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A&M Takes on Oklahoma Saturday in Norman

November 18, 2011
 | 
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (20-6, 9-4 BIG 12)

vs.

OKLAHOMA SOONERS (20-9, 7-6 BIG 12)

Saturday, Nov. 19, 5 p.m.
McCasland Field House
Norman, Okla.

Live video (fee)/stats: SoonerSports.com

A&M-Oklahoma All-Time Series (since 1976):
Overall
: A&M leads, 34-7
In Norman
: A&M leads, 14-3
In College Station
: A&M leads, 13-3
In Big 12 matches only
:  A&M leads, 25-6
Streak:
A&M has won the last two meetings, including a come-from-behind 22-25, 19-25, 25-17, 29-27, 15-11 victory in College Station on Oct. 12
Last year:
the teams split the season series with each team protecting its home court

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A&M Takes on Oklahoma Saturday in Norman

Texas A&M (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) hits the road Saturday to take on the Oklahoma Sooners (20-9, 7-6 Big 12) at McCasland Field House in Norman. The time of the match has been changed to 5 p.m.

Both teams reached the 20-win milestone in their most recent outing. The Aggies, who had a bye on Wednesday, are coming off a key 25-17, 25-22, 25-20 victory against Missouri to earn a split in the season series with the Tigers. Oklahoma, which on Monday dropped out of the AVCA Top 25 for the first time this season, held off Kansas, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23, 25-17, Wednesday in Lawrence, Kan., to end a four-match losing skid.

A&M, which fought off three match points in a come-from-behind 2-25, 19-25, 25-17, 29-27, 15-11 victory against the then-No. 22 Sooners at Reed Arena in College Station on Oct. 12, is in third place in the Big 12 Conference standings, two games ahead of the revenge-minded Sooners, who hold a half-game lead over Kansas State for fourth place with only three matches remaining.

AGGIE QUICK HITS:

