CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team dominated on Senior Day, sweeping Sam Houston State 3-0 (25-20, 25-17, 25-23), Saturday in the Dugan Wellness Center to wrap the regular season. Prior to the match, the Islanders honored seniors Logen Bourque, Sarah Sanchez and Renee Ramirez.
The Islanders (19-11, 13-5) are on a two-match winning streak heading into the Southland Conference Tournament on Friday. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi received the No. 5 seed and will open the first round against No. 4 Sam Houston Sate (17-10, 14-4 SLC) at 6:30 p.m. in the Dugan Wellness Center.
Ashley Phelps powered the Islanders' offense with 12 kills and Brianna Brink tallied 11 kills. Bourque collected her 12th double-double of the season with 39 assists and 10 digs while Shayla Maldonado recorded 16 digs and Hailey King notched 12 digs to propel the defense. The Islanders were solid at the net, out-blocking the Bearkats 7-3. Freshman Shaquinn Parker posted four block assists while Phelps and Sanchez each had three apiece. The Islanders hit .197 in the match and limited Sam Houston State to just .104 hitting.
The Islanders were explosive to start the first set with an early 5-2 lead after straight kills by Brink and Sanchez. Following a Bearkats' timeout, Sam Houston State pulled within two before Brink and Sanchez teamed up for the block assist to push the team back in front by two. The Bearkats rallied back to knot the set at 8-8 on a 3-0 run before both teams traded points. The Islanders and Bearkats went back-and-forth over the next several points before the Islanders took the lead for good at 20-18 on a 3-0 run. During the run, Maldonado and Parker tacked on kills and Sanchez posted an ace. Following a Sam Houston State timeout, the Islanders and Bearkats rallied back and forth before the Islanders sealed the set 25-20 on a 4-0 run.
The Islanders came out roaring in the second set with a 3-0 early lead after kills by Ivy Baresh, Phelps and Brink. After a kill by the Bearkats, the Islanders padded its lead to 6-1 with three straight points. Following a timeout by Sam Houston State, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi extended its lead to 9-2. The Islanders pushed ahead by as many as 14 on a 5-0 run that ended with a block assist by Phelps and Parker. The Islanders continued to stay in front the rest of the way to win 25-17.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi carried its momentum over into the third set to win a clinching 25-23 victory. Despite falling behind 7-3, the Islanders bounced back to even the set at 8-8 on a 4-0 run. During the run, Sanchez and Baresh both tallied a kill and Baresh also recorded an ace. After an Islanders' error, Phelps picked up a kill while Phelps and Parker followed with a block assist to put the Islanders in front 10-9. After straight points by the Bearkats, the Islanders built a 13-11 lead after Phelps put down a kill and Brink followed with a pair of her own. Sam Houston State answered with four straight points to take a 15-13 lead but consecutive points by the Islanders knotted the set at 15-15. The Islanders and Bearkats rallied back-and-forth over the next several plays until at 22-22 the Islanders put together a 4-1 run to win 25-23.
The Islanders will host the Southland Conference Tournament on Nov. 22-24 in the Dugan Wellness Center. The team makes its third appearance into the tournament since the start of the program.
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