September 17, 2009

ISLANDER VOLLEYBALL TRAVELS TO SFA FOR FINAL NON-CONFERENCE TUNE-UP

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team will be traveling to Nacogdoches this weekend to play in the SFA Ladyjack Invitational, hosted by Southland rival Stephen F. Austin.

The Islanders go into the weekend with a record of 5-6 on the year, having already won more matches this season than last, as well as currently sitting in first place of the Southland Conference Western Division.

"Last week, we were much better and played cleaner ball." said head coach Tony Graystone. "We made fewer unforced errors, but we just didn't win the key points to turn some of those matches around.

"We are just trying to take that next step this weekend."

They take to the road for the final non-conference road matches of the season with Southland play right around the corner. The only non-conference match left on the slate is the home opener for the Islanders, a match on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6 PM in the Moody Fieldhouse against Texas-Pan American.

Before TAMUCC opens its home schedule, they must first play in the SFA tournament and then road SLC matches against Texas State in San Marcos on Sept. 24 and in Arlington against UT Arlington on Sept. 26.

This weekend will see the Islanders take on Miami (Ohio) on Friday, Sept. 18 at 12 PM, SLC opponent SFA on Saturday in a non-conference tilt at 12:30 PM and then close out the tournament against Alcorn State later that day in a 5 PM match.

It will be a good test for the team heading into conference play when they face off against SFA in the first match on Saturday as the Islanders will be looking to gauge themselves against another conference team.

"They are a good team and play awfully well at home," said Graystone. "It will be a big test for sure, but that is why we are going.

"We wanted that challenge."

The Islanders have been getting more help from different places in the past couple of weeks. Freshmen Courtney Wypisznyski and Shannon Hullum have been coming on strong as of late, with Hullum contributing 25 kills to be the second-leading scorer on the team at the HBU Husky Classic last weekend.

"In the beginning of the year, we didn't have much balance offensively," said Graystone. "This past weekend Shannon really stepped up.

"We have been working really hard with Courtney this week to get her involved offensively as well."

Live stats will be available all weekend by visiting the SFA website at www.sfajacks.com and visiting the Upcoming Events section at the bottom of the front page.