opening round of NCAA Tournament

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