CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball Team picked up a hard-fought 3-2 (25-15, 24-26, 21-25, 25-23, 9-15) Southland Conference win over the Nicholls Colonels behind career nights from Shannon Hullum and Micah Nolan. Thursday night was the annual "Dig Pink" match at the Dugan Wellness Center in front of a season-high 1,237 fans, including the most students ever at a match.
The Islanders improved to 10-13 on the year with a 2-5 record in Southland matches. The Colonels fall to 15-8 this season, with a 2-5 mark in league play. Shannon Hullum had a career-high 16 kills against Nicholls while Nolan had a career-high 39 digs to move into the Southland lead for total digs. Logen Bourque had a match-high 47 assists while Brianna Brink had 15 kills and Tina Chavis also had a career-high 13 kill in the match.
The first set started with Nicholls scoring and the Islanders tying the score five times to a 5-5 score. From that point on, the Colonels outscored Texas A&M – Corpus Christi by a 20-10 margin to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Set two was a different story, with the two teams playing close throughout the period. The biggest lead for either team came at 16-13 when Jessica Korda picked up a kill give the Islanders a three-point lead. The Colonels rallied to tie the score and take the lead at 22-20. Facing set point and a 2-0 deficit at 24-23, the Islanders got kills from Chavis, Brink and Bourque to come back and tie the match at 1-1 with a 26-24 set victory.
Nicholls raced out to a 5-0 lead early in the third set before Brink broke the streak with a kill followed by Jordan Flemmer and Korda with a block to make it 5-2. With the Colonels leading 7-3, Korda added a kill and Hullum had an ace to bring the score to 7-5. Tina Chavis and Brink each had a kill and Korda added another ace to make it an 8-8 score, forcing Nicholls to call a timeout. After the break, a Colonels attack error gave the Islanders the first lead of the set. After falling behind again, back-to-back kills from Korda and Jordan Flemmer evened the score. Another kill from Flemmer and a service ace by Nolan gave Texas A&M – Corpus Christi a 14-11 advantage.
With Nicholls trailing by just one at 17-16, the Islanders scored four-straight points on three consecutive kills by Chavis and a service ace by Hullum to extend the lead to 21-17. Leading 23-21, kills by Brink and Hullum ended the set to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the match.
The two teams battled once again in the fourth set, featuring 11 ties and six lead changes in the back-and-forth frame. Neither team led by more than two points until Nicholls grabbed a 21-17 lead late in the period. The Colonels led 23-20 before the Islanders rallied on kills by Brink and Hullum to pull within one at 23-22, but Nicholls finished off the set with a 25-23 final to even the match at two games apiece.
The final set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi fall behind, then rally on kills by Flemmer and Brink to help score four in-a-row to take an 8-6 lead into the changeover. The Colonels evened the score at 8-8 following the switch, but kills by Flemmer and Hullum helped the Islanders regain the advantage. With the score at 10-9, Nolan picked up a rare kill, Flemmer and Hullum combined for a block, Hullum picked up back-to-back kills to bring it to match point and Korda finished it off with her seventh kill of the night to give the Islanders the victory.
Next up for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will be a Saturday match at 1 p.m. against Southeastern La. In the Dugan Wellness Center. Immediately following the match will be the annual Islanders Invasion to introduce the men's and women's basketball teams to the fans.
Live stats and video for the match against the Lady Lions will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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