A&M (15-5, 7-4 SEC) VS. LSU (9-12, 5-7 SEC)
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
7 p.m., Maravich Center
Baton Rouge, La.
A&M VS. SOUTH CAROLINA
Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012
12:30 p.m. (CT), Volleyball Competition Facility
TV (Friday): Cox Sports Television
Live Audio (Friday): 12thMan.TV (free)
Video (Sunday): 12thMan.TV (premium)=
Audio (Sunday): 12thMan.TV (free)
Live Stats: AggieAthletics.com
Texas A&M Travels to LSU, South Carolina
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M (15-5, 7-4
SEC) aims to stay atop the Southeastern Conference Western Division standings
and end its three-game losing skid this weekend as the Aggies hit the road to
take on seven-time defending Western champion LSU (9-12, 5-7 SEC) on Friday in Baton
Rouge and the South Carolina Gamecocks (15-8, 3-8 SEC) Sunday in Columbia.
The Aggies' first matchup against the Tigers as a
member of the SEC begins at 7 p.m. at the Maravich Center and will be televised
by Cox Sports Television (Suddenlink channel 119). First serve against South
Carolina is 12:30 p.m. (1:30 ET) at the Volleyball Competition Facility.
The Aggies are coming off a 3-2 (14-25, 25-27, 25-23,
25-23, 15-6) home loss to No. 11 Florida, which improved to 11-0 in the SEC
after winning its 14th consecutive match. It was A&M's third consecutive
loss, dropping the Aggies into a tie with Arkansas for first place in the SEC
LSU is in third place in the Western Division and is
coming off a 3-0 loss at Kentucky on Sunday. The Gamecocks, who fell at Ole
Miss, 3-0, on Sunday, host Auburn on Friday.
FOLLOW THE ACTION:
- The match at LSU will be televised by Cox Sports Television (CST)
with Lyn Rollins and Kent Lowe calling the action. (Suddenlink channel 119)
- Free live audio of the A&M-LSU match will be available on
12thMan.TV with Chelsea Reber and Kelly Stumph calling the match
- South Carolina's video feed of the A&M-South Carolina match
will be available to premium subscribers on 12thMan.TV. Audio is free at
- Live stats of both matches will be available on AggieAthletics.com
- Live updates for all matches and other information can be found by
following AggieVolleyball on Twitter
Aggies return home for two of their final three regular season home matches of
the year, as they play host to Alabama and Arkansas, Nov. 2 and 4,
respectively. The match against the Crimson Tide begins at 6:30 p.m. at Reed
Arena, and Sunday's match begins at 1 p.m. A&M defeated both teams during
the first half of league play. It will be a reunion weekend for the team with
many former players returning to College Station to attend the matches.
Texas A&M held No. 11
Florida to a season-low 14 points and had six players who had two or more kills
to win the first set against the Gators, 25-14. Senior outside hitter Tori
Mellinger closed out a 27-25 second-set victory for the Aggies with three
consecutive kills to give A&M a 2-0 lead in the match, but the Gators won
the next three sets to escape Reed Arena with a 14-25, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23,
15-6 victory on Sunday. Mellinger tied her career highs with 18 kills and four
block assists and recorded her seventh double-double of the year with 16 digs.
Senior Alisia Kastmo (17 kills, 16 digs) and junior setter Allie Sawatzky (50
assists, 10 digs) also completed double-doubles. Senior middle blockers Lindsey
Miller and Stephanie Minnerly combined for a .500 hitting percentage and 22
kills, and senior libero Megan Pendergast led all players with 18 digs.
Florida's Chloe Mann carried the Gators with 19 kills while hitting .486 and
also had six blocks to lead Florida to an 11-8 advantage in blocks. Both teams
hit an identical .267, with A&M leading in kills, 70-67.
SERIES HISTORY VS. LSU:
- A&M is 22-13 all-time against LSU, including 6-3 in matches
played in Baton Rouge.
- This will be A&M's 36th meeting with LSU, equaling Missouri as
A&M's most common opponent in the SEC. The Aggies are 24-12 all-time
against former Big 12-foe Missouri.
- LSU has won three of the last four meetings against the Aggies,
including a 25-9, 25-17, 25-22 victory on Aug. 28, 2010, at Reed Arena in the
most recent meeting.
- The last time A&M went to Baton Rouge was December 2009 for
NCAA first and second rounds. After
upsetting No. 19 Arizona in the first round, unranked A&M stunned the
18th-ranked and No. 15 seed Tigers, 18-25, 26-24, 23-25, 25-23, 15-10 in the
second round at the Maravich Center to advance to the Omaha Regional. Current
Aggie seniors Alisia Kastmo and Lindsey Miller were freshmen on the team and
served as A&M's starting middle blockers. In addition, current A&M
senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger was the designated libero in that match
and led the Aggies with 18 digs.
