ARLINGTON – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team picked up a non-conference victory over a longtime Southland foe on Monday, earning a 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-22) sweep over the UT Arlington Mavericks in the Labor Day matchup. The win marked the first win over UTA in Tony Graystone's tenure as the Islanders head coach, and was just the second time in program history that they had come out victorious against the Mavs.
The team is now 5-3 on the year with the victory, while UTA goes to 3-5 on the season. Shannon Hullum led the way for the Islanders, putting away a match-high 13 kills, followed closely by Brianna Brink's 13 kills on the day. Micah Nolan set a new personal best with five service aces in the match and also led the way with 18 digs. Logen Bourque picked up 35 assists on the offensive side, Brooke Alverson came up just short of double-digits at nine kills and Baresh had eight to go along with her career-high 15 digs.
In the opening set, UTA scored the first point, but the Islanders picked up the next seven on three services aces from Nolan, two kills from Hullum and a combined block by Baresh and Alverson for a 7-1 lead. With the advantage down to three at 9-6, a pair of kills from Alverson and a block assist from Brink and Alverson stretched the lead back to six at 12-6. A kill by Hullum made it a 16-9 deficit, the biggest of the set for the Mavs, and forced a UTA timeout.
UTA got a point following the break, but a kill and block solo by Hullum extended the advantage to 18-10. With the score 23-14, Baresh earned a kill to bring up match point, and Brink finished the set off with a kill of her own for a 25-14 win and a 1-0 lead for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
The second set was markedly different from the start as Alverson picked up two early kills, but three Islanders attack errors gave UTA a 6-3 advantage early on. A kill each from Baresh, Alverson and Brink knotted the score at 6-6, but the Mavs responded with four consecutive points of their own to put Texas A&M – Corpus Christi into a 10-6 deficit. In a set that saw the momentum swing back and forth throughout, the Islanders responded with kills from Baresh and Hullum while Nolan picked up another service ace to bring the lead down to one at 14-13, forcing a UTA timeout.
After the timeout, the Islanders tied it at 14-14 on a Mavs attack error, but UTA scored three-of-four points to make it a 17-15 lead. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi would rally to take the lead, and at 20-19, would get a kill from Brink and two from Hullum to make it 24-20 for set point. The Mavs would not go quietly however, scoring three straight points to make it 24-23, but an attack error by UTA ended the set at 25-23 for a 2-0 lead in the match for the Islanders.
In the final set, UTA raced out to a 5-1 lead. Kills by Hullum and Alverson helped cut the deficit to one before a combined block by Hullum and Tyger Holt even the score at 9-9. Although the score was close throughout, the Islanders first lead did not come until late in the set. Trailing 18-15, back-to-back kills by Baresh started the rally, one from Alverson tied the score and a UTA attack error gave Texas A&M –Corpus Christi a 19-18 advantage. The Mavs called a timeout late in the period while trailing 23-21 and scored coming out of the break to make it 23-22, but an attack error and an Alverson kill ended the match on a 25-22 set victory.
Next up for the Islanders will be the final pre-conference tournament this coming weekend. The team will play in the Mean Green Invitational against Hofstra, Eastern Michigan and host North Texas.