CORPUS CHRISTI - The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team took a step closer to qualifying for the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time since its first year in the conference with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) win over Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks on Thursday night.
The Islanders are now 12-15 on the year and 5-8 in Southland matches. The Ladyjacks are now 11-17 overall, 4-9 in league play. It was just the second win over SFA in school history for A&M - Corpus Christi. The win also puts them into a tie with Nicholls for eighth place in the conference standings with three matches left in the regular season. The Islanders hold the tiebreaker by virtue of a 3-1 win earlier in the year.
Emma Ridley led the charge for her team with a match-high 19 kills along with 15 digs for her 14th double-double of the year. Micah Nolan was tops in the match with 19 digs while Logen Bourque led all players with 37 assists.
In the opening set, the Islanders trailed early on by a 12-6 score forcing head coach Tony Graystone to call a timeout. Coming out of the break, A&M - Corpus Christi scored three-straight points and 10-of-11 to turn the deficit into a 16-13 lead, capped off by two-straight kills from Ridley. The teams battled back-and-forth the rest of the set, with teams being tied as late as 17-17 and the Ladyjacks getting within one point at 21-20. A block assist from Jordan Flemmer and Bourque ended the scoring at 25-22 and gave the team an early 1-0 lead in the match.
In set two, A&M - Corpus Christi took an early 3-0 lead on a pair of kills from Ridley and one from Flemmer. SFA came back and took a brief 4-3 lead before a kill from Bourque knotted the score up. With the score at 6-6, a kill from Shannon Hullum and a pair from Isabella Arcidiacono helped the Islanders score four-of-five points to take command. They stretched the lead to as many as seven points at 20-13 on a Brooke Alverson kill. The Ladyjacks made it close at the end before a Ridley kill gave A&M - Corpus Christi a 25-21 win and a 2-0 advantage in the match.
The third set was the closest yet, as it featured eight tie scores and three lead changes as the two teams battled throughout. Neither team could take more than a two-point lead early on until three-straight on a kill each from Nolan and Alverson gave the Islanders a 13-10 edge. It was short-lived however as SFA scored three of its own to knot it back up at 13-13. Four-straight points, including three on kills from Ridley, helped give A&M - Corpus Christi control for good as they took a 17-13 lead. Leading 24-18, the Islanders gave up four-straight points before closing out the match on an Arcidiacono kill for a 25-22 win.
Arcidiacono and Alverson tied for second on the team in kills with eight apiece on the night. Bourque and Jessica Jennett tied for third with eight digs each while Flemmer led the team in blocks with one block solo and three block assists.
Next up for the Islanders will be Sam Houston State at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. It will be Senior Day for Ridley and Jennett, as the two Islanders will be honored before the match for their time at the University.