August 27, 2010

ISLANDERS OPEN SEASON WITH LOSS AGAINST MONTANA

Starkville, Miss. - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team suffered a 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 25-22) setback against the Montana Grizzlies to open the 2010 season in the Mississippi State Maroon Classic on Friday morning.

The Islanders are now 0-1 on the year and will be in action again on Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. against UALR.

The team was led in kills by senior Emma Ridley with 10 while several freshmen made significant contributions in their first collegiate match. Micah Nolan recorded 27 digs from the libero position in her first match while Logen Bourque led the team with 21 assists as the setter. Brooke Alverson led the team with four block assists while transfer Amanda Lowe had the only block solo of the match for the Islanders to go along with one block assist.

"I think all of the freshmen had moments where they were pretty good," said head coach Tony Graystone. "We just have to work to get more consistent all around."

The Islanders took an early 4-1 advantage on a pair of kills from Ridley along with one from Alverson and a Grizzlies service error. Montana scored four-straight points to make it a 5-4 score. The two teams battled for most of the set with the Islanders holding a 14-12 lead before the Grizzlies went on a run, scoring 13 of the next 17 points to win by a 25-18 final.

In set two, the Islanders trailed most of the way before knotting the score at 21-21 on a Paige Hoffler service ace. They were unable to complete the comeback however, absorbing a 25-21 loss to fall behind 0-2 in the match.

"It was a disappointing start," said Graystone. "The worst part was that we were in each of the last two sets but couldn't finish.

"We have to improve on that quickly."

The third set was a heartbreaker for the Islanders as they fell behind early before taking the lead at 15-14 on a Montana attack error. They built the lead to 19-15 on a Shannon Hullum kill and maintained the four-point lead at 21-17 on a Ridley service ace before five-straight points gave the Grizzlies a 22-21 advantage. Isabella Arcidiacono tied it back up at 22-22 with a kill, but the Islanders were unable to complete the comeback, falling 25-22 in the final set.

"All of the freshmen showed enough that we are happy about them moving forward," said Graystone. "It's just late in the set that we have to have confidence to close it out."

The second match of the day against UALR at 5:00 p.m. will be available through live stats and web streaming by visiting www.MStateAthletics.com/volleyball.