BEAUMONT, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team squeezed out a 3-2 (28-30, 26-24, 25-19, 11-25, 15-12) dramatic road victory over Lamar Saturday afternoon in Southland Conference play at McDonald Gym. The Islanders had a balanced team performance and Ivy Baresh and Logen Bourque led the way with double-doubles.
The Islanders (8-7, 3-1 SLC) fell behind early with a first-set loss but bounced back to win the next two. The Cardinals (4-12, 2-3 SLC) followed with a fourth-set victory before the Islanders ended the five-set thriller with a 15-12 final set win. Brianna Brink matched her season high with 14 kills on .241 hitting to lead the Islanders and Baresh chipped in 11 kills and 16 digs. Sarah Sanchez also matched her season high with 10 kills while Hailey King matched a career-high 22 digs. Bourque had another impressive performance against the Cardinals. The senior tallied 41 assists, 17 digs and seven kills, just three kills short of recording her second straight triple double against Lamar.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi also had a strong match at the net with a season-high nine blocks, including 16 block assists. Freshman Shaquinn Parker contributed with a career-high five blocks.
The Islanders and Cardinals battled in the first set with 11 ties and four lead changes. Lamar took a 20-18 lead before the Islanders scored four straight to surge ahead 22-20. During the run Bourque added a pair of kills and Sanchez chipped in an ace. Both teams traded points back-and-forth before Lamar put together a 3-0 run to take a 25-24 lead. After an Islanders' timeout, Baresh slammed down a kill to even the set at 25-25. Over the next several points the Islanders and Cardinals traded points until 28-28. Lamar then scored back-to-back kills to win the set 30-28.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi answered back to win the second set, which featured 15 ties and four lead changes. Once again, the Islanders and Cardinals stayed even until Brink's kill jumpstarted a 4-0 run to put the Islanders in front 22-18. During the run, Brink and Parker added kills and Megan Olivarez added an ace. The teams went back-and-forth before Lamar scored three straight to trim the Islanders lead to one at 23-22. After an Islanders' timeout, the teams traded points until Lamar tied the set at 24-24 on a pair of hitting errors by the Islanders. However, the Islanders captured the set on consecutive errors by the Cardinals to win 26-24.
The Islanders kept the momentum going with a 25-19 third-set victory. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outhit the Cardinals .235 to .059 and out-blocked the home team 4-1. Brink and Sanchez each tacked on four kills and Baresh tallied six digs. Parker and Baresh also chipped in three blocks apiece. The Islanders jumped out to an early 3-2 lead and held the lead through the whole set. Lamar answered at 19-14 with a 4-0 run to pull within two. Baresh, Bourque and Sanchez followed with a kill apiece and Lamar committed an error to pad the Islanders' lead to 23-17. After straight points by the Cardinals, the Islanders finished the set with back-to-back points to win the set 25-19.
Lamar answered back in the fourth set to win 25-11 and even the match at 2-2. The Cardinals hit .423 in the set and out-blocked the Islanders 4-1. The home team opened with an 11-7 lead before putting together a 13-5 run to win 25-11.
In the fifth and final set, the Islanders fell behind 7-4, before Brink put down a kill and Lamar committed an error to cut the deficit to one. After rallying back-and-forth, the Islanders scored straight points to knot the set at 9-9 and force a Cardinal timeout. Following the timeout, Bourque and Parker teamed up for a block assist and Lamar committed a hitting error to put the Islanders ahead 11-9. The Cardinals rallied back with three straight points to surge in front 12-11 but after an Islanders timeout, Phelps (1), Brink (2) and Baresh (1) answered with four consecutive kills to help power the Islanders to a 15-12 fifth-set victory.
The Islanders will return home for a two-match homestand at the Dugan Wellness Center starting on Thursday, Oct. 3, against Incarnate Word at 7 p.m. The team will then take on Abilene Christian on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m.
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