SERIES HISTORY VS. SOUTH
- A&M is 3-0 all-time against the Gamecocks and has not dropped a
single set in the series.
- The teams first met Oct. 10, 1993, in Columbia, where A&M
defeated the host Gamecocks, 15-7, 15-8, 15-7, in Laurie Corbelli's first
season as head coach of the Aggies.
- In the first meeting as SEC opponents, A&M defeated South
Carolina, 25-12, 25-16, 25-16, at Reed Arena on Oct. 5, 2012. Junior setter
Allie Sawatzky dished out 33 assists and directed the Aggies to a .364 to .078
hitting advantage. Aggie senior middle blocker Lindsey Miller led all players
with 12 kills while hitting .500, and senior opposite Alisia Kastmo also posted
double figures in kills with 10 to help lead the Aggies to a 48-26 advantage in
kills. Thirteen players overall saw action for the Aggies. Bethanie Thomas led
the Gamecocks with five kills.
AGGIE QUICK HITS:
- Texas A&M is tied with Arkansas (7-4) for first place in the
SEC West and is 5-0 in Western Division matches.
- A&M is No. 27 in this week's Rating Percentage Index (RPI).
Stanford is No. 1, and Penn State Nebraska, Texas and UCLA round out the top
five. At No. 10, Florida is the top-rated team representing the SEC, followed
by No. 16 Tennessee, No. 20 Kentucky, No. 25 Arkansas and Texas A&M.
- The Aggies are receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll and are
- A&M is ranked 14th in the nation and leads the SEC with 14.43
kills per set for the full season. A&M is 25th in the country and second in
the league with 13.31 assists per set. The Aggies also lead the SEC with a .163
opponent hitting percentage for the full season.
- In SEC matches only, A&M leads the league
in assists per set (13.27) and is second in kills per set (14.24).
- Five A&M players who have appeared in 60 or more sets are
averaging at least 2.0 kills per set for the full season, including setter Allie
Sawatzky, who averages 2.19 kills per set. In addition, five players who
have played in at least 38 sets in SEC matches only are averaging at least 2.0
kills per set. Senior opposite Alisia Kastmo leads the team with 3.99 kills per
set overall and 4.05 kills per set in SEC contests only.
- Five players who have appeared in 38 or more sets in SEC matches
only are averaging more than 2.0 digs per set. Senior libero Megan
Pendergast leads the team with 3.92 digs per set in SEC matches only.
- A&M has led its opponent in kills in 17 of
20 matches and is 15-2 when leading in kills. Kentucky and Florida are the only
teams two teams to defeat A&M when trailing in kills, and both of those
matches were decided in five sets.
- A&M is 14-0 when posting a higher hitting percentage than its
- A&M is 14-2 when winning the first set. No. 5 USC and No. 11
Florida are the only teams that have come back to defeat the Aggies after
dropping the opening set.
- A&M has used the same starting lineup in
18 of 20 matches with seniors Lindsey Miller and Stephanie Minnerly
at middle blocker, senior Alisia Kastmo at opposite, senior Tori
Mellinger on the outside, along with junior Heather Reynolds, and
junior Allie Sawatzky at setter. Senior Megan Pendergast has
started out every match as the team's designated libero. Kelsey Kinley
started two matches -- the first two starts of her career -- in place of
Reynolds in the back row.
- Texas A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli celebrated
the 500th win of her 26-year head coaching career and her 400th victory in her
20th season at the helm of the Aggies in A&M's season-opening victory
against Texas State on Aug. 24 at Reed Arena. She is now 514-305 for her career
and 414-199 at A&M.
- Corbelli returns 10 letterwinners - including
four starters plus the libero -- from last year's team that went 23-8 and
reached the second round of the NCAA tournament. She also welcomes one transfer
and seven highly touted freshmen who represent the 20th-ranked recruiting class
in the nation.
- Twelve of A&M's 29 regular season matches
will be against teams that appeared in the 2011 NCAA tournament. A&M is
currently 5-5 against 2011 NCAA tournament teams.
- In their inaugural season in the SEC, the Aggies
have been picked to finish second in the SEC West behind seven-time defending
west champion LSU. Tennessee is projected to win the East Division and the
overall SEC title. A&M finished third in the Big 12 with an 11-5 record in
- Senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger was teammates with LSU
outside hitters Madie Jones and libero Meghan Mannari on the Skyline Juniors
club team that finished runner-up at the 2008 Junior Olympics.