  • Texas A&M, the winner in four of its last five matches, has recorded its first 20-win season since 2009, when the Aggies went 20-11 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. This marks the 13th season the Aggies have reached the 20-victory landmark in coach Laurie Corbelli's 19 years as head coach of the Aggies.
  • Corbelli is four wins away from her 400th A&M victory and the 500th win of her head coaching career. A&M's longest tenured head coach in any sport, she is 396-192 (.673) in her 19th year at the helm of the Aggies and 496-298 (.625) in the 26th season of her head coaching career.
  • Texas A&M moved up one spot to 19th in the latest NCAA RPI rankings, released on Monday. A&M is 10-5 against teams in the RPI top 60, including wins against Northern Illinois (16) and Oklahoma (30). A&M also has two wins each against Baylor (42), Kansas (44) and Creighton (58) and is 1-1 against both Kansas State (28) and Missouri (32). Five of A&M's six losses were against teams in the RPI top 30: Iowa State (2), at Texas (4), at Michigan (22), at Kansas State (28) and at Missouri (32).
  • The Aggies are receiving votes in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll for the 11th consecutive week and are 30th in this week's rankings. A&M entered the week ranked 25th in home attendance, averaging 1,525 per match.
  • Over the last five matches, A&M has led its opponent in kills, assists, aces and digs in every match and also led or tied in hitting percentage in all five matches.
  • Kelsey Black leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 3.85 points per set for the full season. She is fourth in the league in aces (0.28) and eighth in kills (3.30) per set for the full season.
  • Senior middle blocker Elise Hendrickson leads the Big 12 with 0.34 aces per set. She has had at least one ace in 20 of 26 matches and has tallied two or more aces in 10 matches.
  • Setter Allie Sawatzky is fifth in the Big 12 with 10.32 assists per set for the full season. The sophomore from Manitoba surpassed 2,000 career assists at Kansas State and ranks 10th in the A&M career records with 2,089.
  • Sawatzky's career-high 60 assists in the win against No. 22 Oklahoma on Oct. 12 is the most by an A&M player since Kristen Schevikhoven had 60 in a 3-1 victory at Colorado on Nov. 21, 2007, using the 30-point scoring format.
  • Earlier this season, Sawatzky recorded the first triple-double of her career with 11 kills, 46 assists and 11 digs in A&M's 3-2 victory against Baylor on Sept. 28. 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.
  • Junior libero Megan Pendergast has played in 25 of 26 matches and has led or tied for the team lead in digs 16 times, more than any other player. She has posted double figures in digs in a team high 20 matches and has posted 20 or more digs in four matches, including a career-high 24 digs in the 3-1 win at Baylor on Nov. 9. She leads the team and is ranked fifth in the Big 12 with 3.99 digs per set for the full season and is seventh in the league with 3.92 digs per set in conference matches only.
  • Black leads A&M with 15 double-doubles. She has posted double figures in kills in 18 of 26 matches overall and double figures in digs in 19 matches, including eight of the last nine matches.
  • Miller's career-high nine blocks in the first meeting against Kansas State on Oct. 1 is still the most by a Big 12 player in a three-set conference match and ties for the most by a Big 12 player in all three-set matches this season.
  • Black, Miller, Sawatzky and Hendrickson have started every match in 2011, and only Sawatzky has played in all 98 sets. Junior right-side hitter Alisia Kastmo, who has played in 97 of 98 sets, has started all but five matches in which senior Sarah Grace started for her in the back row rotation.
  • Black had 16 digs against Kansas State on Nov. 5 to surpass 1,000 career digs. She joins junior Tori Mellinger, who became A&M's 19th member in the 1,000-dig club on Oct. 22, when she posted 13 digs against Iowa State. Black, who recorded her 1,000th career point against Oklahoma on Oct. 12 to become the sixth A&M player to reach the milestone since rally scoring began in 2001, also is approaching 1,000 career kills, needing 69.
  • A&M had six players named to the Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball First Team, released Tuesday. Senior outside hitter Chelsea Ringel received special commendation for achieving a 4.0 GPA. Others representing A&M on the first team are Sarah Grace, Elise Hendrickson, Alisia Kastmo, Lindsey Miller and Allie Sawatzky. Ringel is making her third consecutive appearance on the team, while Grace, Kastmo and Miller are each making their second consecutive appearance on the first team. Hendrickson and Sawatzky were named to the team in their first year of eligibility.
  • A&M is 10-1 in home matches, 5-4 in away matches, 5-1 at neutral sites and 1-3 against ranked opponents.
  • The Aggies are 10-2 in three-set matches, 6-2 in four-set matches and 4-2 in five-set matches.
  • The match at Kansas State on Nov. 5 marked the only time the Aggies lost when leading in blocks this season and the second time A&M lost a match when leading in kills and/or aces.
  • During the first half of the Big 12 schedule, A&M had a streak of three matches that were decided in five sets, with the Aggies winning all three. It marked the fourth time in program history A&M played three consecutive five-setters (2005, 2006, 2008), and only the second time A&M won all three. A&M has never played four consecutive five-set matches.
  • A&M's come-from-behind wins against Kansas and Oklahoma during the first half of conference play marked the first time in school history the Aggies have overcome 2-0 set deficits in consecutive matches. The win against No. 22 Oklahoma was the 12th time in school history the Aggies have dropped the first two sets and come back to win, and it was the fourth time in school history A&M accomplished the feat against a ranked opponent.
  • In the win against Baylor on Sept. 28, 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 performers and five double-digit dig performers in the same match since the 2006 victory at Colorado State.
  • A&M began the season by 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 closes out the regular season with four consecutive matches against 2010 NCAA tournament participants: Missouri and Oklahoma, who both advanced to the Sweet 16; Final Four participant and eighth-ranked Texas, and No. 13 Iowa State, which was upset in the first round. The Aggies are currently 6-4 against 2010 NCAA participants.

