Islanders Rally Falls Short Against Sam Houston State in Final Road Match

Brooke Alverson records the match-clinching kill against UTPA
Brooke Alverson records the match-clinching kill against UTPA

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball fell short of completing a rally from 2-1 down on Saturday afternoon, falling 3-2 (22-25, 25-19, 25-11, 24-26, 15-10) to Sam Houston State in the final road contest of the regular season.

The Islanders are now 13-18 overall and 5-9 in Southland Conference matches. Sam Houston improves to 15-12 on the year with a 9-5 mark in league play. Shannon Hullum and Brooke Alverson led the Islanders with 12 kills apiece, with Brianna Brink trailing the total by one with 11 kills in the match. Logen Bourque had 43 assists in the match against the Bearkats while Micah Nolan had a team-high 16 digs, breaking the all-time single-season mark for digs in Islanders history.

The first set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi fall behind early, before rallying to take the opening frame. Trailing 3-1, the Islanders scored five straight on a kill by Hullum and blocks from Alverson and Hullum to make it a 6-3 lead. Sam Houston battled back to even it at 10-10, but back-to-back kills by Sarah Sanchez once again gave Texas A&M – Corpus Christi the advantage. The final tie came at 19-19, followed by the Islanders scoring four-straight points on a pair of kills by Alverson and a block assist by Sanchez and Alverson. With the score at 24-22, Sanchez put away another kill to give her team a 25-22 final and a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the two teams were even early on, with the Bearkats leading 10-9 before going on a 5-0 run to widen the gap. SHSU led by as many as eight points at 19-11 when the Islanders six-of-seven points to make it a 20-17 score. Sam Houston would weather the rally and go on to a 25-19 final to even the match at 1-1.

The third set saw Sam Houston jump out to a 9-0 lead at the start before taking a 25-11 final. The Islanders were able to close the gap to 15-10, but the Bearkats scored 10 of the final 11 points to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

The fourth set was close early on, with the teams playing to a 12-12 tie before Texas A&M – Corpus Christi grabbed the lead by scoring the next three points. SHSU countered by tying the score and then taking a one-point lead at 17-16. With the score tied at 21-21, The Bearkats score two of the next three points to take it to match point at 24-22. The Islanders weathered the dire situation by scoring the final four points of the set on a block by Brooke Alverson and a pair of kills from Brink to help force a deciding fifth set.

In the final stanza, the teams played to a 3-3 stalemate until SHSU scored five-of-six to make it an 8-4 at the changeover. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi rallied to within one point at 9-8, but they were unable to complete the comeback as they lost a 15-10 final set and a 3-2 final in the match.

Next up for the Islanders will be the final home stand of the season, with matches against UT Arlington and Texas State next week at the Dugan Wellness Center. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will play UT Arlington on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the second-to-last match of the regular season while Texas State visits on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m. on Senior Day.

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