CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team got a big match from Shannon Hullum in the final home match of her career, with the senior notching 13 kills while the team dominated early on the way to a 3-0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-22) win to close out the regular season. It was also Shannon Hullum Day, with the program and athletic department honoring the lone senior on the team in the final regular season match of her career.
The Islanders (21-10, 12-6 Southland) finish the regular season strong, winning the final two matches of the year heading into the Southland Conference Tournament in Conway, Ark. starting next Friday. The team will find out who the first round opponent will be after all matches are completed on Saturday afternoon. McNeese State (7-25, 1-17 Southland) will miss the tournament due to its finish in league play.
Hullum led the team with her 13 kills, while Ashley Phelps tied a career high with seven kills against the Cowgirls. Logen Bourque had 27 assists, three service aces, five digs, one block solo and one block assist to follow up her big match on Thursday. Hailey King led the Islanders in digs during her first start at the libero position, the only time this season anyone other than Micah Nolan has played the position.
The first set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi score the first point on a Nolan service ace, but McNeese State tied it up with a kill of their own. After that single point, the Islanders scored the next eight points, getting a block assist from Brooke Alverson and Phelps, back-to-back kills by Hullum and a kill be Alverson to make it 7-1 and force a Cowgirls timeout. After the stoppage, Hullum, Alverson and Phelps combined on a block assist, and Alverson followed with a block solo to make it 9-1 before a service error broke the run.
At 13-4, Brianna Brink started another run with back-to-back kills, then Alverson followed with two straight service aces and Bourque finished the run with a kill to make it 18-4. After a quick Cowgirls point, Bourque picked up a block solo and a service ace, Brink added another kill and Tyger Holt got on the board with a kill that made it 21-5. Hullum and Holt each added another kill on the way to a 25-9 final and a 1-0 lead in the match.
The second set was nearly the same story, with Texas A&M – Corpus Christi going on an 11-0 run at one point to take control. The set was played close early, with the score at 8-5 when the Islanders started the streak. Brink had a pair of kills sandwiched around back-to-back scores from Hullum to make it 11-5 as McNeese State called timeout.
After the break, Brink picked up where she left off with another kill. A pair of Cowgirls errors extended the lead, and Bourque added another pair of aces to make it 16-5. After a McNeese State attack error, Morgan Brubaker subbed in to serve for Bourque and added two service aces of her own before an error ended the run at 19-6. At 23-14, Holt added a kill to make it set point, and a Cowgirl attack error made it a 25-14 final and 2-0 lead heading into the intermission.
The final set started out like the first two, but the Cowgirls rallied late to make it interesting before falling by a 25-22 final. The Islanders scored the first five points on a block by Hullum and Courtney Hall, a kill by Hall, a kill by Phelps, a Nolan service ace and finally another Phelps kill to make it 5-0. A Haley Satterwhite kill followed a McNeese State timeout to make it 13-6, and the biggest lead came at 20-10 after a Cowgirls attack error.
With the Islanders seemingly in control, the Cowgirls staged a furious rally to close the gap to just two points at 24-22, but a kill by Hullum ended things at 25-22 for the 3-0 sweep of McNeese State.
Next up for the Islanders will be the Southland Conference Tournament, with the team making just the second appearance in since the start of the program after the best season in school history.
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