COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M volleyball team continued its spring exhibition season today by hosting its own Texas A&M Spring Invitational today at G. Rollie White Coliseum.
The Aggies played four matches, winning their first three contests in straight sets before splitting sets in their final match of the day.
“I thought we fought back hard in a lot of the sets when we were down a few points after having a run against us,” said Laurie Corbelli, who is entering her 21st season as A&M’s head volleyball coach said. “We came back and did a really nice job in a lot of instances throughout the day.”
A&M opened by defeating Rice, 25-21, 25-20. The Owls are coached by former Aggie standout Genny (Wood) Volpe, who played at A&M in 1990-93 and then served as an assistant coach under Corbelli in 2001-03.
The Aggies then defeated Stephen F. Austin, 25-18, 25-18, and improved to 3-0 on the day following a 25-23, 25-23 victory over UTSA, coached by Laura (Neugebauer) Groff, a two-year assistant coach at A&M in 1991-92.
The Aggies split with Texas State in the finale, winning the first set, 27-25, but falling 25-18 in the second set. The teams did not play a third set.
“I’m really high on our serving and relatively high on our middle attack once we got going,” Corbelli said when asked to summarize her team’s overall performance. “I was not so high on our overall defense/ball control. I thought our blocking was very inconsistent, but when it was good, it was really, really good.
“The feel of the game is so different in an actual competition setting versus training. Just being out on the court today, I could see it in their faces and in their play how much they wanted to do well for their family and their friends and for their coaches and teammates. The pressure that they put on themselves in competition is really another dimension of being an athlete.”
The tournament is likely the last A&M athletic event that will be held at G. Rollie before it is razed to make way for the expansion of Kyle Field. G. Rollie served as the home of Aggie volleyball from the program’s inception until 2009 when the team moved to Reed Arena.
“It just feels like home so it hasn’t hit me yet,” Corbelli said about playing at G. Rollie for the last time. “I think it is one of those things you have to kind of see that it is gone before you can really believe it is going to be gone. But it was neat to be back out on the floor and be able to reminisce about the many great victories we had here. It is such a great volleyball facility, and the other coaches here today, all of whom have competed at G. Rollie many, many times, commented on it as well today.”
A&M concludes its spring season Saturday, April 20 at the Lone Star Classic College Showcase at the Dallas Convention Center Arena.
Texas A&M Spring Invitational Results:
Texas A&M def. Rice, 25-21, 25-20
Texas A&M def. SFA, 25-18, 25-18
Texas A&M def. UTSA, 25-23, 25-23
Texas A&M vs. Texas State, 27-25, 18-25 (split)