Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
Texas A&M Aggies (12-8, 5-3 SEC) vs. No. 15 Kentucky Wildcats (13-4, 7-0 SEC)
Sunday, October 21, 2 p.m.
College Station, Texas
Stream: SEC Network+
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M (12-8, 5-3 SEC) wraps up the first half of the Southeastern Conference schedule on Sunday as the Aggies play host to 15th-ranked Kentucky (13-4, 7-0 SEC) at Reed Arena. First serve is at 2 p.m., and the match will be streamed on SEC Network+ with Casey Richardson and Chelsea Reber calling the action.
The match will showcase the two top point-producing players in the league in A&M’s Hollann Hans, the two-time reigning SEC Offensive Player of the Week who leads the conference in points and aces per set in league play, and Kentucky’s Leah Edmonds, who leads the SEC in kills per set and is second in points average in conference contests. The match also will feature two of the top setters in the league in A&M’s lefty Camille Conner and the Wildcats’ Madison Lilley.
The Aggies are coming off their first SEC home loss of the season, a hard-fought 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 25-21, 24-26, 15-12) setback to Tennessee on Friday. Meanwhile, Kentucky won its 10th consecutive match in convincing fashion, disposing of LSU, 3-0 (25-14, 25-16, 25-21) while outhitting the Tigers, .327 to .090, on Friday in Baton Rouge.
· Take a Kid to the Game: Four kids admitted free with the purchase of one adult ticket (Available in-person on game day only. Not available in advance);
· Giveaway: Adidas Maroon Performance T’s for the 1st 100 fans at all entrances
· Kids Zone Sunday: (1 to 2 p.m.) on the upper level concourse from Sec. 126-130. Free youth entertainment including inflatables, a selfie station, face painting, balloon animals & more.
· Concessions: Free popcorn for the first 100 kids in the Kids Zone.
· Sunday Selfies: Fans are invited to the court to get selfies with team members.
TEXAS A&M-KENTUCKY SERIES HISTORY
· Kentucky leads the all-time series 10-8 since the teams first met in 1982.
· Kentucky has won the last three meetings and is 7-3 against A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012.
· Kentucky swept the home-and-home season series last year, winning both matches, 3-0.
· In the most recent meeting, Kentucky defeated A&M 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17) at Reed Arena on Oct. 29, 2017, to snap a two-match losing skid in matches played in College Station.
· In that most recent meeting, Kentucky used a 9-1 run to pull away in the opening set. The Wildcats used a 10-2 surge and outhit A&M .214 to -.029 en route to the second-set win, and they led the entire third set, outhitting A&M, .520 to .172, in the frame to complete the sweep.
· Avery Skinner had 12 kills to lead Kentucky, which outhit A&M, .393 to .116 for the match. Kaz Brown had six block assists for the Wildcats to lead them to a 7-4 lead in team blocks. Senior outside hitter Kiara McGee finished with a team-high 12 points while hitting .304 for A&M. Then-freshman setter Camille Conner had 20 assists, libero Amy Nettles had a team-high seven digs, and middle blocker Morgan Davis led the team in blocks with three.
· A&M’s most recent victory over Kentucky was Nov. 18, 2015, when the Aggies upset the 19th-ranked Wildcats, 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 26-24) at Reed Arena. It remains A&M’s only three-set sweep against the Wildcats since joining the SEC, and it also completed A&M’s only home-and-home season series sweep against Kentucky. The victory was the 11th win in a 14-match winning streak the Aggies would ride to close out the SEC season and capture the SEC Championship, A&M’s first and only conference title in program history.
· In the first-ever meeting as SEC foes, Kentucky defeated the Aggies, 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 15-12) on Sept. 23, 2012, at Reed Arena. It was A&M’s first conference loss in SEC history after opening its inaugural season in the league, 2-0, in conference matches.
TEXAS A&M IN THE SEC
· Texas A&M is tied with South Carolina for fifth place in the SEC standings with a 5-3 record.
· A&M is picked to finish 8th in the SEC in 2018, according to a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.
