The Texas A&M volleyball team officially began their preparation for the 2019 season, as the Aggies had their first day of practice under second year head coach Bird Kuhn.
The Aggies kicked off the day with a workout, followed by a practice and will continue this schedule throughout the rest of preseason.
“This morning went well,” said head coach Bird Kuhn. “It was just ball control, but it was good to get everyone in the gym. Everyone is moving and getting in the groove of how the practices will flow and run. We have six new freshmen, so it was good to get them in there. I think all of us were anticipating getting back in the gym and being together.”
Kuhn returns 11 letterwinners from last year’s team, including senior outside hitter Hollann Hans, a 2019 Preseason All-SEC Team selection. Also returning is junior setter Camille Conner, who started in all 30 matches last year.
“It feels good to finally get started and be with the team and coaches,” said senior outside hitter Hollann Hans. “We’ve been working hard in the offseason and in the summer. It’s fun getting back in the gym.”
Others returning with starting experience are middle blockers London Austin-Roark, Makena Patterson and Morgan Davis, outside hitter, Samantha Sanders and defensive specialist/libero Allison Fields.
Also returning is senior defensive specialist/setter Haley Slocum, defensive specialist Taylor Voss, middle blocker Mallory Talbert, and defensive specialist/libero Camila Gomez, who sat out last season after transferring from Miami Dade. Additionally, freshman Sabrina Sustala enrolled at Texas A&M in January and gained valuable experience by participating in the Aggies’ spring drills.
A&M also welcomes five freshmen in addition to Sustala. A Top 27 Ranked Recruiting Class by PrepVolleyball.com, newcomers include Karly Basham, Lauren Davis, Treyaunna Rush, Madison Bowser and Ciera Hecht.
“I think year two is just building on that foundation from year one,” Kuhn said. “The team bought in. The impact that our returners and upperclassmen are having is huge. They allowed the freshmen to come in with their personalities and competitiveness and it’s already meshing. I think it’s the idea that we’re building on where we finished. That’s where year two will look different. The relationships are there and the development is just expanding. It’s a natural evolution.”
Fans can get their first glimpse of the Aggies on Saturday, August 24 when Texas A&M hosts Baylor in an exhibition match in Reed Arena. First set is at 2 p.m., and there will be no admission charge.
The Aggies open the regular season against Dayton on August 30 at the Cardinal Classic in Louisville, Ky. A&M makes their official 2019 Reed Arena debut on Thursday, Sept. 12, as they host the two-day Texas A&M Invitational.