MADISON, Wis. - The 2019 Texas A&M volleyball season came to a close on Friday afternoon, as the No. 13 overall seed Aggies dropped a three-set match to the No. 4 Wisconsin Badgers (20-25, 17-25, 23-25) at the UW Field House. A&M finished the season with an overall record of 23-8, the program's best mark since the 24-7 campaign in 2015.
With the loss, Texas A&M finishes the season in the regional round of play, last accomplished in the 2009 season. Wisconsin improves to 25-6 and 13-3 at home.
Senior outside hitter Hollann Hans finished with 20 kills and five digs to go along with two service aces. In her final match, Hans recorded her 27th consecutive match in double digits, the 91st such performance of her career.
Hans finished her career in the Maroon & White with a grand total of 1,640 kills, maintaining her program record for that statistic in the 25-point rally scoring era. Hans holds over 40 program records and will go down as one of the most impressive student-athletes in the history of A&M volleyball. She is set to graduate from Texas A&M in the spring of 2020.
Junior setter Camille Conner managed the Aggie offense, recording 33 assists, six kills and five digs, leading A&M to a .229 hitting clip.
The Aggie defense was led by senior libero Camila Gomez, who finished the afternoon with 23 digs. Junior middle blocker Makena Patterson ended the final match of the season with a total of two blocks, while smashing down seven kills.
Hans smashed down a kill to put the Aggies on the board first. She fired down three more kills, including a back row attack to give A&M a 5-4 edge. Wisconsin had a trio of kills to take its first lead of the frame, 9-7 and would control a three-point lead. Back-to-back Badger attacking errors and a kill by Mallory Talbert saw the Aggies pull within one, 18-17. Wisconsin used a 5-1 run to take a 23-18 lead. Hans came through for A&M once again with her eighth kill of the afternoon, but Wisconsin reached set point, as the Aggies trailed by four. Talbert halted the Badgers with a kill, but Wisconsin closed out the frame, 25-20. Conner dished out 11 assists, while Gomez compiled four digs.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 9-2 lead, with Talbert ending the Badgers run with a kill. Talbert started a 3-0 run for the Aggies after destroying a kill, followed by back-to-back aces by Hans to pull the Aggies within four, 9-5. A&M continued to battle, with Lauren Davis and Hans smashing down a trio of kills to get the Aggies within two, 11-9. A Wisconsin attacking error and a solo block by Patterson got A&M within one. The Badgers would regain their lead with a 4-0 run, forcing the Aggies into a timeout. Lauren Davis' kill stopped Wisconsin's run, but another 3-0 spurt would close out the frame for the Badgers, 25-17. Hans reached double-figures with four kills. Conner delivered 11 more assists to add to her total of 22 and Gomez also reach double-digit digs with a total of 11.
The Badgers once again got off to a hot start with a 7-1 lead, as the Aggies called timeout early. Hans would end Wisconsin's run and started the Aggies with a 3-1 run to cut A&M's deficit to two, 9-7. The Badgers held a three-point advantage until a kill by Patterson and two consecutive kills by Hans helped the Aggies get within one, 12-11. It was a back and forth battle between both teams with six ties leading up to 21-21, with the Aggies' latest kill coming from Hans. The Badgers reached match point with four consecutive points, 24-22. Hans fired down her 20th kill of the match and would head back to the service line for one final time. Wisconsin's Dana Rettke sealed the deal for the Badgers with a kill, 25-23.
Head Coach Laura "Bird" Kuhn
"I'm proud of this group. Heck of a season. They fought. This was the environment we expected for sure, and Wisconsin is a great team. They were consistent tonight and we executed, but it just wasn't consistent enough all the time. The battle in the third set and the way they started playing like themselves and really settling in, that's who we really are and that's who this team has been this season and evolved and developed into and I'm proud of them."
What did the season and team mean to you?
Head Coach Laura "Bird" Kuhn: "I think the seniors and this team set the tone. The foundation was laid last year, but they set the tone for what the buy-in was for this group. The connection and character and personality they bring is special."
Setter Camille Conner: "The seniors this year have set the foundation for this program and just their buy-in and their consistency coming into the gym every day, asking more from the underclassmen. It was something so cool to see and I'm super excited for next year. I'm really just trying to follow what they did this year and continue on, because Texas A&M Volleyball is going to be very good. So I'm super excited and thankful for the seniors."
Middle Blocker Makena Patterson: "I think I was telling everyone in the locker room that the season just exceeded my expectations in every single way, and I could not have asked for a better buy-in from this group, especially for us as seniors too. I think we really laid it all out there, but every single person bought in and we played for each other. I just couldn't have asked for a better season."
Outside Hitter Hollann Hans: "I agree with everything they said. I couldn't have asked for a better senior year, and I'm just so thankful for everyone. Texas A&M Volleyball has a really bright future and I'm excited to watch."