- Senior middle blocker Lindsey Miller and Allie Sawatzky
have started every match of their careers. The match against Delaware earlier
this season marked Miller's 100th consecutive start, and she has now started
112 consecutive matches. Sawatzky has started all 81 matches throughout her
- Lindsey Miller, who has tied or led the
team in blocks in 14 of 20 matches this season, leads A&M and is eighth in
the SEC with 1.06 blocks per set for the full season. Miller has led the team
in both total blocks and blocks per set, as well as hitting percentage, in the
season final stats every year during her career, and she ranks fifth in the
A&M career records with 363 block assists, and she is seventh in the career
annals with 414 total blocks and 1,136 points. She needs only 25.5 points to
move into sixth in the A&M career records.
- Libero Megan Pendergast became the first A&M player to
receive an SEC weekly honor when she was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the
Week on Oct. 1. The senior leads A&M and is eighth in the league with 3.92
digs per set in conference matches only. She is 11th in the SEC with 3.85 digs
per set for the full season. Pendergast has posted double-figure digs in 15 of
20 matches, including three matches in which she had 20 or more digs.
- Showing the balance of the team, each of
A&M's starters was named to at least one all-tournament team in the three
tournaments A&M played this year. Senior opposite Alisia Kastmo, the
MVP of the Delaware Invitational, and Allie Sawatzky appeared on two
all-tournament teams. Senior middle blocker Stephanie Minnerly, the MVP
of the Yale Classic, senior outside hitter Tori Mellinger, junior
outside hitter Heather Reynolds and Lindsey Miller and have each
appeared on one all-tournament team.
- Tori Mellinger, considered one of the
most complete players on the team, is ranked in the SEC top 20 in kills, digs
and points per set in all matches and in SEC matches only. She is averaging
2.93 kills, 3.10 digs and 3.31 points per set for the full season and 3.02
kills, 3.24 digs and 3.46 points per set in SEC matches only.
- Alisia Kastmo has had double-figure
kills in a team-leading 14 matches this season, including three 20-plus kill
performances. She leads A&M and ranks ninth in the SEC with 3.57 kills per
set for the full season. She is seventh in the league in SEC matches only with
3.70 kills per set. In addition, Kastmo is eighth with 3.99 points per set for
the full season and tied for ninth with 4.05 points per set in SEC contests
- Allie Sawatzky ranks eighth in the A&M career records
with 2,940 assists. She needs 23 more to move into seventh place.
- Tori Mellinger is ranked sixth in the
A&M career records with 1,332 digs. She needs 35 more to move into fifth
place, surpassing former teammate Mary Batis who had 1,366 digs from 2006-09.
- Alisia Kastmo and Stephanie
Minnerly both have graduated with bachelor's degrees and are continuing
their education as they complete their athletic eligibility. Kastmo graduated
in August with a degree in finance and is pursuing a master's degree in real
estate. Minnerly, a fifth-year senior, graduated in December 2011 with a
bachelor's degree in university studies. She is pursuing a second degree, a
bachelor's of science in agricultural leadership and development, and is
scheduled to graduate in May 2013.
- LSU (9-12, 5-7 SEC) was picked to win the SEC
Western Division for an eighth straight year and is currently in third place in
the league standings.
- The Tigers are coming off a 3-0 (25-29, 25-18,
25-22) loss at Kentucky on Sunday. They were outhit, .287 to .160 and
outblocked, 8.5 to 2.0. Madie Jones was the only LSU player to reach double
figures in kills with 11.
- LSU leads the SEC with 16.79 digs per set for
the full season and 18.42 digs per set in SEC matches only.
- Libero Meghan Mannari was named SEC Defensive
Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 7.57 digs per set in a 3-1 win at
Auburn and a 3-0 loss at Kentucky. The senior from Frisco, Texas, had 40 digs
against Auburn and 13 digs at Auburn last week and is averaging 5.67 digs per
set in SEC matches only.
- Head coach Fran Flory (Texas '84) is 276-168
in her 15th season at the helm of the Tigers. She served as an assistant coach
at Texas A&M in 1987 under former Aggie head coach Al Givens.
- South Carolina (15-8, 3-8 SEC) went 1-1 on the
road last weekend, defeating Mississippi State, 3-0, and then falling to Ole
- The Gamecocks are led by junior outside hitter
Juliette Thevenin, who ranks second in the SEC with 4.19 kills per set for the
- Defensively, Paige Wheeler is averaging a
team-best 4.05 digs per set and Darian Dozier is averaging 0.80 blocks per set.
- South Carolina is outhitting its opponents,
.262 to .228 in all matches but is being outhit, .295 to .202, in SEC matches
- South Carolina is 9-3 in home matches.
- The Gamecocks list three players who hail from
Texas: redshirt sophomore middle blocker Cara Howley (McKinney) and
freshmen Jenna Allen, an outside hitter
from Lewisville, and Elizabeth Johnbull, a middle blocker from Pflugerville.
- Scott Swanson (Arizona State, 1995) is 29-24
in his second season as head coach of the Gamecocks.