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Texas A&M Set to Compete at F.A.S.T. Tourney at Reliant

April 04, 2014
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M volleyball team continues its spring slate on Saturday as the Aggies compete in the third annual F.A.S.T. Complex Collegiate Invitational at the Reliant Center (Hall E) in Houston.

A&M will play three matches, all against former Big 12 Conference foes. The Aggies open competition against Baylor at 10 a.m. and then face Texas at 1 p.m. A&M closes out the tournament against Oklahoma at 2 p.m. All matches will be best 2-out-of-3 sets.

“We are going to be playing previous Big 12 rivals, so I think it will be very challenging and could get pretty heated with a lot of emotion,” said Laurie Corbelli, who is entering her 22nd season as head coach of the Aggies. “From an RPI perspective with two of our opponents being NCAA tournament teams last year, it will be a very strong field.”

Last year, the Longhorns topped Texas A&M, 3-1, in the NCAA second round in Austin, Texas, and went on to reach the NCAA Championship semifinals. Oklahoma was eliminated in the NCAA second round, falling to Stanford, 3-0.

Others in the 15-team tournament field are Houston, Houston Baptist, Louisiana Lafayette, North Texas, Rice, Stephen F. Austin, SMU, Sam Houston State, Texas-Pan American, Texas-San Antonio and Texas Southern.

Corbelli returns 11 letterwinners -- including five starters -- from last year’s team that went 19-12 and finished No. 29 out of 332 in the NCAA RPI. The Aggies opened their spring season last weekend, going unbeaten in matches played at the Rice Spring Tournament after splitting with the Owls and then sweeping both TCU and Sam Houston State.

“What I would hope to see this Saturday is a better start, more confidence and more playing our style rather than reacting to whatever our opponents do,” Corbelli said. “We want to see more from our left sides, especially out of system, but also in system. We are working to end the rally sooner.

“We are going to get our setters attacking more, getting them more confidence and a little more in position to be an attacker. With 6-foot setters, we always want to be known as a team that is going to possibly attack with the setter.

“I’m also hoping that our serving is better. That was probably the weakest part of our game as a whole at Rice, and the team knew it. I expect our passing to continue to stay strong. That is going to be a huge part for us, so that we can get our offensive pace going, and then just compete. We definitely need to compete at a high level when we start out on Saturday.”

Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only). Adult tickets are $10, and students/senior citizen tickets are available for $8.

Tournament location: Reliant Center (Hall E), 8400 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX  77054

For additional information, please visit www.fastcomplex.com.

Texas A&M closes out is spring schedule with a home match against Houston, to be held at the Reed Arena volleyball practice gym. The match has been moved to Friday, April 11, with the time to be announced.

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. 

2014 TEXAS A&M VOLLEYBALL SPRING SCHEDULE/RESULTS

Sat., March 29   at Rice Tournament, Houston (Tudor Fieldhouse)
Texas A&M vs. Rice, 26-24, 20-25
Texas A&M def. TCU, 25-23, 25-22
Texas A&M def. Sam Houston State, 25-14, 25-20

Sat., April 5       at F.A.S.T. Collegiate Invitational, Houston (Reliant Center-Hall E)
10 a.m.               Texas A&M vs. Baylor
1 p.m.                 Texas A&M vs. Texas
2 p.m.                 Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

Fri., April 11       Houston, College Station (Reed)
Texas A&M vs. Houston (time TBA)

No. 24 Texas A&M Hosts No. 16 Kentucky Sunday at 11 a.m.
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