The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team made it a short night on Friday at Mooody Fieldhouse as they beat the Southeastern La. Lions by a score of 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-15) in a Southland Conference match.
The Islanders improve to 4-19, 2-11 SLC while the Lions fall to 9-15, 3-10 in SLC action.
It was a historic night for Islander Lauren Paslay as she recorded 11 kills to put her at 907 for her career. In addition to the kills, Paslay now has 550 digs in her career, making her the only Islander ever to record both 900 kills and 500 digs.
That is a great accomplishment for Lauren, especially considering how small she is." said Head Coach Kimberly Martinez. "It shows that she works harder than her opponents to be able to accomplish all that she has against taller players.
"She has really stepped up as a leader for us this season." said Martinez. "She has set a good example on the court for the younger players to follow."
In the first set, the Islanders jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead behind an attack error and two Molly McCabe service aces. The Islanders would never trail in the set.
After the Lions came back to tie it at 3-3, an Amber Benjamin kill would once again put the Islanders out front. A Kasey McBrearty kill and Jessica Korda service ace helped TAMUCC score five-straight points to give the Islanders an 8-3 advantage.
The Lions got to within three points at 10-7 but the Islanders would score outscore them 9-to-5 over the next 14 points to take a commanding 19-12 lead punctuated by another Benjamin kill.
The Lions tried to mount a comeback, scoring five-straight points to pull to 19-17. It would not be enough, as the Islanders traded the next five points with the Lions to put the score at 22-19 before scoring the final three points of the set for a 25-19 win to go ahead 1-0 in the match.
"I was most happy about the way we were able to maintain our composure out there tonight." said Martinez. "Previously we played well in spurts but tonight we were able to regain our composure when the match got close."
In the second set, the Islanders once again struck first and would not trail in the set. After an attack error on the Lions gave the Islanders the first point of the set, a service ace by McCabe and a kill by Diandra Torres put the lead at 3-0.
The Lions scored 4-of-5 points to tie the set at 4-4 before another Benjamin kill gave the Islanders the advantage at 5-4.
With the Islanders clinging to the lead at 10-9, kills by Benjamin and Korda helped spark the Islanders to four-straight points to take a 14-9 lead.
The score would quickly tighten up as the Lions scored 6-of-7 points to even the score at 15-15 and give them a fresh start.
It was not meant to be as the Islanders quickly scored eight-straight points to take a 23-15 lead and put them on the brink of a 2-0 set lead. The two teams split the next four points as the Islanders won 25-17 with the final point coming on a Paslay kill.
In the third set of the night, the Islanders would face their first deficit of the match but would respond well to the adversity.
The first time the Islanders would trail in the set was at 2-1. They responded with a Benjamin kill to quickly even the score at 2-2.
The Lions took another lead at 5-4, but were quickly answered when a service error tied the match and a Paslay kill gave the Islanders a 6-5 advantage.
The final time the Islanders would trail was after a kill put the match at 10-9 in favor of the Lions. Benjamin once again responded with a kill to knot the score at 10-10 and the Islanders would not look back afterwards.
With the score tied at 10-10, the Islanders proceeded to score 6-of-7 points to take a 16-11 lead. The Islanders would stretch the advantage to 20-13 to take a commanding lead over the Lions.
The Islanders outscored the Lions 5-to-2 over the final seven points to take the final set by a score of 25-15 to give the Islanders a 3-0 match win.
Benjamin led the Islanders offensively tonight, recording 13 kills while fellow seniors Paslay had 11 kills and McBrearty had 10 kills. The three seniors were the only Islanders to provide double-digit kills on the night.
"The three seniors had a great offensive night." said Martinez. "They played with very few errors tonight."
McCabe led the Islanders with 32 assists while Kandyce Nielson added nine digs to lead the team.
The Islanders face Nicholls State on Saturday afternoon at Moody Fieldhouse at 4 p.m.
It will be the final home match of the season for the Islanders as well as senior day for Amber Benjamin, Kasey McBrearty and Lauren Paslay. The trio will be recognized for their accomplishments as Islanders prior to the start of the contest.