CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team earned a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-18) sweep over Oral Roberts on Saturday afternoon to improve to 2-0 in Southland Conference play. Tyger Holt had a career day on her birthday, picking up 13 kills on just 17 attacks for a .765 hitting percentage while adding three block assists.
The Islanders (9-4, 2-0 Southland) picked up their second win in as many home matches as the reeling Golden Eagles (4-9, 0-2 Southland) lost their seventh straight match.
Holt led the way for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi while Ivey Baresh also had double-digit kills with 10 in the match. Brooke Alverson led the team with six block assists and one block solo while Shannon Hullum was close behind, matching the one block solo and adding five block assists of her own. Logen Bourque had 33 assists while Micah Nolan led the team with 15 digs, Shayla Maldonado had 12 and Hullum added 10.
The first set had the Islanders leading 7-3 early on behind two kills from Hullum, one each from Baresh and Alverson as well as a service ace by Nolan and a combined block by Alverson and Baresh. Oral Roberts used a 10-2 run to wrestle the lead away, but Texas A&M – Corpus Christi would use a 9-0 run to take command of the set.
Trailing 13-9, Brianna Brink started the run with a kill and was followed by a block assist from Holt and Hullum. Another kill by Holt and an ORU attack error evened the score at 13-13, but the Islanders were not done yet.
After a Golden Eagles timeout, Holt put away another kill, followed by a Brink kill and then two more from Holt forced another ORU break. The Eagles finally broke the momentum with a kill after the second timeout, but they would score just one more point as Brink and Hullum had kills before Baresh had a pair to bring up set point at 24-15. Baresh and Alverson combined on a block to end the set with a 25-15 final to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi once again grabbed an early lead at 7-3 on a pair of kills by Holt, a block solo by Hullum and two block assists from Alverson, once with Baresh and one with Hullum.
The Golden Eagles rallied by scoring 5-of-6 points to even the score at 8-8 and traded points before taking their first lead of the set by score three straight to make it 13-10. They held a three-point lead at 13-10, but the Islanders outscored them 6-3 on kills from Bourque and Holt and a service ace by Maldonado to even the set.
After knotting the score at 16-16, the Islanders scored three more in a row to take a 19-16 lead, forcing a Golden Eagles timeout. After the break, the lead was whittled to one point at 21-20, but kills from Baresh and Alverson, along with a block assist by Alverson and Brink brought up set point at 24-20. After two ORU points, Brink ended the set with a kill to make it a 2-0 Islanders lead in the match.
The final set started off strong for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi with Hullum picking up the first point on a kill before combining with Alverson for a block assist. Baresh followed with a kill, Alverson had a block solo and Baresh picked up another kill to make it a 5-0 lead as Oral Roberts called a timeout. An ORU error and another kill from Hullum made it 7-0 before the Golden Eagles could score a point.
The lead expanded to 12-3 on kills from Hullum and Baresh and a service ace by Hullum before the Eagles staged a rally. They closed the gap to 15-10 midway through the set, but it was as close as they would get. Two kills from Holt extended the lead to 18-11, and another made it a 21-14 score. Hullum and Baresh had back-to-back kills before yet another Holt kill made it match point at 24-17. After an Islanders service error, the Eagles returned the favor with an attack error to clinch the match for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
Next up for the Islanders will be an unusual Tuesday night Southland Conference match in Natchitoches, La. as they travel to face Northwestern State in league play. After the midweek affair, they return home to host Sam Houston State next Saturday.
For all the latest on Islanders Volleyball, like the team on Facebook (IslandersVolleyball), follow them on Twitter (@IslandersVB) and visit www.GoIslanders.com.