The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, September 24, 1985, Image 7

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    Tuesday, September 24, 1985/The Battalion/Page 7
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Aggies vow to avenge first loss
Assistant Sports Editor
After two weeks on the road, the
Texas A&M volleyball team is ready
to get back to the “Four R’s.”
That’s “Reading, ’Riling, ’Rith-
maticand Revenge.”
After traveling to Illinois and Cal
ifornia, the Aggies are glad to be
back in College Station to catch up
with studies and play their first
home game.
Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in G. Rollie
White Coliseum, the Aggies won’t
even have to hear the word “go” to
get themselves “psyched” for their
That’s because back on Sept. 9,
Terry Condon’s Aggies traveled to
Huntsville to face Sam Houston
State — a team that just this year
moved up from Division 1-AA to Di
vision 1-A.
In its first game of the year, A&M
was looking to start a season in which
it hoped to surpass last year’s 33-4
mark and its final No. 15 ranking.
But things just didn’t work out as
the Aggies lost to the Bearkats.
Worse yet, A&M lost in three
straight games.
“It was so humiliating to go down
there and play a lower division
school and lose in three,” senior set
ter Lesha Beakley said. “That is the
worst match we’ve played in about
three years. Needless to say we
didn’t do much right. Out of all the
losses we’ve ever had while I’ve been
here, I’m embarrassed to have that
one in the loss column.”
Even A&M’s freshmen players,
who were playing in their first colle
giate game, say that the loss was a bit
hard to swallow.
“It’s hard for me to say what we
did wrong,” said freshman outside
hitter Cheri Steensma. “It was hu
miliating — almost to the point of
Needless to say, the Aggies cer
tainly won’t look past the Bearkats
this time around. And, the way the
players are talking, they’ll do more
than just look at them.
The Texas A&M volleyball team (7-3 on the season) will be looking
for a lot of kills against Sam Houston at 7:30 tonight in their home
opener. Here, A&M middle blocker Stacey Smith gets one over the
net in an early season scrimmage against Stephen F.^Austin.
“They’re not going to know what Outside hitter Michelle Whitwell
hit them,” said outside hitter Marga- said, “We’re going to bring them
ret Spence. “We just have to play like back to reality.”
?’I1 win.”
we know how to play and we’i
Even coach Condon was brief and the
to the point.
“We better win this time,” Condon
said, “and that about sums it up.”
Every Aggie used the same word
to describe the Bearkat game — re
“All I can think of is revenge,”
Beakley -said. “We will definitely
have a very different attitude this
time around.”
And believe it or not, even after
outplaying some of the top teams
around the country the past two
weeks, the Aggies feel they have
something to prove to the Bearkats
— a team which can only dream
about a NCAA ranking.
“(Revenge) will be a real big fac
tor,” Condon said. “They realize
how poorly they played in the first
match against Sam Houston. They
have a whole lot to prove.”
But the Bearkats, who have now
won seven games in a row and are 8-
2 on the season, should also be better
“They know they can beat us
now,” Condon said. “I think they re
alize we’ll be out to beat them. That
will help them even more to get re
As far as the starting lineup, the
Aggies won’t be doing anything dif
ferent. Sherri Brinkman and Stacey
Smith will start at middle blocker,
Spence and Stacey Gildner will start
on the outside and Chris Zogata and
Beakley will start at setter. . . . The
Aggies experimented with a 5-1
(that’s five hitters and only one set
ter) alignment when they encoun
tered problems in the Michelob
Light/Aztec Classic this past week
end — and it seemed to work well. . .
. Whitwell and Steensma came off
the bench and did a good job for the
Aggies in San Diego. Condon also
said freshman Kelly Gaughn might
see some action against SHSU. . . .
Laura Hoppe has gotten a lot of
work off tne bench. Hoppe usually
plays the backcourt for Smith and
has perhaps been the best passer on
team thi
bus far.
Spikers earn respect in SDSU tourney
Assistant Sports Editor
le Te
Dangerfield style, the Texas A&M
volleyball team went to California
last week looking for some respect.
Despite a 33-4 record and a No.
15 ranking, the Aggies were over
looked by the NCAA selection com
mittee last year when it came time to
give out at-large bids to the NCAA
tournament. The committee’s rea
soning was that the Aggies’ schedule
was too weak.
So when it came time to schedule
games for the ’85 season, A&M
Coach Terry Condon made sure the
Aggies played the top teams in the
nation — which meant traveling to
Much like the mountains in Cali
fornia, the Aggies had an up and
down tournament. Although they
didn’t ouite reach the top, the Ag
gies did get within two steps. They
went 3-2, taking third place.
Things got off to a rocky start for
the No. 15 Aggies as No. 10 San
Diego State, the tournament host,
stole a match from A&M, 15-10, 17-
15, 15-8 last Thursday night.
As Condon said, me Aggies
“handed that match over to them oh
a silver platter.”
But that was only the beginning of
Condon’s troubles.
The Aggies faced an unranked,
but talented Cal-Berkeley team last
Friday morning, needing a win.
A&M was outhit, outblocked, out
ran and just flat outplayed in the
first game, losing 15-7.
“They really played to our weak
nesses,” Condon said. “We just
didn’t play real well, obviously. It
didn’t help when Stacey (Gildner)
and Margaret (Spence) were playing
so badly. We need those outside hit
The Aggies won the second game
15-9, but lost the third 18-16.
Before anyone could blink, Ber
keley was sitting on a 14-13 lead in
the fourth game, within one point of
taking the match.
The “Sheri’s” — that’s Sherri
Brinkman and Cheri Steensma —
combined, to keep A&M from going
over the edge. The Aggies won the
fourth game 16-14 and took the
match with a 15-7 win in the fifth.
Steensma, who is a freshman from
San Ramon, Calif., was playing
against former high school team
She went into the first game for
Gildner with Berkeley leading 14-7
and hit the ball into the net, giving
the Bears a 15-8 win. In the next
four games, Steensma avenged the
mistake with some big plays.
“I was pretty pleased,” Steensma
said, “especially after that big mis
take in the first game. 1 really didn’t
know if I’d get another chance after
that one. I’m just glad I got to go
back in and make up for it.”
After that breathtaking and heart
pounding match, the Aggies faced
Iowa, a team not known for out
standing volleyball.
The Aggies won that one 15-11,
15-8, 15-4 to move on to the semifi
nals against Arizona State.
As it was all tournament long, dif
ferent players played well at differ
ent times. Against ASU, it was
Gildner who came through.
Despite Gildner’s 17 kills and .326
hitting percentage and Brinkman’s
.411, the Aggies just couldn’t put it
all together against the Sun Devils,
losing 13-15, 15-12, 15-12, 15-10.
“The Arizona State match was a
tight match which could have gone
either way,” Condon said. “We just
gave that one away.”
In a bit of irony, the Aggies had
traveled 1,5D0 miles to play the top
teams in the nation, and with the loss
to ASU were forced to play Houston
— that’s the University of Houston
located just 90 miles down Highway
The first game was worse than
driving in Los Angeles traffic for
Condon. The Aggies were simply
dominated. They could do no right
as the Cougars won 15-3.
After that game, the players
switched sides and Gildner was seen
hiding beneath a Cougar warm-up.
Although she says she was just cold
and had left her warmup on the
other bench, there could have been
other underlying reasons.
“If we lost another game to them
See Ag spikers, page 9
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interviews on campus October 3.
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over 2,500 products sold to customers in a wide array
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Rohm and Haas will be on campus October 3 to inter
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