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Texas A&M Volleyball

Texas A&M volleyball falls in four-set road battle at Missouri

November 10, 2023

Texas A&M volleyball continues their subpar run through the back half of conference play with a four-set loss to Missouri in Columbia on Friday (22-25, 26-28, 25-22, 22-25).

The same issues continue to persist as the Aggies are hitting the tail end of SEC play, and the losses keep riddling the Maroon & White despite their greatest efforts.

With injuries becoming more of an issue and the inability to produce defensively, the Aggies continue to look ahead to their challenging remaining schedule.

"Disappointed, but I thought we fought hard,” head coach Jamie Morrison said. “We found a way to turn things around and worked to get even in that match. I felt it was just a matter of closing out sets, and we'll work on that.”

Nisa Buzlutepe — A&M’s starting setter — was unable to compete after an injury in the previous game until the second set. Due to the very apparent struggles from freshman Margot Manning, Buzlutepe entered the game and was able to bring a slight spark to the Aggies’ inefficient offense.

On Friday, Morgan Perkins suffered an apparent ankle injury in the first set and did not return, leaving a hole in A&M’s first line of defense.

In the first set, the Aggies played a pretty even matchup but were unable to stop the dominant force that is Missouri’s offense.

"Disappointed, but I thought we fought hard. We found a way to turn things around and worked to get even in that match. I felt it was just a matter of closing out sets, and we'll work on that.”
- A&M head coach Jamie Morrison

On top of the dominant offense that the Aggies faced, the Tigers also made a statement behind the service line, acing the Aggies five times through the first set. Towards the end of the set, there were several competitive rallies that seemed to be going A&M’s way, but the visitors were unable to finish out the set, dropping it 25-22.

The second set was much more competitive for the Aggies, with the defense showing some bright spots as the offense continued to push through Missouri’s massive block.

The entirety of the set was point-for-point, forcing the game to go into extra points. The Aggies led the Tigers through the extras but eventually ran out of steam and gave up a pair of massive kills.

The Tigers took the second set and what seemed to be the last of the Aggies' momentum, 28-26.

In the third, the Aggies caught a new wind and were able to stay on top of the Tigers throughout.

Muoneke continued to carry the offense and tallied six kills in the third set alone. Caroline Meuth also made her presence known with six kills of her own through the third set. The offense continued to click and led the Aggies to a must-win victory, 25-22.

The fourth set saw an incredible effort from not only the Aggies but also the Tigers.

Although the entirety of the match was played extremely evenly, the fourth set saw a huge effort from both sides of the court. The Aggies played lights out early in the set, going on multiple runs and leading the Tigers by three at one point in the set.

The offense was clicking, and Ifenna Cos-Okpalla made her presence known with a handful of incredible blocks and floor-denting kills.

Although the effort from the Aggies was strong, the Tigers did not roll over. A six-point run at the very end gave the Tigers the edge to take the final set and match from the Aggies, 25-22.

"We've spoken about staying level and controlled in the style of volleyball we want to play, and I think we did that,” Morrison said. “Overall, I'm happy with the volleyball we played. Just disappointed with the results."

The Aggies continue conference play and will travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on the Wildcats on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. CT.

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Texas A&M volleyball falls in four-set road battle at Missouri

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