August 30, 2008

ISLANDERS DROP PAIR ON FINAL DAY OF TOURNEY

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team dropped a pair of matches on the final day of the Lady Govs Classic in Clarksville, Tenn.

"The weekend was definitely an eye opener for us and we were able to get our newcomers some experience that will be valuable down the line," said Islander head coach Kimberly Martinez. "We aren't satisfied with the outcome of the weekend but now we have a reference point to go by."

The Islanders (0-3) faced a familiar opponent in their final match of the tournament as they took on Northwestern State (1-2) in a non-Southland Conference match. A&M-Corpus Christi won the opening set of the match 28-26, but lost the next three games in a row – 25-22, 25-18 and 25-20.

In the opening game, the Islanders trailed 15-9 before freshman Jessica Korda began a 6-2 run with one of her four kills. The Islanders tied the match at 21 as Lauren Paslay posted three straight kills. Paslay led the Islanders with 13 kills and posted 10 digs for her second double-double of the tournament. She earned all-tournament honors for the Islanders.

The match remained close. A kill by freshman Whitney Wehring broke a deadlock at 26, while an attack error Yelena Enwere gave the Islanders the win in the first set.

"Whitney really worked hard," said Martinez. "She did a phenomenal job on defense and is working her way into a bigger role. She did everything we asked of her."

The Islanders rallied from a four-point deficit in the second game to tie the game at 17 on a kill by Paslay. Northwestern State answered with a 4-1 run to take a 21-18 lead.

Holly Watson's kill on an assist by Molly McCabe pulled A&M-Corpus Christi back to within a point at 21-20, but they could not get over hump.

After hitting just a negative -.026 in the third game loss, the fourth game was tight early with the teams deadlocked at 15. The Lady Demons however went on a 6-1 run to take control of the set and close out the match.

Four Islanders finished the match with double-digit digs. Wehring and fellow freshman Tamara Wostal each had 12 digs, while McCabe had 11 and Paslay 10. Enwere had 20 kills to lead Northwestern, while Markie Robichau and Laranda Spann had 14 and 11, respectively. Robichau added 22 digs.

In the first match of the day, the Islanders could not get going offensively falling to tournament host Austin Peay in three sets (25-15, 25-19, 25-22).

The Islanders struggled in the first two games hitting .000 and .024 respectively. They were much improved in the close third game with a .229 percentage and finished .086 in the match, while the Lady Govs hit .214 in the match.

Wehring continued to impress for the Islanders in her brief career posting a match-high 16 digs. Three players – Amber Benjamin, Paslay and Korda – shared the team lead in kills with four for A&M-Corpus Christi. APSU's Stephani Champine had a match-best 10 kills, while Sarah Alisalem and Caroline Frens each had 12 digs.

The Islanders make their home debut next weekend when they host the Islander Holiday Inn Emerald Beach Invitational at Moody Field House. They will host Colorado out of the Big 12, UALR and Texas Southern.