NACOGDOCHES – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Islanders Volleyball Team was unable to overcome an early deficit against the Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks, falling 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 25-18) in a Southland Conference road match on Thursday night. Micah Nolan set a new Islanders record for digs in a career with 19 digs on the night, giving her a total of 1,063 in her two seasons. She also has 574 digs this season, moving her into a tie for the all-time single-season record.
The Islanders are now 13-17 on the year and 5-8 in Southland Conference play. The Ladyjacks move to 13-15 overall, 6-7 in league matches. Shannon Hullum led the team with 10 kills, while Brooke Alverson and Sarah Sanchez were close behind with nine apiece. Logen Bourque had a team-high of 35 assists, while Sanchez (12) and Bourque (10) each reached double digits in digs.
In the first set, the Islanders led 7-2 early on, and held an advantage as late as 14-13 before the Ladyjacks completed the rally to take the lead. Trailing 23-22, a block by Bourque and Jordan Flemmer evened it at 23-23, but two-straight points by SFA ended the set at 25-23.
In the second set, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi built an early eight-point lead at 11-3 on blocks by Bourque, Alverson and Brianna Brink, kills by Bourque and Brink and a service ace each from Sanchez and Alverson before SFA slowly rallied to eventually tie the score at 21-21. The Ladyjacks took a brief lead at 22-21 before a kill by Flemmer and a block assist by Alverson and Sanchez made it 23-22 and an SFA attack error put it to set point at 24-22. The score closed to within one at 24-23, but Alverson closed out the set at 25-23 as the Islanders scored four of the final five points to even the match at 1-1 heading into the intermission.
The third set was close throughout, with the teams playing to a tie at 6-6 before three-straight SFA points made it 9-6. The Islanders hung tough though, rallying to within one point several times until the Ladyjacks regained the three-point advantage at 16-13 as Texas A&M – Corpus Christi called a timeout. The lead grew to 18-13 out of the timeout before a Bourque kill made it 18-14. An SFA attack error and an Alverson service ace made it 18-16 as the Ladyjacks used their first timeout. Out of the break, Brink put away a kill to pull within one before an SFA kill made it a 19-17 score. Bourque added a kill to make it a one-point set against, but the Ladyjacks extended it to 21-18 as the Islanders used their second timeout. Out of the break, SFA scored two-straight points on the way to a 25-19 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Set four started off slowly for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, with the Ladyjacks getting a pair of block assists, a kill and an attack error to grab an early 4-0 lead that forced a timeout by head coach Tony Graystone to settle his team. The lead grew to 6-0 before Sanchez notched a kill to get the Islanders on the board. The Ladyjacks kept the pressure on, stretching the lead to seven when the Islanders scored two in a row on an Alverson kill and an SFA attack error to make it 9-4. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi rallied to within 11-8 on a kill from Sanchez and a pair by Isabella Arcidiacono to force a timeout. After the stoppage, SFA quickly extended the lead to eight points on a 7-2 run to make it 18-10. Sanchez ended the run with back-to-back kills, and she did so against after an Islanders service error to make it 19-14 contest. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi was unable to get any closer than five points at 20-15 and 22-17 before SFA ended the set with a 25-18 win and a 3-1 final in the match.
Next up for the Islanders will be a match on Saturday against the Sam Houston State Bearkats. The two teams are slated for a 2 p.m. start in Huntsville in an important Southland Conference match for both teams.
Live stats for the match will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.
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