BEAUMONT, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team came up short in the first set but rallied for three straight in a 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-17, 25-16) win over the Lamar Lady Cardinals on Thursday night. The Islanders ran their win streak to a school record-tying five matches with the win at McDonald Gym and will try to set a new mark against McNeese State on Friday night in Lake Charles, La.
The Islanders (14-6, 7-2 Southland) surpassed both their 2011 win total (13) with the win over Lamar (9-13, 1-7 Southland) on the first half of the current road trip.
Brianna Brink led the team with 21 kills on a .302 hitting percentage, while Ivy Baresh had 13 kills and 13 digs for the double-double while leading the team in hitting percentage at .333 in the match. Logen Bourque had 48 assists, while Micah Nolan added 10 digs on the night.
After falling behind by a 21-11 score in the first set, the Islanders rallied to eventually tie the score at 24-24, but Lamar scored the final two points to take a 26-24 final. Starting the rally were Shannon Hullum and Baresh kills while a pair of Lady Cards attack errors helped get the score to 22-15. After a Lamar kill, Courtney Hall picked up a kill and was followed by back-to-back tallies by Brooke Alverson to make it 23-18 and as Lamar called timeout. Alverson and Brink picked up kills after the break to make it a 23-21 score and force another Lady Cards timeout. Two kills by Brink and a block assist by Alverson and Hullum evened the score at 24-24, but Lamar picked up the final two points to make it a 26-24 final and a 1-0 Lamar lead.
The second set featured eight ties and four lead changes as the Islanders battled back into the match. Tied at 9-9, three straight kills by Brink and a bad set by Lamar gave Texas A&M – Corpus Christi a 13-9 advantage, but Lamar would quickly rally to take a 16-14 lead. Back-to-back attack errors by the Lady Cardinals tied the score and a Baresh kill made it 17-16 in favor of the Islanders, and two more Lamar errors made it a 19-16 lead and forced the home team to use a timeout.
The Islanders got nine of their final 11 points on Lamar errors, but a kill by Hall ended the scoring at 25-21 to even the match at one set apiece.
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi came out hot in the third set, picking up kills from Alverson, Brink and Baresh to take a 7-3 lead. Lamar whittled the lead down to just one point at 11-10, but an Alverson kill was followed by three in a row from Hullum to make it 15-10 and force a Lady Cardinals timeout.
Alverson picked up a block solo to make it 16-10 following the timeout before Lamar could get on the board again. After trading points several times towards the end of the match, Hullum brought up match point with a kill to make it 24-16, and a Baresh kill ended the set at 25-17 to give the Islanders a 2-1 lead in the match.
The final set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi and Lamar battle to a 4-4 tie early on before the Islanders took an 8-4 lead on a Baresh kill and a Bourque and Hall block assist. Later in the set a kill by Brink and a Lamar attack error made it 12-7 and forced the Lady Cardinals to take a timeout. Brink added another point to the lead after the break with a kill that made it 13-7.
After Lamar scored the next four points to make it 13-11, three Brink kills, a Hullum kill and a Bourque service ace made it 19-11 as the Islanders took control of the set. Alverson picked up a kill and Hall followed with one of her own to make it a 23-13 score late in the set. A service error by the Lady Cardinals made it match point, and a bad set finished the scoring at 25-16 for a 2-1 Islanders win.
It will be a quick turnaround for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi, with the next match coming less than 24 hours after the completion of the match against Lamar. The Islanders take on McNeese State at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Memorial Gym on campus.
Live stats will be available by visiting www.McNeeseSports.com.
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