OXFORD, Miss. – Following an opening-weekend sweep of the LSU Tigers, No. 7 Texas A&M volleyball embarks on its first road trip of the 2020 campaign, as the Aggies (2-0) take on the Ole Miss Rebels (0-0) in a pair of battles from the Gillom Athletics Performance Center. Thursday night’s match will be televised nationally on SEC Network at 6:30 p.m. with Eric Frede and Jenny Hazelwood on the call. Friday’s 6 p.m. match will also be televised on SEC Network, with Paul Sunderland joining Hazelwood for the broadcast.
The Maroon & White join Arkansas and Kentucky as the only undefeated SEC teams after the opening weekend. A&M’s excellent start to the season garnered a rise to No. 7 in the latest AVCA Coaches Poll.
The Aggies displayed dominance in their long-awaited 2020 season debut, stamping out LSU in a 3-0 affair last Saturday afternoon at Reed Arena. Senior setter Camille Conner picked up right where she left off last season, securing her 28th career double-double with 29 assists and 13 digs. Junior transfer Camryn Ennis finished with 11 kills and 10 digs in the match, leading A&M’s all-around offensive attack in the first match of the year.
A&M’s second bout with LSU proved more challenging than the first, but career performances from junior Mallory Talbert, as well as sophomores Lauren Davis, Karly Basham, and Morgan Christon, elevated the Aggies to a 3-2 victory. Talbert dominated on both ends of the net, firing down 12 kills and crushing 10 blocks, earning her SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors. Lauren Davis recorded career highs in kills (20) and blocks (6), Basham notched a career high in digs (23), and Christon contributed 14 kills, 10 digs, and a pair of service aces in the win.
Ole Miss will begin 2020 fall action against Texas A&M on Thursday. The Rebels were selected in a poll of SEC coaches to finish 10th in league play earlier this month. First-year head coach Kayla Banwarth commands a team that finished 14-15 overall in 2019 with a 6-12 mark in SEC play. The Rebels’ roster features eight letterwinners from last year, one transfer player and a freshmen cohort of seven. The offense operates under the direction of senior setter Lauren Bars, who finished with 1,085 assists and 21 service aces last year.
The Aggies and Rebels meet for the 19th and 20th times this week, as A&M leads the all-time series 16-2 with a 6-1 advantage in Oxford.