ISLANDERS OPEN DUGAN WELLNESS CENTER AGAINST UCA

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team returns home this week for the first ever match in the Dugan Wellness Center at 7 PM on Thursday night. The new 1,200 seat facility opened in January and will be the permanent home to the Islanders.

"It will be a special night all around," said head coach Tony Graystone. "It's exciting, we have been waiting a long time to get in there and have our fans watch us play in a first class facility."

The Islanders come into the match with a record of 7-15 on the season and are 0-7 in Southland matches.

The Islanders will square off against the Sugar Bears of Central Arkansas, the top team in the Southland Conference standings. The Sugar Bears enter with a 19-3 record overall and a perfect 8-0 mark in Southland matches. They have won 18-of-19 coming into Thursdays

"We need to come out with a lot of energy, play well in front of our fans and take care of our side of the net," said Graystone. "They are very good and very fast.

"We have to play really, really well and give ourselves a chance to win some points."

Junior Emma Ridley enters the match with 329 kills to put her in fourth place all-time in the single season record books. Courtney Wypiszynski is also making her way up the list for assists as with 701, putting her in ninth place for a single season. Ridley also leads the Islanders in digs with 158 on the season.

With the new home court and the home crowd, the Islanders hope to break through and win their first conference match Thursday night.

"The crowd has been really good, they have a lot of energy and really back us well," said Graystone. "Hopefully that will translate into some more points and a real advantage for us in here."