CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team opened the 2014 season this week with the start of two-a-day practices. Head coach Tony Graystone enters his sixth season at the helm of the Islanders' program and returns seven letterwinners from last season's team. The Islanders finished the 2013 season with a 20-12 record, including a school-best 13-5 record in Southland Conference play.
"They are doing a nice job and really working hard," Graystone said. "They are very serious about it right now, and really trying to make a good impression and so far so good. I'm liking what I'm seeing so far."
Seniors Brianna Brink, who received Honorable Mention All-Southland honors last season and Ashley Phelps, who was named the Islanders Volleyball Scholar-Athlete, will lead the way along with 2013 First Team All-Southland Ivy Baresh. In addition, the Islanders return juniors Shayla Maldonado (DS/L), Hailey King (DS/L), Haley Satterwhite Day (OH) and sophomore Morgan Carlson (RS).
Joining the seven returners will be 10 newcomers, including two junior transfers Chelby Stanford (S) and Kelsee Felux (OH). Erica Luke (L), Brittany Gilpin (MB), Madeleine Doud (MB), Kirstee McGarva (OH), Kate Klepetka (DS), Maddy Wall (DS), Kristyn Nicholson (S) and Courtney Warner (MB) will round out the freshman class.
The Islanders came together for the first time this week for two-a-days and workouts as they lead up to the season opener on Friday, Aug 29, in Waco, Texas, at the two-day Baylor Invite against Portland. The team will play their first 11 matches on the road before hosting the three-day Islanders Classic. A&M - Corpus Christi will play a total of 33 matches in the regular season, including 13 home matches at the Dugan Wellness Center.
The Islanders will host its first match of the season on Thursday, Sept. 18, at 6 p.m. against Southland foe Incarnate Word. The match will be part of the Islanders Classic.
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