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Texas A&M volleyball opens up at home this weekend

The Maroon & White takes on Hawai’i at 11 a.m. Friday.
Credit: KAGS

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Under the direction of fifth-year head volleyball coach Bird Kuhn, the Aggies open the 2022 season with the Texas A&M Invitational this weekend inside Reed Arena. 

The Maroon & White takes on Hawai’i at 11 a.m. Friday, before a matchup with No. 25 San Diego on Saturday at 1 p.m. Texas A&M and No. 6 Pitt wrap up the six-match event Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Saturday’s match with the Toreros airs nationally on SEC Network, while A&M’s other two matches will be available for streaming via SEC Network+ to authenticated subscribers. Additionally, live stats are available for fans to follow throughout the entirety of the tournament. 

A LOOK AT THE FIELD

This year’s tournament features three 2021 NCAA Tournament participants. The Pitt Panthers advanced the furthest, reaching the program’s first Final Four. Friday’s match between Texas A&M and Hawai’i marks the first time since 2005, and just second time since the turn of the century, that the Rainbow Wahine will start their season on the road. 

Pitt and San Diego both enter the weekend in the AVCA Top 25. The Toreros’ placement marks the 25th-consecutive season San Diego has been nationally ranked. The Panthers check in at No. 6, which is the highest preseason ranking given to Pitt in program history. 

ABOUT THE AGGIES

Texas A&M returns a core of seniors, including fifth-year Allison Fields who donned the libero jersey to close the year, turning in a career-high 27 digs in the season finale against Missouri. 

Freshmen Ifenna Cos-Okpalla, Lexi Guinn, Logan Lednicky, Ital Lopuyo and Ava Underwood checked in as the No. 13 recruiting class in the country according to PrepVolleyball.com. It marked the second-highest ranked recruiting class in the Southeastern Conference and highest under the direction of Kuhn and her staff. Four of A&M’s five freshmen were named AVCA High School All-Americans in 2021.

Among the 10 new faces on the sidelines this year for Aggie volleyball are five transfers. Molly Brown (Purdue), Lauren Hogan (Syracuse), Mia Johnson (Hawaii), Elena Karakasi (Syracuse) and Caroline Meuth (Notre Dame) all bring invaluable experience to the team. Meuth was a two-time All-ACC selection, while Hogan landed a spot on the ACC’s All-Freshman Team during the 2020-21 season. Karakasi finished her career with the Orange ninth all-time in assists (2,486).

ABOUT THE TEXAS A&M INVITATIONAL

For the eighth time in 10 years, the Aggies are hosting the Texas A&M Invitational. A&M has claimed the tournament title six times (2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021) in that span, posting a 17-3 record at the event. 

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

Friday, August 26: Texas A&M vs. Hawai’i (11 a.m.); Pitt vs. San Diego (2 p.m.)

Saturday, August 27: Texas A&M vs. San Diego (1 p.m.); Hawai’i vs. Pitt (4 p.m.)

Sunday, August 28: San Diego vs. Hawai’i (10 a.m.); Texas A&M vs. Pitt (12:30 p.m.)

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