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Aggies, Longhorns Battle in State Farm Lone Star Showdown

October 04, 2011
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Aggies, Longhorns Battle in State Farm Lone Star Showdown

TEXAS A&M AGGIES (13-3, 2-1 BIG 12)
vs.
#
10 TEXAS LONGHORNS (9-4, 2-1 BIG 12)

Wednesday, October 5, 6:30 p.m.
Gregory Gymnasium, Austin, Texas

Television (live): FSN (Play-by-play: Brent Stover; Color Commentary: Jill Dorsey-Hall )

Texas A&M-Texas All-Time Series (since 1976):
Overall:  Texas leads, 63-23
In Austin:  Texas leads, 33-4
In College Station:  Texas leads, 22-13
At neutral sites: Texas leads, 8-6
In Big 12 Matches only: Texas leads, 19-11
Last year: The teams split the season series with each team winning at home. A&M stunned No. 8 Texas, 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-23), and snapped a 12-match losing streak against the Longhorns in both team's Big 12 opener at Reed Arena in College Station. Texas won, 26-24, 25-19, 25-22 in Austin.

Aggies, Longhorns Battle in State Farm Lone Star Showdown

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Texas A&M (13-3, 2-1 Big 12) heads to Austin Wednesday to battle the 10th-ranked Texas Longhorns (9-4, 2-1 Big 12) in the year's first contest in the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. First serve is slated for 6:30 p.m. at Gregory Gymnasium. The match will be televised live by Fox Sports Net (FSN) with Brent Stover calling the action and Jill Dorsey-Hall providing color commentary. Check local listings.

The Aggies are riding a two-match winning streak and improved to 6-0 in home matches after coming from behind to knock off Baylor, 25-20, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15, 15-5, last Wednesday at Reed Arena and then snapping Kansas State's nine-match winning streak with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 victory over the Wildcats on Saturday also in College Station.

Texas, the highest nationally ranked team in the Big 12, went 1-1 last week, falling to No. 25 Oklahoma, 25-16, 25-20, 17-25, 24-26, 15-9, in Norman and then holding off No. 16 Iowa State, 25-16, 14-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8, Sunday in Ames.

The Aggies, who are 0-1 against ranked opponents, lead the Big 12 and are ranked in the top 25 in the nation in hitting percentage (.270), kills per set (14.19) and assists per set (13.07) for the full season. Texas, 6-0 in home matches this season, is one of the top blocking teams in the nation, coming in at 16th with a 2.74 average thanks to the strong play of senior middle Rachael Adams who leads the league and is 15th in the country with 1.42 blocks per set.

AGGIE QUICK HITS:

  • Sophomore setter Allie Sawatzky recorded the first career triple-double of her career with 11 kills, 46 assists and 11 digs in A&M's 3-2 victory against Baylor last Wednesday. She is the first A&M player to post a triple-double since the 25-point scoring format went into effect in 2008, and she is the first player with a triple double since 2004 when All-American middle blocker Melissa Munsch accomplished the feat three times. Sawatzky is the first Aggie setter with a triple-double since 2001 when All-American Jenna Moscovic tallied a nation-leading five triple-doubles while directing A&M to its second-ever NCAA regional final.
  • In the win against the Bears, A&M had five players reach double figures in kills for first time in the 25-point scoring era and the first since August 26, 2006, when five players tallied double-digit kills in a season-opening 3-1 victory at Colorado State using the 30-point scoring system. The Baylor match also marked the first time A&M had five double-figure kill performances and five double-digit dig performances in the same match since the 2006 victory at Colorado State.
  • The Aggies are receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll for the fifth consecutive week and entered this week listed 31st.
  • A&M's 13-3 record marks the best season start since the 2001 Elite Eight team also opened 13-3.
  • A&M enters the week ranked in the top 50 in the nation in hitting percentage (.270, 18th) and kills (14.19, 20th), assists (13.07, 23rd), aces (1.54, 41st) and digs (16.49, 48th) per set.
  • Opponents are hitting .165 and averaging 11.49 kills, 10.75 assists, 0.95 aces, 14.42 digs and 1.65 blocks per set.
  • Individually, three A&M players are in the top 10 in the Big 12 for aces per set for the full season. Senior middle blocker Elise Hendrickson entered the week ranked 47th in the nation and currently leads the league with 0.43 aces per set. Senior outside hitter Kelsey Black is fourth in the Big 12 with 0.32 aces per set, and junior right-side hitter Alisia Kastmo is tied for ninth in the league with 0.27 aces per set.
  • Others ranking in the top 10 in the conference stats are junior libero Megan Pendergast, who is fifth with 4.02 digs per set and sophomore setter Allie Sawatzky, who is fifth with 10.26 assists per set. In addition, Black is fifth in points (4.29) and sixth in kills (3.70) per set, and junior middle blocker Lindsey Miller ranks seventh in hitting percentage (.322).
  • Junior outside hitter Tori Mellinger, who was the team's designated libero the first two seasons of her career, needs 50 digs to become the 19th player in school history to post 1,000 career digs. Mellinger, who was the starting libero for the first three matches this season and has since started 10 matches on the left side, is averaging 2.74 digs per set this season.
  • Junior libero Megan Pendergast has played in 14 matches and posted double figures in digs in a team-leading 12 matches. She has posted 20 or more digs in two matches and leads the team with 4.07 digs per set.
  • Junior right-side hitter Alisia Kastmo and junior middle blocker Lindsey Miller have each posted a performance in which they had 12 kills while committing no errors. Kastmo had 12 kills and no errors in 19 attempts for a .632 hitting efficiency in a three-set win against Creighton, and Miller had 12 kills and no errors in 20 attempts for a .600 hitting percentage in a sweep against Washington State.
  • Miller's career-high nine blocks in the sweep against Kansas State on Saturday is the most by a Big 12 player in a three-set conference match this season and second overall in all Big 12 matches. In addition, A&M's 10 total blocks against the Wildcats is the most blocks by a Big 12 team in a three-set conference match this year.
  • Senior Kelsey Black, who had a career-high and match-high 26 digs while also posting a match-high 17 kills in the win against Baylor last week, leads A&M with 10 double-doubles. The Amarillo native has posted double figures in kills in 13 of 16 matches this season.
  • Black, Miller, Sawatzky and Hendrickson have started every match in 2011, and only Sawatzky has played in all 57 sets. Kastmo has started all but two matches in which senior Sarah Grace started for her in the back row rotation.
  • The Aggies are 8-1 in three-set matches, 4-1 in four-set matches and 1-1 in five-set matches.
  • A&M is 13-0 when leading its opponent in kills and 13-1 when leading in attack percentage. The Aggies also are 8-0 when leading in blocks and 13-1 when winning the first set.
  • The 3-2 win against Baylor broke a string of six consecutive five-set losses for the Aggies. Prior to the Baylor match on Wednesday, A&M, which went 2-7 in five-set matches last year and lost to Xavier in five sets earlier this season, had not won a five-setter since defeating Colorado on Sept. 29, 2010, in Boulder, Colo.
  • A&M began the season winning its first nine matches and capturing three tournament titles. The Aggies came within one win of matching the 2007 team for the best start in school history before falling to Xavier, 3-2, at the Michigan/adidas Invitational in the 10th match of the season.
  • A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli is 389-189 in her 19th year at the helm of the Aggies and 489-295 in the 26th season of her head coaching career.
  • A&M is slated to play 13 matches against teams that appeared in the 2010 NCAA Championship tournament, including six matches against schools that advanced to at least the Sweet 16. The Aggies are currently 4-2 against 2010 NCAA participants.

