Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
MARIBOR, Slovenia – The Texas A&M volleyball team continued its foreign training tour today, taking on the Austria National Team at the Hotel Habakkuk and training center. The teams agreed at the start that they would play five sets regardless of the outcome, and the Austrian team went on to win, 4-1 (25-13, 25-21, 24-26, 15-7).
The Aggies departed Prague at 6:30 a.m. morning and headed to Maribor. After making a quick sightseeing stop along the way in Vienna, the Aggies concluded their 8-hour bus ride at the Hotel Habakkuk and training center and had approximately one hour of down time before they began warming up to face the Austria National Team.
A&M was within 11-9 in the opening set before Austria went on a 10-2 run to build a 21-11 lead. The deficit was too large for the Aggies to overcome, and the national team went on to win, 25-13.
The second set was tied a 17-17 before the Austrians used a 3-0 run to go up, 20-17. The teams traded point-for-point until an A&M service error and an Austria ace put the national team at set point, 24-20. A&M outside hitter Hollann Hans staved off one set point with a kill, but a service error handed the Austrians the second-set win.
Austria jumped out to a 7-1 lead to open the third set and went on to build it largest lead at 15-6. The Aggies, however, rallied and eventually tied the set, 22-22, following a kill by setter Camille Conner. The Aggies later were serving for the set after Conner teamed with Morgan Davis for a block that put A&M ahead 24-23. An attack error knotted the score at 24-24 before Brookah Palmer, who had been ineligible due to NCAA transfer rules but was informed just before the start of the match that she was cleared to compete, ripped a kill down the line to put the Aggies at set point. She then served an ace to cap the Aggies’ 26-24 win.
Austria used a six-point run to build a 10-5 lead in the fourth set and never lost the lead. The national team later went on a 4-0 run to be serving for the set, 24-17. Palmer kept the Aggies alive with a kill before an Austrian kill ended the match.
Austria used a 7-1 scoring surge to build an 8-5 lead in the fifth set. A&M got within 9-7 following a kill by Samantha Sanders, but Austria would score six consecutive points to close out the set, 15-7.
The Aggies practice tomorrow but will not have a match until Thursday when they face the Slovenian National Team.
Fans will be able to keep up to date on the Texas A&M volleyball team’s travels on 12thMan.com and Facebook as well as on Twitter and Instagram by following @AggieVolleyball.
Texas A&M postmatch quotes:
Texas A&M head coach Laura “Bird” Kuhn
On her general impression of the match…
“It was a good match. They were very competitive. I think we stepped it up with our focus because of the long day we had to travel. That was fun. That was the first time I felt our team get into things energy-wise. I think all of us kind of got back into coaching them and really breaking it down. The execution at the end of set 4 though I wish had been a little better.
Overall I was happy, never satisfied.”
On the team’s serving errors…
“We want to be aggressive serving. We need to. We need to keep people out of system, but we also need to be smart when they are struggling, keeping it on our target, and keeping the ball in bounds.”
On finding out that transfer Brookah Palmer had gotten clearance to play…
“That was fun and exciting. Coming in after the long travel day and then given that information, that got them going. It was a fun energy. I was excited for her. That was very cool seeing her out there competing today.”
On the upcoming schedule…
“Tomorrow is our day off, so we will have a full day starting with a practice and then maybe going down an alpine slide. It will be nice to recover. We are going to get in here and practice a little bit so that will be good for them.”
May 11 Depart College Station
May 12-14 Prague, Czech Republic
May 13: defeated Olymp Praha Junior Team, 3-1 (25-18, 25-15, 27-25, 20-25)
May 14: defeated Olymp Praha Professional Team, 2-1 (25-19, 27-25, 17-25)
May 15 Depart Prague, Czech Republic
Vienna, Austria (day sightseeing trip)
May 15: Austria National Team def. A&M, 4-1 (in Maribor, Slovenia)
May 15-17 Maribor, Slovenia
May 17: match vs. Slovenia National Team
May 18-19 Rovinj/Pula/Umag, Croatia
May 20 Venice Italy
May 21-22 Milan, Italy
May 23 Return to College Station