· Texas A&M junior outside hitter Hollann Hans was named to the nine-member 2018 Preseason All-SEC Team, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
· All five of A&M’s SEC wins this season have been against teams that were predicted to finish above the Aggies, according to the preseason poll. A&M has two 3-2 victories against Georgia as well as a 3-2 win at LSU. Both of those teams tied for fourth in the preseason poll. The Aggies swept both Auburn and Arkansas, who were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.
· A&M went 7-11 in conference matches last season to finish in ninth place in the SEC.
· A&M’s best season in the SEC was 2015, when the Aggies, despite dropping their conference season opener to Arkansas, went 16-2 to capture the SEC title, A&M’s first conference championship in program history.
· In their inaugural SEC season opener, the Aggies defeated Ole Miss on Sept. 14, 2012, at Reed Arena, marking Texas A&M’s first SEC victory in any sport. The Aggies went on to finish 16-4, winning the SEC Western Division and placing second overall.
· Texas A&M is 82-36 (.695) all-time in SEC matches only.
· The Aggies are 43-17 (.717) all-time in SEC home matches and 39-19 (.672) in SEC away matches.
TEXAS A&M NOTES
· With a 12-8 record, A&M already has two more wins then it totaled in the entire 2017 season.
· Texas A&M is 3-1 in SEC home matches and 5-2 in all home matches this season.
· The Aggies are third in the league in assists (12.78) per set and fourth in kills (13.61), aces (1.54) and digs (14.78) per set in all matches.
· In SEC matches only, A&M is third in aces (1.57) and assists (12.94) per set.
· A&M is outhitting its opponents, .233 to .191 in all matches and .234 to .212 in SEC matches only.
· For the season, A&M is 6-2 in three-set matches, 3-2 in four-set matches and 3-4 in five set matches.
· Seven of A&M’s last 12 matches have been decided in five sets.
· A&M jumped from 79 to 64 in the most recent NCAA RPI (rating percentage index).
KENTUCKY QUICK HITS
· Kentucky (13-4, 7-0 SEC) is riding a 10-match win streak and is second in the SEC standings behind 9-0 Florida.
· Kentucky was picked to win the SEC, according to a preseason poll of the league’s head coaches.
· The Wildcats, who entered the weekend ranked fifth in the nation in hitting percentage, lead the SEC with a .301 hitting percentage, 12.89 assists and 14.12 kills per set for the full season.
· In SEC matches only, the Wildcats lead the league in hitting percentage (.309) and opponent hitting percentage (.158), and assists (13.67) and kills (15.08) per set, and are tied for first with 2.0 aces per set.
· Kentucky outhit LSU, .327 to .090, in the sweep at Baton Rouge on Friday. It was the ninth consecutive match the Wildcats have held their opponent to a .199 or lower hitting efficiency.
· Sophomore setter Madison Lilley is the reigning SEC Setter of the Week.
· Senior middle blocker Brooke Morgan entered the weekend ranked second in the nation in hitting percentage and leads the SEC with a .433 hitting efficiency in all matches.
· Junior outside hitter Leah Edmond leads the SEC with 4.75 kills per set in league play and is second behind A&M’s Hollann Hans with 5.25 points per set.
· Edmond and Morgan led the Wildcats with 10 kills apiece and hit a combined .391 in the victory against LSU.
· Kentucky has not suffered a lost since Sept. 7 when the Wildcats fell, 3-1, at then-No. 6 Texas.
· The Wildcats lost their first three matches of the season, losing to then-No. 13 Creighton, 3-2, at then-No. 10 USC, 3-1, and a 3-2 setback to Northern Iowa.
· Kentucky is 7-0 in three-set matches, 5-2 in four-set matches and 1-2 in five-set matches.
· They are 8-0 in home matches and 5-2 in away matches, including 3-0 in SEC away matches.
· Former three-time SEC Libero of the Year Ashley Dusek graduated from Kentucky in May and now serves as the volunteer assistant coach for the Aggies.
· Craig Skinner is 315-117 in his 14-year head coaching career, all at Kentucky.