NEWARK, Del. - The Columbia Volleyball team hung tough with Texas A&M in the second day of the Delaware Invitational but ultimately dropped a 3-0 decision to the Aggies Saturday night at the Bob Carpenter Center. A&M, which received votes in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll, defeated the Lions by scores of 25-20, 25-19, 25-15.
Columbia (2-4) kept pace with Texas A&M (8-1) early on, tying the score at 5-5 before slipping into a four-point deficit. A kill by Atlanta Moye-McLaren brought the Lions within one, and an A&M attack error knotted the score at 14-14.
The next four points would belong to the Aggies, forcing Columbia to call a timeout. The Lions came back ready to go, and a back-and-forth match ensued. With the score at 21-17 and the Lions down by three, A&M scored three consecutive points, pushing its lead to 24-17. But Columbia continued to fight and responded with a 3-0 run making it a closer 24-20 game.
A kill by Allie Sawatzky would give the Aggies their 25th point to take the first set 25-20.
Columbia came out on fire in the second set, quickly building up a 4-0 lead that forced the Aggies to call timeout. The Lions maintained their lead early on, but with the score at 6-2, A&M took off on a 5-0 surge that tied things up, 7-7.
The momentum shifted as the Aggies gradually built up a 17-12 lead, but Columbia answered by reeling off five straight points to even the score at 17-all.
The Aggies came right back with yet another 5-0 run, regaining the lead en route to a 25-19 second set victory.
The third set would also begin in Columbia's favor as the Lions took an early 2-0 edge after a kill by Colleen Brennan and a double-block by Caitlin Brenton and Savannah Fletcher. Three straight kills by the Aggies quickly reversed the Lions' short-lived advantage as Texas A&M stayed on top the rest of the way to win the third set and in turn, the match.
Winger, who was named to the Delaware Invitational All-Tournament Team, recorded 42 total digs throughout the weekend. She is joined on the All-Tournament team by Alisia Kastmo (Texas A&M - MVP), Allie Sawatzky (Texas A&M), Tori Mellinger (Texas A&M), Sarah Brown (Xavier), Alex Smith (Xavier) and Ariel Shonk (Delaware).
Kastmo led the Aggies with 21 kills while Mellinger led with 19 digs vs. the Lions.
Columbia will look to rebound as the Lions prepare to kick off their home opener next weekend with the Columbia Invitational at Levien Gymnasium. The five-game tournament, which will run from Sept. 14-15, will include Colgate, Hofstra and Rhode Island. The Lions will take on Colgate at 7 p.m. on Friday, Rhode Island on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Hofstra at 7 p.m. later that evening.