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Aggies, Longhorns Clash in Final Home Match

November 22, 2011
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
TEXAS A&M AGGIES (21-6, 10-4 BIG 12)
vs.

#
5 TEXAS LONGHORNS (20-4, 13-1 BIG 12)

State Farm Lone Star Showdown
Wednesday, Nov. 23, 5 p.m.
Reed Arena, College Station, Texas

Promotions: All A&M students will be admitted free by showing their A&M student ID. Fans showing a ticket to the Nov. 24 A&M-Texas football game can purchase a general admission ticket for only $3.

Senior Day: A&M's five seniors -- Kelsey Black, Sarah Grace, Elise Hendrickson, Chelsea Ringel and Cinthya Roberto -- will be honored immediately following the match.

Free live video/audio/stats: AggieAthletics.com

Texas A&M-Texas All-Time Series (since 1976):
Overall: 
Texas leads, 64-23
In College Station: 
Texas leads, 22-13
In Austin: 
Texas leads, 34-4
At neutral sites:
Texas leads, 8-6
In Big 12 Matches only:
Texas leads, 20-11
Last meeting:
No. 10 Texas topped the Aggies, 25-15, 25-19, 25-23 in Austin on Oct. 5
Last year at Reed:
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 in College Station.

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Aggies, Longhorns Clash in Final State Farm Lone Star Showdown

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M (21-6, 10-4 Big 12) and Texas (20-4, 13-1 Big 12) meet for the final time as conference foes when the Aggies and fifth-ranked and league-leading Longhorns clash in a State Farm Lone Star Showdown Wednesday at Reed Arena. The start time has been changed to 5 p.m.

All A&M students will be admitted free to the match by showing their A&M student ID. Fans showing a ticket to the Nov. 24 A&M-Texas football game can purchase a general admission ticket for only $3.

It will be the final home appearance of the regular season for the Aggies, who will honor their five seniors -- Kelsey Black, Sarah Grace, Elise Hendrickson, Chelsea Ringel and Cinthya Roberto -- immediately following the match.

Free live video and stats will be available on AggieAthletics.com, as well as audio with Matt Simon calling the action and former Aggie assistant coach Robyn Romansky providing commentary.

A&M is riding a three-match winning streak and has won five of its last six matches, as well as eight of its last 10 matches to clinch sole possession of third place in the Big 12 standings with only matches against the two top teams in the league remaining. The Aggies, who are coming off a key 24-26, 25-16, 25-22, 25-17 victory at Oklahoma on Saturday to complete a season series sweep against the Sooners, wrap up the regular season at No. 14 Iowa State on Saturday.

Texas has won its last 12 matches and holds a half game lead over Iowa State for first place in the conference standings. The Longhorns, who moved up four spots to No. 5 in this week's AVCA Top 25 poll, have not lost since falling at then-No. 25 Oklahoma, 3-2, on Sept. 28 and need one win to clinch at least a share of the Big 12 title.

AGGIE QUICK HITS:

  • Texas A&M has already clinched sole possession of third place in the Big 12 standings, as the Aggies hold a two-and-a half game lead over fourth-place Kansas State with only two matches remaining. The third-place finish is A&M's highest since 2004 when the Aggies tied Missouri for third place.
  • A&M jumped three spots and is listed a season-high 27th in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Aggies are No. 19 in the NCAA RPI.
  • A&M is 10-1 in home matches with its only loss coming against then-No. 15 Iowa State on Oct. 22. The last time the Aggies finished a season with only one loss was in 2000, when No. 1 Nebraska handed A&M its only loss of the season.
  • A&M, 1-3 against ranked opponent this year, has won five of its last six matches and has gone 8-2 in its last 10 matches to improve to 21-6. It is the first time the Aggies have reached 21 wins since 2007 when A&M went 21-10. The last time A&M finished with more than 21 wins was 2003, when the Aggies went 23-10 and reached 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 three 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 397-192 (.674) in her 19th year at the helm of the Aggies and 497-298 (.625) in the 26th season of her head coaching career.
  • A&M is 11-5 against teams in the RPI top 60, including a win against Northern Illinois (16) and two wins each against Oklahoma (30), Baylor (42), Kansas (44) and Creighton (58). A&M 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).
  • A&M has led its opponents in assists in each of the last 10 matches. The Aggies have led in kills in the last eight matches, including a season-high plus 32-kill margin (73-41) in the win at Oklahoma. In addition, A&M has led its opponent in aces and digs in every match and also led or tied in hitting percentage in each of the last six matches.
  • A&M leads the conference and is ranked 23rd in the nation with 14.14 kills per set and 27th in the country with 13.08 assists per set. A&M also leads the league with 1.39 aces per set for the full season.
  • The Aggies hit a Big 12 season-high .300 in the win at Oklahoma on Saturday and had five players post double figures in kills for the second time this season. Prior to this season, the last time A&M had five players post double-digit kills in the same match was August 26, 2006, at Colorado State when the 30-point scoring format was in effect.
  • The Aggies are 10-2 in three-set matches, 7-2 in four-set matches and 4-2 in five-set matches.
  • A&M's come-from-behind wins against Kansas and Oklahoma during the first half of Big 12 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.
  • 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.

