CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team continued its winning streak with a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-14) over Stephen F. Austin Thursday evening in the annual Dig Pink match at the Dugan Wellness Center. Despite a slow start, the Islanders (14-7, 9-1 SLC) clinched its seventh straight match in front of 1,180 fans.
The Islanders are off to the best Southland Conference start in program history and have clinched 11 of its last 12 matches. Ivy Baresh collected her 11th double-double of the season with 14 kills and 16 digs, while Brianna Brink recorded a match-high 18 kills on an impressive .419 hitting. Also finishing in double figures in kills was Ashley Phelps with 13 kills. The Islanders hit .270 in the match and limited the Ladyjacks (12-9, 4-4 SLC) to just .117 hitting.
Senior Logen Bourque passed out 52 assists, her sixth match of the season where she has tallied 50 or more assists in a match. She now has dished out 4,065 assists in her career. Bourque also helped ignite the Islanders' defense with 14 digs. Leading the defense was Shayla Maldonado with 21 digs. Along with Baresh and Bourque, Hailey King also finished in double figures in digs with 13. The Islanders out-blocked the Ladyjacks 9-6 and freshman Shaquinn Parker controlled the net with a career-high six block assists.
Stephen F. Austin jumped out to a 14-8 lead in the first set after earning five straight points. The Islanders answered with a 3-0 run to pull within four, but the Ladyjacks maintained its lead to 22-15. Baresh followed with straight kills to force a SFA timeout. The two teams rallied back and forth, but the Ladyjacks finished the first set with a 25-20 victory. SFA hit .216 in the first set and limited the Islanders to just .071 hitting.
The Islanders answered back in the second set with a 25-14 victory. The Islanders' offense exploded with a set-high .571 hitting percentage. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi jumped out to a 6-1 lead and held the lead through the whole set. The Ladyjacks trimmed the deficit to one on several occasions but the Islanders answered with a 4-0 run to build a 15-10 lead. After a kill by SFA, the Islanders padded its lead to 20-11 with five consecutive kills. During the run, Brink chipped in two kills while Phelps put down three. The Islanders went on a 5-3 run to win the set 25-14. Phelps notched six kills in the set while Brink collected five.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi kept the momentum rolling into the third and fourth sets to win. In the third set, the Islanders and Ladyjacks battled early on before the Islanders built a 13-9 lead with three straight points. During the run, Baresh and Parker hit back-to-back kills. The Islanders forced another SFA timeout after scoring a trio of points to push ahead 19-14. Both teams rallied back and forth before Brink and Parker tacked on consecutive kills to lift the Islanders to a 25-19 victory.
The Islanders put together an all-around solid performance in the third set with four kills apiece by Baresh, Parker and Phelps, while Maldonado tallied seven digs and King garnered six.
In the fourth set, it was the Islanders with an 8-3 opening lead. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi then padded its lead to 15-8 on a 3-0 run, which included a pair of kills by Brink. With the Islanders in front 21-14, Baresh, Brink and Parker teamed up with consecutive kills to seal the set and victory, 25-14. The Islanders hit .385 in the set and limited SFA to just .070 hitting. Baresh and Brink each chipped in six kills apiece.
The Islanders will remain at home to host Northwestern State on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Dugan Wellness Center. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
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