HAMMOND, La. - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team is right where it wants to be after taking a 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-21) win over Southeastern Louisiana to end its two match road trip through the state. The Islanders won matches against Nicholls and SELA on back-to-back nights to even their record in Southland Conference matches.
A&M - Corpus Christi is now 10-11 on the season and 4-4 in league matches. The 10 wins mark the first time the program has reached double-digit wins since the 2005 season and the four conference wins is the most since winning four in 2007. The Lions are now 10-15 overall and 1-7 in Southland matches.
"It was a really successful weekend," said head coach Tony Graystone. "It is nice to be at .500 halfway through the conference schedule.
"It was a really solid effort from our team today."
Emma Ridley paced the Islanders with a match-high 17 kills on an outstanding .387 hitting percentage while the team hit .297 on the day.
"We were really passing the ball well today," said Graystone. "Logen (Bourque) made good decisions and our hitters did their job."
In the first set, the Islanders scored the opening point and never trailed as they took an early 1-0 lead in the match. The Lions trailed 3-1 but came back to tie the set at 6-6 before Shannon Hullum gave the lead back to A&M - Corpus Christi with a kill. The biggest lead of the set came at 17-11 before SELA scored seven-of-eight points to knot the score at 18-18. Kills by Jessica Korda and Logen Bourque helped stretch the lead back to 21-18 before a Ridley kill ended the set at 25-21.
In set two, the Lions scored first and took an early 2-0 lead. The Islanders used a pair of kills from Ridley to tie it back up at 2-2. After a service error by SELA to make it 4-4, a Ridley service ace helped give her team its first lead of the match. With the set tied back up at 7-7, a kill and service ace from Brooke Alverson helped A&M - Corpus Christi regain the lead. With the score at 13-10 in favor of the Islanders, they scored seven-straight points to double the score at 20-10 on back-to-back service aces from Bourque. Jordan Flemmer ended the period with a kill to make it 25-15 and give her team a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Islanders fell behind 6-3 in the third before a kill and service ace by Ridley helped bring the score back to level at 6-6. With the score tied 9-9, a pair of block assists, a Renee Ramirez service ace and a kill from Bourque gave A&M - Corpus Christi a 13-10 lead. The lead grew to as many as six at 20-14 on a Ridley service ace. Ridley ended the set and the match with a kill to make it 25-21 final.
Hullum, Alverson and Bourque all tied for the second-highest kill total for the Islanders with four apiece. Bourque also led the team with 37 assists while Micah Nolan led with nine digs in the match.
A&M - Corpus Christi is back in action on Tuesday night in its final non-conference match against Texas - Pan American. The Islanders beat the Broncs 3-0 earlier in the season in Edinburg, but Graystone will make sure his team is prepared just as they would be for any other match
"We will play it by ear and see how our matchups look," said Graystone. "We will take them very seriously and play hard."