HOUSTON – After dropping the first match to LSU 3-0, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi bounced back to win a five-set thriller over UALR to wrap the Rice Invitational I Saturday on the final day of the Rice Invitational I at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Islanders hit a season-match high .268 and had four players finish in double-figure kills. Ivy Baresh earned a spot on the All-Rice Invitational I team.
The Islanders (2-4) will return to the Coastal Bend to host its first home match of the season on Monday, Sept. 9, at the Dugan Wellness Center. The Islanders will host UTSA at 7 p.m.
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MATCH 1: LSU 3, TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 0
Baresh led the Islanders with a career-high 16 kills and a team-high 16 digs while Logen Bourque and Brianna Brink both finished with double-doubles, but it wasn't enough as LSU controlled the net with 13 blocks to win 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20). The Tigers recorded 18 block assists and four block solos while the Islanders' tallied one block by Shaquinn Parker on Saturday morning in the Rice Invitational I at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Baresh hit a team-high .344 and picked up her fourth double-double of the season. Bourque led the Islanders' offense with 32 assists and 13 digs while Brink chipped in 10 kills and 10 digs. Hailey King also tallied 12 of the Islanders' match-high 66 digs.
In the opening set, the Tigers opened with an early 6-2 lead before the Islanders rallied back at 13-7 with a pair of kills by Brink to pull within four. LSU answered with a 4-0 run to force the Islanders to take their second timeout of the set. After rallying back-and forth, the Islanders capitalized on a pair of LSU errors to trim the deficit to six. However, straight points by the Tigers pushed the lead to 21-13. Both teams traded points before Bourque recorded her first kill of the set with an assist from Baresh. After an Islanders' service error, Brink registered her fifth kill of the set to make it 23-16, but back-to-back points by the Tigers lifted the home team to a 25-16 first-set victory. LSU tallied four blocks in the opening set while Brink recoded five of her 10 kills in the first set.
In the second set, the Tigers jumped out to a 10-7 lead before the Islanders rallied back with three straight points, including back-to-back kills by Baresh and Parker to knot the score at 10-10. The Islanders and Tigers went back-and-forth until five straight hitting errors by the Islanders pushed LSU back out front, 17-12. Sarah Sanchez and Bourque responded with consecutive kills to trim the lead to four. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi kept fighting with Baresh and Ashley Phelps collecting kills to keep the Islanders within two. After a timeout by the Islanders at 21-17, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi earned straight points on an Tigers' attacking error and a kill by Parker to trim the lead to two. The Islanders rallied back with two points to make it 24-22, but after a LSU timeout, the Tigers capped the second set 25-22 with a kill. Baresh hit a set-high .500 and recorded five digs.
The Islanders fell behind early 9-5 in the third set before Baresh smashed her 11th kill of the set, and Bourque followed with her third kill of the match. LSU built a 15-11 lead on straight points before the Islanders scored two consecutive points on a Tigers' service error and an ace by Brink. LSU pulled ahead 19-13 on a 4-0 run, but consecutive kills by Baresh and Phelps helped jumpstart a 5-0 run by the Islanders and pull them within one. After a LSU timeout, the Tigers built a four-point cushion on a 3-0 run to make it 22-18. The Islanders and Tigers traded points back-and-forth until LSU capped the match on an Islanders' hitting error to win the set, 25-20.
MATCH 2: TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI 3, UALR 2
The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team bounced back in the final match of the Rice Invitational I with an exciting five-set victory over UALR to win 3-2 (20-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 16-14) Saturday evening at Tudor Fieldhouse. The Islanders hit a season-match high .268 and had four players finish in double-figure kills.
Ashley Phelps had a career night with 14 kills and Brianna Brink also tallied a season-high 14 kills to lead the Islanders who matched a season-match high seven blocks. Sarah Sanchez had a solid match with a season-high 10 kills and she matched her career-high of five blocks while Ivy Baresh collected 12 kills. Logen Bourque ran the Islanders' offense with a season-high 50 assists. Hailey King also finished in double digits with 19 digs.
In the first set, UALR (2-4) built a 16-13 lead until the Islanders pulled within one on a Trojans' error and a kill by Bourque. UALR rallied ahead on a 3-0 run to push ahead 20-16. After trading kills, the Trojans scored a pair of points to make it 23-17. Brink and Sanchez answered with back-to-back kills to trim the lead to four. After trading points, an Islanders' attacking error finished the first set with UALR in front, 25-20.
The Islanders responded back in the second set with a 25-21 victory. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi received a huge spark by Sanchez. She hit .556 in the set with six kills while the Islanders hit .483 as a team. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi and the Trojans tied nine times in the set until the Islanders built a 19-15 lead. During the run,Shaquinn Parker and Brink each added a kill. The Islanders stayed out in front the rest of the way with Phelps finishing the set at 25-21 with a kill.
The Islanders gained momentum out of the break to take a 5-0 lead in the third set, but eight kills by the Trojans' Sonja Milanovic and six kills by Edina Begic lifted UALR to a 25-22 third-set victory. The Islanders stayed with the Trojans until a 3-0 run by UALR gave them a 21-18 advantage. Both teams traded points back-and-forth until Milanovic finished the set with a kill and a 25-22 Trojan victory.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi fought back to secure the next two sets. In the fourth set, the Islanders hit .440 and received solid play by Brink and Phelps. With both teams even at 15-15, Brink slammed down a kill and Baresh followed with an ace to push the Islanders ahead 17-15. After a Trojans' timeout, UALR knotted the score at 18-18 with back-to-back kills. The Islanders then built a 21-18 lead on a pair of kills by Brink and an attacking error by the Trojans. Out of an UALR timeout, both teams traded points back-and-forth until consecutive errors by the Trojans sealed a 25-21 fourth-set victory for the Islanders.
The Islanders carried over their momentum into the final set to propel to a 16-14 victory. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi opened the set with a 4-0 lead and never trailed until a late surge by the Trojans tied the set at 13-13. After an Islanders' attacking error, UALR took their first lead of the set with a 14-13 lead. However, an attacking error by the Trojans knotted the score at 14-14, and the Islanders followed with two straight points to capture the set and the match, 16-14.