ISLANDERS COMPLETE SWEEP OF SECOND DAY WITH WIN OVER RIDER
Flagstaff, Ariz. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team was able to complete a sweep on the second day of action at the Northern Arizona Fiesta Bowl Tournament while just missing its first match sweep of the season with a 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 27-29, 25-22) over the Rider Broncs. Freshmen Isabella Arcidiacono and Logen Bourque were name to the all-tournament team for their play throughout the weekend.
A&M-Corpus Christi is now 3-4 on the year while Rider falls to 1-3 this season. The Islanders finish 2-1 in the tournament with wins over Rider and Maryland Eastern Shore and a loss to host Northern Arizona.
Arcidiacono led the team in kills for the first time this season with a season-high 16. Emma Ridley recorded just six kills in the match to end her double-digit kills streak to start the season at six matches while Shannon Hullum tied her for second on the team with six kills as well.
"I was really happy to see Bella and Shannon play really well again, you can see their confidence growing and can see the trust in them growing," said head coach Tony Graystone. "Emma had rough day, but the young girls played awfully well."
Jordan Flemmer tied a school record for block assists in a match with six and added two block solos on the night.
"All weekend I was really happy with our blocking, we have been working on it in practice," said Graystone. "It was nice to see them respond in the tournament."
In set one, the Islanders came out on fire, scoring the first four points and eight of the first 10 to take a six point lead. After three-straight points by Rider cut the deficit to just two, the Islanders responded with four-straight of their own to stretch the lead to seven points at 14-7. A&M - Corpus Christi scored four-of-five points late in the match to stretch the lead to 20-10 before coasting to the set win. Ridley recorded the last kill of the set to finish the scoring at 25-16 and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead in sets.
In set two, the Islanders were never able to string together more than two points at a time and trailed 22-16 late in the set. The Islanders proceeded to score eight-of-nine points to even the score at 23-23 before Rider called a timeout. The momentum could not be stopped as the Islanders scored the next two points after the break and completed the comeback on a Paige Hoffler service ace to win 25-23.
The Islanders were unable to complete the sweep in the third set as the Broncs came from behind to pick up the set win and extend the match. The Islanders led by as many as five at 10-5 and held a four point lead several times before Rider came back to tie the set and take the lead at 24-23. The teams kept trading points until the Broncs were finally able to gain the two-point advantage necessary to win the set at 29-27.
In the fourth set, the Islanders started out fast scoring seven of the first 10 points to take a four-point advantage. They were unable to maintain the lead as the score went from 7-3 in favor of A&M-Corpus Christi to a 9-7 Rider advantage after six-straight points from the Broncs. The lead grew to as many as four points at 19-15 before the Islanders came back to take a 22-21 advantage on a kill from Arcidiacono, a pair of kills from Brooke Alverson, a service ace by Jessica Jennett and a kill from Micah Nolan.
Rider tied the match up at 22-22 before kills from Shannon Hullum and Jessica Korda and a service ace from Alverson ended the match with a 25-22 fourth set victory for the Islanders.
Nolan led the team with 18 digs while Bourque paced the team with 35 assists in the match.
Next up for the Islanders will be a midweek matchup against Texas-Pan American at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7 in Edinburg. It will be the first time this season that the Islanders do not get a full week of practice for their next opponent but Graystone feels his team will respond well.
"It's going to interrupt our normal routine so it will be a recovery and prep day," said Graystone. "The good thing is that the trip is not that long.
"We just want to make it down there okay, do our best and see how it plays out."