Texas A&M (15-10, 7-7 SEC) vs. Auburn (17-9, 8-6 SEC)
Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013
1:30 p.m., Reed Arena
Live Video/Audio/Stats: AggieAthletics.com
Live Mobile Live Stats: tamustats.com
Promotion: 350 pizza rolls to be given away at the conclusion of the match
Tickets: Available at the door or online at tickets.12thManFoundation.com
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Texas A&M aims to extend its win streak to five and also looks to avenge an earlier loss at Auburn when the Aggies battle the Tigers Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Reed Arena.
A&M won its fourth consecutive match and improved to 15-10 overall and 7-7 in SEC matches after sweeping Tennessee, 25-17, 25-14, 25-10, Friday at Reed. Senior setter Allie Sawatzky directed the Aggies to their second highest hitting percentage of the season as A&M outhit the Lady Vols, .413 to .172. The 6-2 lefty led all players with 12 kills while hitting .550 and also dished out 29 assists to record her SEC-leading 17 double-double of the season.
Senior libero Heather Reynolds led the Aggies with 13 digs. Senior Mariah Agre, who also had double-figure digs with 10, served a career-high five aces as A&M also had its second highest ace output of the season with nine. A&M sophomore middle blocker Shelby Sullivan had nine kills while hitting at a .562 clip and contributed three aces and two blocks to take match-high honors with 13 points.
Auburn, in sixth place in the SEC standings and one game ahead of the Aggies, improved to 17-9 for the season and 8-6 in conference play with a thrilling 26-24, 18-25, 18-25, 28-26, 15-11, comeback victory against LSU Friday in Baton Rouge. Auburn, which hit only .122, fought off four set points in the first set and five match points in the fourth en route to the victory. Senior middle blocker Camila Jersonsky led the Auburn attack with a career-high 19 kills while hitting .425, and four Tigers had double-doubles.
For the season, Sawatzky directs a balanced A&M offense that entered the week ranked third in the league and in the top 20 in the nation in both kills (14.33) and assists (13.37) per set. In SEC matches only, A&M is outhitting its opponents, .268 to .236, averaging 14.32 kills and 13.30 assists per set.
Sullivan, continues to be one of Sawatzky’s most consistent go-to attackers, ranking second in the SEC with a .464 hitting percentage in conference matches only. She also leads the Aggies with 3.16 kills and 3.92 points per set in league play. Sophomore hitters Angela Lowak (2.69) and Sierra Patrick (2.57), as well as Sawatzky (2.36,) are averaging more than two kills per set apiece in SEC matches, and redshirt freshman middle blocker Jazzmin Babers and freshman outside hitter Emily Hardesty are averaging 1.88 and 1.62 kills per set respectively.
Defensively, Babers leads A&M and is fifth in the conference with 1.20 blocks per set in league matches only. Reynolds leads A&M with 2.92 digs per set in league play. Meanwhile, Agre has climbed to second in the SEC with 0.38 aces per set in SEC play.
Auburn is being outhit .204 to .194 in SEC matches. Jersonsky leads the Tigers with 1.04 blocks and 2.86 kills per set while also hitting a team-best .318. Senior libero Sarah Wroblicky is third in the SEC with 4.96 digs per set.
A&M, 4-1 in the all-time series against Auburn, and the Tigers most recently met Oct. 20 at Auburn, where the Tigers notched their first win against the Aggies, 25-23, 22-25, 25-19, 25-17. As a team, Auburn outhit A&M, .242 to .135, recording 65 kills to A&M’s 48. Auburn also led in digs, 75-59. A&M held a narrow edge in blocks, 9-8.
Four Auburn players recorded double figures in kills against the Aggies, including senior middle blocker Courtney McDonald, who tied for the team high with 13 kills while hitting .400. Wroblicky led all players with 26 digs.
Lowak led A&M with 15 kills, and Patrick contributed 11 kills along with a career-high six blocks to tie Babers for match-high honors. Hardesty led A&M in digs with a career-high 14, and Sawatzky finished with 38 assists and eight kills in the loss.
A&M closes out the road portion of its regular season schedule next week, as the Aggies travel to both No. 17 Kentucky and Georgia next Friday and Sunday, respectively. A&M concludes the regular season with a home match against South Carolina, Wednesday, Nov. 27 at 4 p.m. at Reed. It will be “Senior Day,” and A&M seniors Mariah Agre, Kelsey Kinley, Heather Reynolds, Allie Sawatzky and Ashley Vrana will be honored.
Visit AggieAthletics.com for more information on Texas A&M volleyball. Aggie fans also can keep up to date with the A&M volleyball team on Facebook and on Twitter by following @AggieVolleyball.