BATON ROUGE, La. - Texas A&M stormed back after a sluggish first set to defeat LSU, 22-25, 25-14, 25-13, 25-6 in Southeastern Conference action tonight at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Texas A&M improves to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in SEC matches as the Aggies win their fourth consecutive match against the Tigers in matches played in Baton Rouge. It was the fifth consecutive loss for LSU, which falls to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in SEC matches. The Tigers also fall to 0-7 in home matches as they were held to their three fewest set points of the season.
Junior outside hitter Kiara McGee led the Aggies with 16 kills while hitting a career-high .519. Senior middle blocker Jazzmin Babers and freshman outside hitter Hollann Hans pitched in 10 kills apiece, marking Hans' team-leading sixth consecutive match with double-figure kills. Junior setter Stephanie Aiple tied her career high with eight kills and dished out 42 assists while directing the Aggies' offense to a .344 hitting efficiency.
Defensively, Babers had a season-high 10 blocks to record her first double-double of the year and lead the Aggies to a 15-4 lead in blocks. Senior defensive specialist Victoria Arenas had a team-high 13 digs, and the Aggies held the Tigers to a .074 hitting efficiency, the third lowest hitting percentage by an A&M opponent this season.
LSU took advantage of a slow start by the Aggies and jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the opening set. Texas A&M attempted a comeback, scoring six unanswered points to get within 12-11, but LSU ended the run with three consecutive kills.
Texas A&M, which was narrowly outhit A&M, .265 to .262, continued to mount a comeback and stayed within striking distance, later overcoming a 20-16 deficit to tie the score at 21-21 on a kill by Emily Hardesty. A&M tied the score again at 22-22 following a block by Babers and Aiple, but the Tigers put down three consecutive kills to close out the frame.
The Aggies held a 16-14 lead in the second set before catching fire. Texas A&M, which outhit the Tigers .382 to .139 in the set, reeled off nine consecutive points to take the set, 25-14. A&M spotted LSU a 4-0 lead to start the third set and trailed 7-3 before Hans ignited a 16-1 run, posting her six kills of the set and adding two blocks during the rally. McGee was six-for-six in the set, including the kill that put the Aggies at set point, 24-12, and then getting the set-wining kill as A&M outhit LSU, .378 to .029.
A&M continued its domination in the fourth set, scoring runs of points and outhitting the Tigers, .389 to -.267, with senior setter Kaysie Shebeneck replacing Aiple at 15-3. The Aggies were up 20-5 when Hans put down her 10th kill, marking the start of a 4-0 run by the Aggies. Freshman middle blocker Maddie Douglas, who subbed in for Babers late in the frame, teamed with junior opposite Ashlie Reasor for a block that put the Aggies at set point. A&M then had an attack error before Shebeneck set up Reasor for the match-winning kill.
For the match, Texas A&M led LSU in total kills (59-39), assists (51-35) and digs (62-49) and had a season-high 28 block assists.