COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders dropped a pair of matches here today at the Air Force Invitational, 3-0 to Kent State and 3-1 to host Air Force.
The Islanders fall to 2-8 on the year and finish the tournament at 1-3 with a win over North Carolina Central and losses to Florida Atlantic, Kent State and Air Force.
The day's late game saw TAMUCC take on then host team Air Force Falcons, losing 3-1 in four closely contested games (25-23, 25-20, 25-18, 29-27).
The first set
was relatively close early on, each team matching the other point
for point. The score stood
at 12-12 when Holly Watson and Jessica Korda recorded back-to-back
kills to put the score at 14-12 and the Islanders never trailed
after that point.
Consecutive kills by Amber Benjamin pushed the score to 18-14 in favor of the Islanders. After a kill by Lauren Paslay to put the score at 19-15, neither team scored more than three consecutive points while the teams traded points and finished the set at a score of 25-23.
The second set saw TAMUCC trail most of the set while keeping the score close. The Islanders trailed by no more than three points throughout the match until Air Force score the final five points while tied at 20-20 to take the set at 25-20.
The Islanders fought valiantly throughout the set, keeping the score close until a kill by Korda tied the game at 15-15. They would go on to score four of the next five points to stake themselves to a 19-15 lead.
TAMUCC could only muster one more point in the set however, as Air Force scored nine of the final ten points to take the set and even the match at one set apiece.
The third set started off ominously for the Islanders as they went down 5-0 while committing four attack errors to only one kill by Air Force.
TAMUCC was able to get back to within 6-5 on a Fionda kill before Air Force pulled away again, scoring 19 points the rest of the way while the Islanders were only able to notch 12.
A kill by Fionda late in the match gave the Islanders a glimmer of hope, putting the score at 20-16 before the Falcons scored five of the final seven points to close out the set at 25-18.
The final set would turn out to be the closest of the match, one team fighting to win the match, one trying to survive for another set, before the Falcons finished off the Islanders by a score of 29-27.
The Islanders got down by as many as six points at 12-6 but were able to slowly battle all the way back to tie the score at 18-18 on a Benjamin Kill.
The Islanders once again got down but were brought to within 23-22 on a Paslay kill. An error on the Falcons once again tied the score at 24-24 and set up a back-and-forth battle for the rest of the match.
scored to make it 25-24 and the Islanders came right back to tie it
at 25-25. They fell behind
again but were brought back into a tie on a Fionda kill at
After falling behind 27-26, a Benjamin kill brought the Islanders right back to level the score at 27-27.
The kill by Benjamin would be the last points the Islanders would record however, as a Falcon kill and Islander attack error would put the final two points in favor of the Falcons and end the set at 29-27 and the match at 3 games to 1.
Paslay recorded 12 kills followed by Benjamin with 11. Molly McCabe recorded her second game of more than 30 assists on the weekend with 35 in the match. Kandyce Nielson recorded a match high 16 digs.
In the first match of the day, the Islanders faced off against Kent State, falling in three sets (25-22, 25-16, 25-13).
After a draining five-set match against FAU the previous afternoon, the Islanders were dealt another blow, falling 25-22 in the first set.
TAMUCC led for most of the first set before a late flurry of points tied the match at 22-22, which then allowed the Golden Flashes to score the final three points to take the set 25-22.
Early kills by Benjamin and Paslay helped the Islanders jump out to an early lead and timely kills by McBrearty, Korda and Benjamin helped keep them ahead for most of the set while fighting off several ties.
With the score tied at 21-21, McBrearty recorded a kill to put the Islanders back in the lead, but it would be the last points they would score. Kent State scored four straight points on two kills and two TAMUCC errors to close out the set.
In the second set, a kill by Paslay would make the score 6-6 early on, but it was as close as the Islanders would get, falling 25-16. TAMUCC trailed by as many as 10 points at 20-10 before the Golden Flashes finished off the set 25-16.
The third set saw the Islanders fall behind 4-0, then have the deficit stretched to 21-11 before losing the set by a 25-13 score.
Kills by McBrearty and Benjamin threatened to keep the Islanders close but they were not able to string together enough to overcome the early deficit. McBrearty recorded a kill to get TAMUCC back within 12-6 but the Golden Flashes scored seven of the next eleven points to push the margin to 19-10.
The Islanders committed three errors in the last five points of the set to lose 25-13 and lose the match 3-0.
Paslay and McBrearty led the Islanders with eight kills each in the match while Benjamin added six. McCabe added 27 assists to lead the team while Nielson's 13 digs tied for the match high for either team.
The Islanders are next in action September 26 and 27 when they open Southland conference play against Texas State on Friday and UT Arlington on Saturday on campus at Moody Fieldhouse.