ISLANDERS FALL TO SUGAR BEARS IN DUGAN WELLNESS OPENER

The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team dropped the first match on the new home court in the Dugan Wellness Center on Thursday night. The Islanders lost a 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-21) match to the top team in the Southland Conference.

TAMUCC goes to 7-16 on the season and 0-8 in Southland matches while UCA improves to a conference best 20-3 with a perfect 9-0 Southland Conference record.

Junior setter Jessica Jennett recorded her first career double-double while junior Emma Ridley and sophomore Jessica Korda added double-digit kills with 14 and 10 respectively.

"I was happy with the way Jennett played tonight and Korda had one of her best matches of the year," said head coach Tony Graystone. "There were definitely some positive things tonight."

In the first set, TAMUCC took the early lead while the Sugar Bears kept it very close as there were six tie scores as the team battled to 10-10. The one lead change of the set came when UCA took a 11-10 advantage and refused to relinquish the lead as they scored seven-straight points to make it 17-10. The Islanders would score just four points the rest of the way as they lost a final of 25-14 to go down 1-0 in the match.

In the second set, UCA rushed out to a 7-1 lead as the Islanders tried to fight their way back into it by scoring 5-of-9 points to make it 9-6. They would cut the lead to three on multiple occasions but could never get any closer as the Sugar Bears took a 25-17 win for a 2-0 match advantage.

After the break, the two teams returned to the court as TAMUCC tried to make a comeback against UCA. The Islanders scored the first point but found themselves down 8-2 just 10 points into the match. The Sugar Bears would push the lead to as many as nine points at 21-12. The Islanders proceeded to score 9-of-11 points to bring the deficit to just three at 24-21 but could not get any closer with the final score standing at 25-21.

"We came out of the intermission and seemed to relax a little more," said Graystone. "But it was just too easy for them to score points off their serve."

In addition to the double-double by Jennett, she added one kill along with single kills by Sheridan Paulus, Meagan Luber and Ariel Carlson. Victoria Sookiasian also reached double figures as she recorded 11 digs on the night to share the lead with Jennett.

The Islanders are back in action on Saturday afternoon as they host the Lady Demons from Northwestern State as both teams continue to search for their first victory in Southland Conference play. The match is at the Dugan Wellness Center with a start time of 4 PM.