NCAA Tournament Scouting Report: Texas A&M

by Ryan Ginn
NCAA Tournament Scouting Report: Texas A&M

BATON ROUGE ? Leading up to Friday’s NCAA Volleyball Tournament at the Maravich Center, will profile each of the visiting schools. Take a look at the field, and get all-session tickets for the tournament games in Baton Rouge today.
Tickets can be purchased online at as well as in person at the LSU Athletics Ticket Office or by phone at 225-578-2184 or 800-960-TKTS. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the first floor of the Athletics/Administration Building.
General Information
Location: College Station, Texas
Founded: 1876
Enrollment: 48,787
Nickname: Aggies
Colors: Maroon and White
Conference: Big 12
Home Court (capacity): Reed Arena (12,989)
2009 Record: 18-10 (11-9 Big 12)
NCAA Appearances: 18

NCAA Tournament Notes:

Texas A&M is making its 18th overall NCAA Tournament appearance and returns to the Field of 64 for the first time since 2005. The Aggies are receiving votes in the latest edition of the AVCA Top 25 poll and are one of six teams to represent the Big 12 conference in postseason play.

Texas A&M enters the Baton Rouge Regional with an 18-10 overall record and an 11-9 mark in Big 12 action. Six of the team’s losses came against ranked conference opponents.

The Aggies opened the season by winning nine of their first 10 matches. They claimed tournament titles in both the Texas A&M Invitational and the Texas State CenturyTel Premier. Over those two tournaments, they dropped only one set, while earning five sweeps.

Texas A&M is led by senior outside hitters Sarah Ammerman and Jennifer Banse, both of whom earned All-Big 12 First-Team accolades this season. Ammerman averages 4.23 kills per set, while Banse adds 3.27 kills per frame.

Additionally, the Aggies boast a freshmen trio that includes middle blocker Alisia Kastmo, libero Tori Mellinger, and All-Big 12 Freshman-Team selection middle blocker Lindsey Miller. Both Kastmo and Miller have produced hitting percentages that rank inside the league’s Top 10 this season.

The Aggies also have the unique claim of having a roster that includes former high school teammates on two of the other Baton Rouge Regional teams. Outside hitter Jennifer Banse attended the same high school as LSU setter Sam Dabbs. Both seniors represented their schools on their All-Conference teams in 2009. Additionally, setter Kristen Schevikhoven will face off against former teammate and current Arizona middle blocker Courney Karst in Friday’s first round matchup.

Texas A&M is coached by Laurie Corbelli. In her 17th season at the helm in College Station, Corbelli has amassed a record of 361-168. Until missing the NCAA tournament in 2006, the Aggies had qualified for the Field of 64 in each of her first 13 seasons. Under Corbelli, Texas A&M advanced to the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight on two occasions, the latest coming in 2001.

Probable starters:

12 Sarah Ammerman
Senior 6-2 Outside Hitter
Parker, Colo.
4.23 kills/set, 3.07 digs/set, 0.37 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in 92 of the team’s 97 sets this season… Led the team in kills with 389 on the year… Her 4.23 kills per set ranks second in the Big 12… Accounted for 426.5 points on the season… Compiled 4.64 points per set average, which ranks third in the conference… Served up 19 aces, tied for second on the team… All-Big 12 First-Team selection.
15 Jennifer Banse
Senior 6-0 Outside Hitter
San Antonio, Texas
3.27 kills/set, 2.92 digs/set, 0.43 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in 90 of a possible 97 sets this year… Notched 294 kills, second-most on the team… Ranked eighth in the Big 12 with 3.27 kills per set… Also recorded 263 digs, for an average of 2.92 per frame… Was responsible for 329.5 points this year… Output of 3.66 points per set ranks eighth in the conference… All-Big 12 First-Team selection.

25 Mary Batis
Senior 6-0 Outside Hitter
San Antonio, Texas
3.00 kills/set, 3.36 digs/set, 0.42 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in 90 of the team’s 97 sets this year… Leads the team with an average of 3.36 digs per set… Recorded 302 total digs for the year… Racked up 270 kills, third most on the squad… Her 21 services aces are the most on the team… Committed only seven service errors all season… Service aces per set total of 0.23 ranks ninth in the Big 12.

10 Alisia Kastmo
Freshman 6-4 Middle Blocker
Tyler, Texas
1.83 kills/set, 0.32 digs/set, 0.67 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in 75 of the team’s sets this season… Her .318 hitting percentage ranks eighth in the conference… Second on the team in total blocks with 50… Averages 0.67 blocks per set… Recorded 137 kills for a per set average of 1.83… Earned Big 12 Rookie of the Week honors on August 31.

1 Tori Mellinger
Freshman 5-10 Libero
Dallas, Texas
0.51 assists/set, 3.29 digs/set, 0.20 service aces/set

Season Profile
Played in 94 of 97 sets this year… Led the team in total digs with 309… Compiled an average of 3.29 digs per set… Passed out 48 assists on the year, the highest total among non-setters on the team… Ranks second on the team with 19 service aces on the year.

14 Lindsey Miller
Freshman 6-2 Middle Blocker
Katy, Texas
1.89 kills/set, 0.29 digs/set, 0.84 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in a team-leading 95 of 97 sets this season… Hit at a .303 percentage on the year, ranking ninth in the Big 12, one spot behind teammate and fellow freshman Alisia Kastmo… Totaled 180 kills on the year, averaging 1.89 per set… Contributed 80 blocks on the year, by far the most on the team… Named to the Big 12’s All-Freshman team.

9 Kristen Schevikhoven
Senior 5-9 Setter
Centennial, Colo.
11.25 assists/set, 2.65 digs/set, 0.36 blocks/set

Season Profile
Played in 83 of 97 sets this year… Led the team in assists with 934… Her 11.25 average ranks third in the Big 12… In her last regular season match, notched a total of 44 assists that ranked third in the conference among three-set match totals… Also compiled 220 digs for an average of 2.65 per set… Hit at a .255 percentage on the year.

# Name, Pos Ht Cl K/S, A/S, D/S, B/S
2 Kelsey Black OH 5-10 Fr. 1.15, 0.29, 1.85, 0.34
3 Julia Russell MB 6-1 Fr. 2.00, 0.00, 0.00, 1.00
5 Jola Kelner S 6-0 Sr. 0.57, 7.57, 1.23, 0.26
7 Stephanie Minnerly MB 6-2 So. 1.25, 0.00, 0.50, 0.50
8 Abby Howden MB 5-11 Fr. 1.00, 0.00, 0.50, 0.00
11 Dylan Faulkner DS 5-10 Sr. 0.10, 0.21, 0.90, 0.03
13 Chelsea Ringel OH 6-0 So. 0.70, 0.19, 1.04, 0.07
21 Caitlin Adams MB 6-2 Fr. 0.33, 0.11, 0.00, 0.22