A LOOK AT THE SOONERS:

  • Oklahoma (20-9, 7-6 Big 12), which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 last year before being eliminated by eventual national champion Penn State, is coming off a 3-1 win at Kansas, snapping a four-match losing streak.
  • The win against the Jayhawks gave the Sooners their 15th 20-win season and their fourth under eighth-year head coach Santiago Restrepo.
  • The Sooners, who were picked to tie Iowa State for second place in the Big 12 according to a preseason poll of the league's head coaches, are in fourth place in the league standings and have fallen out of the weekly AVCA Top 25 for the first time this season.
  • The Sooners are 13-2 in home matches, with both losses coming in their last two home appearances.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Sallie McLaurin leads the Big 12 and is ranked 20th in the nation with 1.36 blocks per set in all matches. She also leads the league with 1.44 blocks per set in conference matches only.
  • Libero Maria Fernanda, OU's all-time leader in career digs, entered the week ranked 49th in the nation with 5.0 digs per set. She is averaging 5.14 digs per set in conference matches only, ranking second in the Big 12.
  • Senior right-side hitter Suzy Boulavsky is sixth in the Big 12 with 3.60 kills per set and eighth with a .310 hitting percentage in conference matches only. Senior middle blocker Carlee Roethlisberger is 10th in the league with a .305 hitting percentage in conference play.
  • OU leads the league for fewest aces (0.86), just ahead of A&M (0.88), and is second in blocks (1.74) allowed per set.
  • All-American setter Brianne Barker and A&M senior outside hitter Kelsey Black were teammates at Amarillo High School and helped lead the Sandies to back-to-back 5A state titles in 2006 and 2007.
  • Senior middle blocker Carlee Roethlisberger was a four-year standout on the OU basketball team and is in her first season on the volleyball team. She is the sister of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Santiago Restrepo is 142-103 in his eighth season as head coach of the Sooners.

A&M-OU SERIES RECORDS:

  • A&M leads the all-time series, 33-7 since 1976, including 24-6 in Big 12 matches only.
  • All six of OU's Big 12 wins against A&M have occurred over the last 10 meetings, beginning with the Sooners' first-ever Big 12 win against the Aggies on Sept. 13, 2006.
  • The Aggies and Sooners split the season series each of the last two years. In 2009 each team won on the road, while last year, both teams won at home.
  • Five of the last nine A&M-OU meetings have been decided in five sets, including A&M's come-from-behind win earlier this season and A&M's 3-2 loss in Norman last year.
  • In the most recent meeting, A&M defeated No. 22 Oklahoma 22-25, 19-25, 25-17, 29-27, 15-11, at Reed Arena on Oct 12, fighting off three match points in the fourth set to complete its second consecutive win after dropping the first two sets. It marked the first time the Aggies came back from a 2-0 deficit against a ranked opponent since defeating No. 23 Baylor on Nov. 10, 1999, at G. Rollie White Coliseum. A&M's Lindsey Miller was nearly unstoppable, tallying a career-high and team season-high 23 kills while hitting at a .455 clip to lead the Aggies. Alisia Kastmo had a personal-best 18 kills, and Kelsey Black and Elise Hendrickson also finished in double figures with 10 kills apiece as A&M led OU in kills, 71-59. Megan Pendergast led a group of five A&M players to post double figures in digs with 16. Mellinger contributed 15 digs, and Sarah Grace pitched in a career-high 13. Black and Sawatzky added 12 and 10, respectively, to help lead A&M to an 80-76 advantage in digs. Suzy Boulavsky had 16 kills to lead the Sooners, who outhit A&M, .201 to .187. Sally McLaurin had 13 kills and also had nine blocks as OU posted 15 team blocks, the most by an A&M opponent this season.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

A&M has only two regular season matches remaining, including the home finale against archrival and ninth-ranked Texas in a State Farm Lone Star match on Wednesday, Nov. 23. A&M's five seniors -- Kelsey Black, Sarah Grace, Elise Hendrickson, Chelsea Ringel and Cinthya Roberto -- will be honored after the match against the Longhorns. The time of the match has been changed to 5 p.m. at Reed.

The Aggies close out the regular season at No. 13 Iowa State on Nov. 26. The match begins at 6:30 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

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