The Texas A&M volleyball team earned the 13th seed for the NCAA tournament and will host the first two rounds Thursday and Friday at Reed Arena.
A&M (21-7, 13-5 SEC), which received an at-large bid, will play Big East champion St. John’s (22-11) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Oklahoma (19-8) and Rice (26-3) will play at 4:30 p.m. The two winners will play at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Reed Arena.
The second-round winner advances to the Madison (Wisconsin) Regional on Dec. 13-14. Host Wisconsin is seeded fourth.
A&M is making its 25th NCAA tournament appearance, and its first under second-year coach Laura "Bird" Kuhn. The last time the Aggies were in the tournament was in 2016 when they lost to SMU in the opening round. Their last victory in the tournament was in 2015 over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, which was also the last time the Aggies hosted. St. John’s, which was seeded fourth for the Big East tournament, won its first conference championship in 12 years. Rice is making its third NCAA tournament appearance and first since 2008. Oklahoma, which finished third in the Big 12, is making its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2014.
A&M and St. John’s will meet for the first time. All-session ticket sales for the first two rounds at Reed Arena start at 10 a.m. Monday.
Kentucky is seeded ninth for the tournament and Florida 10th. Other SEC teams in the field are Georgia, Missouri and South Carolina. Baylor is the No. 1 seed and Texas is seeded second. Also making the field were Texas State and SFA.
A&M, which tied Missouri for third place in the SEC behind co-champs Florida and Kentucky, finished 12-1 at home, its best mark since 2000. The lone loss to then-No. 14 Florida in five sets.
Kuhn on Sunday was named SEC Coach of the Year by the league’s coaches and senior outside hitter Hollann Hans and junior setter Camille Conner were selected to the SEC first team. The Aggies were 17-13 in Kuhn’s first season, tying South Carolina for fifth in the SEC at 10-8. A&M was picked to finish sixth this season.
Hans claimed her second consecutive first team all-conference honor. Hans leads the SEC in aces (52) and is second in kills (471) and points per set (5.06). Conner picked up her first All-SEC honor after quarterbacking the Aggies’ offense. Conner ranks fifth in the SEC in assists per set (9.65).
Also honored on Sunday were outside hitters Lauren Davis and Treyaunna Rush, both of whom were selected to the All-SEC freshman team.
Davis ranks second on the team in kills (234), reaching double-figures for kills 10 times, including a high of 19.
Rush ranks third among Aggies in kills with 158 and blocks with 73. She registered a career-high 12 kills at No. 15 Kentucky on Nov. 1 and tied that on Saturday at No. 15 Florida.