CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team will open the 2013 season this weekend in Denver, Colo. at the Pioneer Classic. The Islanders will kickoff competition against UC Irvine on Friday, Aug. 30, before taking on Denver and Air Force on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Hamilton Gymnasium.
The Islanders are coming off an impressive 2012 season that saw the team shatter school records in overall wins (21) and Southland wins (12) while finishing the season with a program-best third place. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi returns nine letterwiners from a year ago and welcomes six newcomers.
Brianna Brink, a Preseason First Team All-Southland pick, leads the pack of returners along with senior Logen Bourque, a Preseason Second Team All-Southland pick. The setter set the all-time career assist mark last season for an Islander while leading the team with a season-high 1,070 assists. She also tallied her first career triple-double and was the first Islander to do so since 2005 with 10 kills, 13 digs and 39 assists against Lamar. Also, returning for the Islanders' offense is right side hitter Ashley Phelps and outside hitters Ivy Baresh and Haley Satterwhite Day. Defensively, Shayla Maldonado and Hailey King will return to lead the Islanders in the back row.
Head Coach Tony Graystone enters his fifth season at the Island University and welcomes the addition of six newcomers, Morgan Carlson (RS), Nicole Soifua (MB), Abby Whitehead (MB), Valarie Moehrig (OH), Courtney Cary (S) and Shaquinn Parker (MB).
The Islanders will face UC Irvine and Denver for the first time in school history and will face Air Force for just the second time in Islanders history. The last time the two teams matched up was in the Air Force Invitational in 2008.
Live stats for all three matches will be available on the Pioneer Classic Central Page.
Following Saturday's matches, the Islanders will travel to Houston, Texas, next weekend to compete in the Rice Invitational I on Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7, against Rice, LSU and UALR.
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