April 15, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M volleyball team concludes its spring season Saturday at the Rice Spring Tournament in Houston.

The Aggies take on Sam Houston State at 10:30 a.m. in the first of three matches. A&M then faces the host Rice Owls -- coached by former Aggie standout Genny (Wood) Volpe -- starting at 11:45 a.m. and concludes the tournament against Blinn Junior College at 2 p.m. Texas State also will be competing in the tournament but will not face the Aggies.

All A&M matches will be played at Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice campus and will be best 2-out-of-3 sets.

"This has been a really important spring for us with 14 returners," A&M head coach Laurie Corbelli said. "Before the start of spring workouts, we identified specific parts of our game where improvement was most necessary, and we have attacked those areas during our training.

"Our team is very much at the top of their game with passing and defense, and our blocking is strong. The setters have improved not only in execution, but also in decision-making. They have a more in depth understanding, and their connection with the middles has become more refined. As a result, our overall attack has improved and must continue to improve and put balls away. That has been my most passionate demand of the spring.

"It is important that our competition on Saturday be a reflection of what we have accomplished during our training, and I expect the team to win every set and every match, to play and perform at the level we have strived for and reach the goals we have set."

The Aggies went 3-1 in their only other spring tournament, the Texas Pride Collegiate Invitational on March 23 in Richmond, Texas. A&M opened with a 25-18, 21-25, 15-10 victory over Wichita State and then swept Texas-San Antonio 25-19, 25-17. A&M suffered its only loss, 26-24, 25-16, to TCU and concluded the tournament with a 25-12, 25-21 win against non-conference rival LSU.