Individual Notes

  • Senior middle blocker Elise Hendrickson leads the Big 12 with 0.35 aces per set. She has had at least one ace in 21 of 27 matches and has tallied two or more aces in 11 matches.
  • Setter Allie Sawatzky, who ranks fourth in the Big 12 with 10.41 assists per set for the full season, recorded the second triple-double of her career in the win at Oklahoma on Saturday, posting 51 assists, 10 kills and 12 digs. Earlier this season, Sawatzky became the first A&M player to post a triple-double since the 25-point scoring format went into effect in 2008 and the first player with a triple double since 2004 when she tallied 11 kills, 46 assists and 11 digs in A&M's 3-2 victory against Baylor on Sept. 28. Sawatzky, whose 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, has 2,140 career assists, ranking 10th in the A&M career records.
  • Middle blocker Lindsey Miller is ranked third in the Big 12 and 60th in the nation with a .324 hitting percentage. She is fourth in the conference and 74th in the country with 1.13 blocks per set. In Big 12 matches only the 6-2 junior is third in the league in blocks (1.26) per set and fifth in hitting percentage (.353).
  • Right-side hitter Alisia Kastmo ranks 10th in the Big 12 with a .315 hitting percentage for the full season. She has posted double figures in kills in 14 matches and is hitting .372 when posting 10 or more kills in a match.
  • Kelsey Black leads the team and ranks seventh in the Big 12 with 3.83 points per set for the full season. She is fifth in the league in aces (0.27) and eighth in kills (3.29) per set for the full season.
  • 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 57.
  • Junior libero Megan Pendergast has played in 26 of 27 matches and has led or tied for the team lead in digs 17 times, more than any other player. She has posted double figures in digs in a team-high 21 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 4.02 digs per set for the full season and is seventh in the league with 3.98 digs per set in conference matches only.
  • Black leads A&M with 16 double-doubles. She has posted double figures in kills in 19 of 27 matches overall and double figures in digs in 20 matches, including in nine of the last 10 matches.
  • Miller's career-high nine blocks 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 102 sets. Kastmo, who has played in 101 of 102 sets, has started all but five matches in which senior Sarah Grace started for her in the back row rotation.
  • A&M had six players named to the Academic All-Big 12 Volleyball First Team. Senior outside hitter Chelsea Ringel received special commendation for achieving a 4.0 GPA. Others representing A&M on the first team are Grace, Hendrickson, Kastmo, Miller and 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.

SERIES RECORD:

  • A&M has faced Texas more than any other opponent in the history of the program.
  • The Longhorns lead the series against the Aggies, 64-23, since 1976, including 20-11 in Big 12 matches only.
  • A&M is 13-22 against the Longhorns in College Station. 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.
  • Earlier this year, the Aggies fell to the Longhorns, 25-15, 25-19, 25-23, at Gregory Gym in Austin. Kelsey Black, Lindsey Miller and Alisia Kastmo led A&M with nine kills apiece. Tori Mellinger had a team-high seven digs, and Miller led with three blocks and 11 points. Allie Sawatzky dished out 26 assists. Texas outhit A&M .349 to .202 for the match and led in kills (42-33), digs (31-23) and blocks (7-5.5). Khat Bell led all players with 12 kills while hitting .611.

TEXAS TIDBITS:

  • Texas (20-4, 13-1 Big 12) is No. 3 in the Volleyball Magazine Top 20 and No. 5 in the AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. The Longhorns are No. 4 in the NCAA RPI ranking.
  • The Longhorns, who are riding a 12-match winning streak, hold a half game lead against Iowa State for first place in the Big 12 standings with two matches remaining. Texas closes out the regular season by hosting Oklahoma, the only team that has handed Texas a conference loss this season.
  • Sophomore setter Hannah Allison was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week on Monday after setting the Big 12's leading offense to a .354 team hitting percentage while averaging 13.67 assists, 2.17 digs, 1.83 points, 1.17 kills and 1.00 blocks per set in wins against Baylor and Missouri last week.
  • Freshman outside hitter Haley Eckerman was named Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Monday after taking team-high honors in kills in both matches, posting 10 kills against Baylor and 16 kills at Missouri.
  • Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams leads the Big 12 and is ranked eighth in the nation with a .403 hitting percentage. She is hitting .426 in Big 12 matches only.
  • As a team, the Longhorns also are eighth in the nation with a .279 hitting percentage.
  • 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 261-74 in his 11th season as head coach of the Horns.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE:

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.

LOOKING AHEAD:

The 64-team NCAA Championship bracket will be announced Sunday, Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. First- and second-round matches will be played Dec. 1-4 at participating institutions. Regional sites are Gainesville, Fla., Honolulu, Hawaii, Lexington, Ken., and Minneapolis, Minn., with matches played Dec. 9-10. The Final Four will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Dec. 15 and 17.

A&M is expecting to make its 15th NCAA tournament appearance under 19-year head coach Laurie Corbelli and its 19th appearance in the history of the program.


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