NACOGDOCHES - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team made history on Saturday afternoon, becoming the first team in school history to record a win over Stephen F. Austin with a 3-1 (28-26, 25-18, 18-25, 25-17) victory over the Ladyjacks. Coming into the match, the team was 0-7 against SFA in school history.
The Islanders improve to 7-10 on the year and are now 1-3 in Southland play. The Ladyjacks are 8-11 overall and have an identical 1-3 record in league play.
"We hope this is the match that gets us going," said head coach Tony Graystone. "This obviously feels good.
"You could see it coming for a while now. We were playing well but just coming up short."
Emma Ridley paced the team with a school record 26 kills in a four-set match and was one off of her overall team record of 27 kills in a match set last year against Sam Houston State.
"Emma was ridiculous today," said Graystone. "She was truly unstoppable.
"We know she is capable of doing it, and no matter what SFA did today they couldn't slow her down."
In the first set, the Islanders fell behind quickly by a 5-1 score. The team trailed by two when Brooke Alverson tied the match at 13-13 with a kill and a service ace. The Islanders took a brief lead at 16-15, but fell behind 22-16 after seven-straight points by the Ladyjacks. A kill from Ridley and a pair by Isabella Arcidiacono brought the score back to level at a 24-24. Jordan Flemmer notched a kill to give the Islanders a 26-25 lead and back-to-back kills from Ridley closed the set at 28-26 in favor of A&M - Corpus Christi.
"We kind of stole the first one after being down late in the set," said Graystone. "We were in good shape from then on and I am really proud of them."
Set two came a little easier for the Islanders. With the score tied 3-3, three-straight points with a service ace from Shannon Hullum and a kill by Ridley made it 6-3. The Ladyjacks got within a single point several times before tying the score at 11-11. The grabbed the lead for the first time at 14-13 before three-straight points gave the Islanders a 16-14 advantage. They outscored SFA 12-4 after trailing to take a 25-18 set victory.
The Ladyjacks took a 25-18 win in set three to avoid the sweep. With the match tied at 17-17, SFA outscore A&M - Corpus Christi 8-1 to pull with a 2-1 in set wins.
The Islanders closed out the Ladyjacks in the fourth set with a late 14-6 run. The teams were deadlocked at 11-11 before a kill from Ridley and a service ace from Logen Bourque gave their team a 14-11 lead as they never looked back. With the set at 24-17, Ridley picked up her 26th kill of the day to clinch the match for A&M - Corpus Christi.
Bourque led the Islanders with 39 assists while Micah Nolan added 21 digs to pace the team. Alverson and Flemmer tied for the team lead with four block assists each as Arcidiacono added three on the day. Ridley also added 13 digs for her eighth double-double of the year.
Next up for A&M - Corpus Christi will be UTSA on Wednesday night for their annual "Dig Pink" event. The match is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start at the Dugan Wellness Center. The Roadrunners are currently 8-9 on the season and 2-1 in Southland matches.
"We think UTSA is very good offensively," said Graystone. "We have lot of work to do to get ready for Wednesday."