Serve receive.

For Texas A&M volleyball coach Laurie Corbelli the point starts and essentially ends there.

"Volleyball is so fundamental and when you receive serve and you are putting the ball where you can run your offense it's a whole new ballgame and our serve receive has improved 100 percent," Corbelli said the Tuesday after her team swept Auburn in their Southeastern Conference home opener.

It hasn't always been the case, but Corbelli believes she has the athletes to, if not win, at least compete with the big girls in the sport.

Results thus far this season -- an 0-5 record against ranked teams -- would appear to prove her wrong, but Corbelli has confidence the team's passing is close to back to where it was when the Aggies won the 2016 SEC title.

If it is, it will bring out the best in the two newcomers to this season's starting lineup, sophomore middle blocker Kaitlyn Blake and freshman outside hitter Hollan Hans.

"I think our passers have started to click in and realize they can really make the team a lot better if they improve their game," Corbelli said. "A lot of it is mental and they've improved over the last week. It's amazing in what they've done to put our offense in system."

Part of the recent improvement is the back line of passers has to know it's already faced the best in teams like Wisconsin and Minnesota.

 A&M was swept by both and the only thing Corbelli can hope for now is the defeats weren't a total loss, that lessons were learned and experience gained.

"I have said countless times to my team what did we learn from the opponents we played that were so consistent and on us all the time and so good and executed like you guys know how to do," Corbelli said. "They've taken it to heart. In seeing Wisconsin's passers, seeing Minnesota's passers put them in system with players that are similar to ours in terms of attacking and setting, so I think playing those teams really helped a lot in that regard."

Corbelli will get to see if the Aggies are headed in the right direction in that regard on the road Friday against LSU.

The Aggies (7-6) have played 11 of 13 matches away from Reed Arena, which could also have something to do with the subpar serve receiving. Different backdrops, depth perception and hostile fans are all things going against the back line when on the road.

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