COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M ran its win streak to eight matches with a dominating 25-11, 25-11, 25-19 victory over Georgia today at Reed Arena.
The Aggies, who never trailed in the match, improve to 17-6 overall and 10-2 in Southeastern Conference matches. A&M also bettered its home record to 10-1 after winning its sixth consecutive SEC home match-all in three-set sweeps-to set a school record for consecutive SEC home victories.
Fifteen A&M players saw action, including freshman outside hitter Margaret Connett, who made her second appearance of her young career and her first appearance at Reed. Despite the constantly changing lineup, A&M hit .402 as a team with 43 kills while holding Georgia to 21 kills and a -.012 hitting efficiency, both season lows by an A&M opponent.
Senior middle blocker Shelby Sullivan paced the Aggies' attack with 10 kills while hitting at a .692 clip. Defensively, redshirt junior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers moved into eighth place in the A&M all-time career records with 392 total blocks after tallying a match-high six blocks to lead the Aggies to 11-2 advantage. Sophomore libero Amy Nettles took match-high honors in digs with 12 as A&M outdug Georgia, 38-25.
Behind the strong serving of junior defensive specialist Katelyn Labhart, who made her second start of the season, the Aggies went on an 8-0 run to open up a 14-5 first-set lead. A&M continued to pull away with Sullivan and sophomore outside hitter Kiara McGee hitting a combined .769 and finishing the frame with five kills apiece with no errors to lead A&M to a scorching .609 team hitting efficiency.
A&M jumpstarted the second stanza with six unanswered points with junior setter Kaysie Shebeneck starting in place of sophomore Stephanie Aiple, the reigning SEC Player of the Week and three-time SEC Setter of the Week. Georgia was never able to threaten as A&M was a perfect 100 percent in sideout percentage and outhit the Bulldogs .458 to -.200.
A&M took a 10-4 lead to begin the third set and went on to build its largest lead at 19-10 following a 4-0 run that including two kills by Connett. Georgia fought back and got within 21-19 before freshman outside hitter Paige Panter got a kill down the line and teamed with Babers for back-to-back blocks to put the Aggies at match point. Babers paired with Shebeneck on the next play, stuffing the Bulldogs to clinch the victory.
Jasmine Eatmon had five kills to lead Georgia, which falls to 5-19 overall and 0-12 in SEC play.
A&M hits the road next weekend to take on Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Friday and Sunday, respectively. The match against the Rebels is at 6:30 p.m. at the Gillom Sports Center in Oxford, Miss., and first serve of the match against the Bulldogs is at 1 p.m. at the Newell-Grissom Building in Starkville, Miss. Both matches will be broadcast on SEC Network +.
A&M has only two home matches remaining: a rematch against league-leader and 21st-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 9 p.m., and against defending champion Florida, Sunday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m. The Florida match also will be the Aggies' "Senior Day", and Sullivan and Angela Lowak will be honored following the match.