SERIES RECORDS:

  • Texas leads the series against A&M, 63-23, since 1976, including 19-11 in Big 12 matches only.
  • Texas is 33-4 against the Aggies in matches played in Austin and has won the last nine meetings in the capital city. A&M has not won in Austin since Oct. 6, 2001, when the 16th-ranked Aggies defeated Texas, 30-27, 30-16, 25-30, 30-23, at Gregory Gym to give Aggie coach Laurie Corbelli her 300th career win and her 200th win at A&M.
  • Last year, A&M stunned No. 8 Texas, 25-22, 25-18, 25-23, at Reed Arena in both teams' Big 12 opener on Sept. 16. A&M, which had not defeated the Longhorns since Oct. 16, 2004, snapped a 12-match losing skid against the Longhorns, who had not even dropped a set to the Aggies since 2008. The win also snapped Texas' streak of 47 consecutive wins against in-state opponents, a streak that began following A&M's 2004 victory. Outside hitter Kelsey Black led all players with 13 kills, and middle blocker Lindsey Miller added nine while hitting .533. She also had a match-high five blocks. Freshman setter Allie Sawatzky had four blocks and 32 assists. Chelsea Ringel had a match-high 12 digs, and Tori Mellinger added 10 to lead A&M to a 43-35 advantage. A&M out-hit the Longhorns, .217 to .110, as Texas committed 23 attack errors to A&M's 16.

            In the meeting in Austin on Nov. 24, Texas posted its ninth consecutive home win over the Aggies, including its third straight sweep at home against A&M with a 26-24, 25-19, 25-22 victory. Kelsey Black led the Aggies with 14 kills and 11 digs. Tori Mellinger had 10 digs. Miller led all players with six blocks, including a career-high two solo blocks, to help A&M to an 8-4 advantage in team blocks. Texas' Juliann Faucette celebrated "Senior Day" with a match-high 16 kills for the Horns, who outhit A&M, .333 to .241.

TEXAS TIDBITS:

  • Texas is 6-0 in home matches and is riding a 21-match home winning streak. The Longhorns have not lost at home since falling to No. 5 Illinois on Sept. 3, 2010.
  • The Longhorns are riding a 26-match Big 12 Conference home winning streak. They have not lost a conference home match since falling to Oklahoma on Oct. 29, 2008.
  • Texas went 1-1 last week, falling to No. 25 Oklahoma, 25-16, 25-20, 17-25, 24-26, 15-9, in Norman last Wednesday, and defeating No. 16 Iowa State, 25-16, 14-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-8, in Ames.
  • The Longhorns are No. 10 in this week's AVCA Top 25 Poll, the 117th consecutive week Texas has been in the Top 25.
  • Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams leads the Big 12 and is ranked 15 in the nation with 1.42 blocks per set. As a team, the Longhorns are 16th in the country with 2.74 blocks per set.
  • Freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman was named the Big 12 Conference Rookie of the Week after averaging 4.25 points and 4.10 kills per set in last week's contests at Oklahoma and Iowa State. Eckerman leads the Longhorns and is ranked No. 7 in the league with 3.33 kills per set for the full season. She is averaging a team-leading 3.92 kills per set in Big 12 matches only.
  • Texas' four losses this season have all been against ranked opponents: No. 7 Florida, two to No. 11 Minnesota, and No. 25 Oklahoma.
  • Jerritt Elliott (Cal State Northridge '91) is 250-74 in his 11th season as head coach of the Horns.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:
Texas A&M concludes a two-match road swing Saturday as the Aggies travel to Lawrence, Kan., to take on the Kansas Jayhawks. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. at the Horejsi Family Athletics Center.

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