Volleyball Takes on Bearkats in Closely Contested Rivalry

The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team will look to pick up another home win on Saturday when they take on Sam Houston State in a Southland Conference match. The two teams will meet at 1 p.m. in the Dugan Wellness Center.

The Islanders (9-5, 2-1 Southland) are coming off of their first loss in a league contest after falling 3-1 against Northwestern State on the road. The Bearkats (5-9, 1-2 Southland) have beaten Oral Roberts in conference, while absorbing losses against Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin.

Over the past three seasons and eight matches, five of them have been decided in a fifth and final set. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi broke through the barrier last season, winning 3-2 at home against the Bearkats in the second of three meetings during the 2011 campaign, two of which went to five sets.

The Islanders have gotten off to the best start in team history this year; the fourth under head coach Tony Graystone. They started 2-0 in Southland play against preseason favorites Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts before suffering a 3-1 loss against Northwestern State. In that match, the Islanders started out quickly by winning the first set, but could not get any more as the Lady Demons won on their home court.

Last time out for Sam Houston State was an epic five-set match against the Ladyjacks of SFA. The teams traded sets until SFA came out on top with a decisive 15-6 win in the final frame.

Micah Nolan leads the team with 216 digs on the year, one of just four players with more than 200 digs to this point in the season. Ivy Baresh is second with 137 and Logen Bourque has contributed 107 coming into the match. They help lead the Islanders defensively, along with Brooke Alverson's team-high 51 total blocks. Offensively, Shannon Hullum leads the way with 140 kills while Brianna Brink (127), Ivy Baresh (121) and Alverson (101) all top the century mark. Setter Logen Bourque has 467 assists as the primary facilitator on offensive end.

SHSU outside hitter Devene Wells-Gibson leads all players in the Southland Conference with 199 on the season while hitting at a .221 clip on 562 attacks, and is followed on the team by Kendall Cleveland with 143. Tayler Gray is the primary setter for the Bearkats with 529 assists on the season, while they feature four players with 100-plus digs on the year. Jamie Haas leads the way at 198, while Gray is second with 180, Wells-Gibson had 156 and Kaylee Hawkins comes in with 106 this year. Kim Black leads the team with 69 total blocks on the year.

Live stats and video will be available by visiting www.GoIslanders.com.

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