November 8, 2009

ISLANDERS BEAT NICHOLLS FOR BACK-TO-BACK ROAD WINS

Thibodaux, La. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team got another road victory over a Southland Conference opponent with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-15) sweep of Nicholls on Saturday afternoon.

"It was a good weekend for us," said head coach Tony Graystone. "It was nice to see us play some good volleyball and get a couple of important road wins."

The Islanders are now 9-20 on the season and 2-12 in the Southland with the back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday. The Colonels are now 11-17 on the year and 5-9 in Southland matches.

Emma Ridley led the Islanders with 18 kills on the day and moved into first in overall kills among Southland Conference players with 428, passing Carli Kolbe of Sam Houston State who now has 423. She is also ahead of Chloe Smith, who has 418 from the Southland Conference champion Central Arkansas.

"It is pretty impressive to be listed with that group of players," said Graystone. "There is no question that she has a great season."

The opening set began very similar to the previous night, as TAMUCC fell behind by a 5-1 score early on before coming back to tie the set at 10-10. It was the first of four points in-a-row to give them their first lead, one they would never relinquish. The Islanders would stretch the lead to as many as five at 16-11 and led 24-20 before three straight points brought it to within 24-23. Following a timeout by TAMUCC, the team forced an attack error to take the first set by a 25-23 final to go up 1-0 in the match.

Set two saw just four tie scores and no lead changes as the Islanders controlled the set from the start. The last tie score came at 10-10 when TAMUCC went on a 6-0 run behind two Courtney Wypiszynski service aces and a kill each from Ridley and Shannon Hullum to push it to 16-10. Nicholls got to within 23-19 before another Hullum kill and an attack error on the Colonels finished the score at 25-19.

The final set was close early before the Islanders turned it into a blowout. Tied at 8-8, TAMUCC went on a 10-3 run to take a commanding 18-11 lead. The Colonels scored the next three points to make it 18-14 but would score just one more as they were outscored 7-1 over the final eight points. Hullum topped off the scoring with a kill to clinch the match at 25-15.

In addition to Ridley's 18 kills, Jessica Korda collected 12 while Hullum just missed double digits with nine kills. Victoria Sookiasian led the team with 23 digs. Wypiszynski contributed 40 assists and 11 digs for her second double-double of the season. Tamara Wostal added six digs and Ridley, Hullum and Jessica Jennett contributed four each.

The Islanders now return home for the final two matches of the season next weekend. On Nov. 13, they host UT Arlington in a 4 PM match. On Saturday afternoon at 2 PM, TAMUCC will host Texas State in the final match of the season at the Dugan Wellness Center.

"With only two matches left in the season we are excited to be coming home off a good weekend," said Graystone. "Hopefully we can come in and close out the season on a very positive note."