September 16, 2011

Islanders Split Matches on Opening Day of Hampton Inn Invitational

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi volleyball team split a pair of matches on Friday at the Hampton Inn Invitational, winning 3-1 (27-29, 25-29, 25-22, 25-16 over UNF before falling victim to the host College of Charleston Cougars by a 3-1 (12-25, 23-25, 28-26, 11-25) final in the second match of the day.

The Islanders moved to 7-6 on the season after the split on the first day of the tourney. They will finish up play against UNC Wilmington and Wyoming on Saturday.

In the first match of the day against North Florida, the Islanders were powered by four Islanders in double-digit kills. Brianna Brink led the team with a match-high 14 kills while Shannon Hullum was second with 12 in the match. Jessica Korda and Brooke Alverson tied for third on the team with 10 kills apiece. Micah Nolan led all players with 29 digs while Logen Bourque had a match-high 45 assists.

Texas A&M – Corpus Christi fell behind early in the first set and was unable to recover for a 1-0 deficit. They trailed by as many as nine points at 18-9, but they worked back into the set behind four kills apiece from Hullum, Alverson and Bourque. They led at 26-25, but UNF scored four-of-five points to take the set at 29-27.

 The second set started out eerily familiar with the team going down by a 5-1 mark. They were able to recover this time however, rallying for a 25-19 win. Korda came through this time, notching five of her kills to pace the team. UNF led 8-6 early on, but eight-straight points on three kills from Hullum and a pair from Korda made it a 14-8 lead. The Islanders led the rest of the way as they picked up a 25-19 victory.

The third set was a close one as Texas A&M – Corpus Christi won a 25-22 period. With the score tied 11-11, the Islanders reeled off three points on a Nolan service ace, a kill from Hullum and an Ospreys attack error to make it a 14-11 advantage. They held the lead until UNF tied the score at 18-18, but the Islanders scored 7-of-11 points to take the set.

Texas A&M – Corpus Christi came through big in the third set, taking control early 22-8 lead and coasting to a 25-16 win to clinch the early match.

In the match against College of Charleston, it was a tale of two teams as the Islanders were unable to handle the Cougars in the first and fourth sets while competing well, dropping a hard-fought 25-23 battle in the second and winning the third set 28-26.

In the first set, the Islanders started off slow out the gate, falling 25-12 in a first set that got out of hand early.

The second set was another matter, with seven tie scores and two lead changes, the Islanders were out front for most of the set before five-straight points by the Cougars gave them a 25-23 win and a 2-0 advantage in the match.

In the third set, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi would not be denied, taking a 28-26 final that featured back-and-forth action to the tune of 20 ties and eight lead changes. Trailing 25-24 with College of Charleston having match point, the Islanders got an attack error from the Cougars and a kill from Alverson to flip the advantage to 26-25. After CofC tied the score, the final two points went to the Islanders for a 28-26 win.

The fourth set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi unable to find a rhythm once again, falling by a 25-11 final.

Ashley Phelps tied a career-high with 10 kills in the match while Alverson added 11 kills and three block assists. Bourque added 34 assists while Nolan led the team with 13 digs.

The Islanders will play UNC Wilmington next in a 9 a.m. match on Saturday morning at the TD Arena. They will follow that up with a final match against Wyoming at 1 p.m. to wrap-up tournament play.

Live stats will be available for both matches by visiting www.CofCSports.com. The official athletic website, www.GoIslanders.com, will also do a CoverItLive! event for the match. Fans can follow by visiting the website, with a link available on the front page at the start of the match.

For all the latest information, including live coverage of the matches, follow Islanders Volleyball on Twitter (@IslandersVB) and facebook (Islanders Volleyball).