EDINBURG – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi volleyball team picked up its third-straight win on Tuesday night, with Shannon Hullum leading the way to the Islanders' 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19) victory against Texas – Pan American. Hullum led four players in double-digit kills (17), with Ivy Baresh and Brooke Alverson picking up 14 each and Brianna Brink totaling 11 on the night.
The Islanders are now 3-1 on the season, winning three straight after falling in the opening match of the season. UTPA dropped to 1-3 on the season with the home loss.
On the defensive side, Micah Nolan picked up 33 digs in the match, while Shelby Coppedge had 15 and Baresh finished with 13 to go along with her 14 kills for the first double-double of her collegiate career. Logen Bourque had a season-high 52 assists to set up the offensive attack for the Islanders.
Early in the first set the teams were in a back-and-forth battle, with neither team leading by more than two points. With UTPA leading 13-12, the Islanders reeled off eight straight points around two Broncs timeouts to take a commanding 20-13 lead. UTPA staged a comeback late in the set, getting to within four points before an attack error gave Texas A&M – Corpus Christi a 25-20 set and a 1-0 lead in the match. Alverson led the way with six kills, while Nolan picked up nine digs in the set.
The two teams were tied at 5-5 early in the second, but the Islanders scored 6-of-8 points to take an 11-7 lead behind kills from Ashley Phelps and Courtney Hall, as well as a block assist by Phelps and Bourque to give their team the advantage. The lead was stretched to as many as nine following a kill by Hullum to make it a 22-13 score. UTPA scored several points late, but it was not enough as a kill by Alverson made it set point, and a kill from Baresh made it a 25-18 final for a 2-0 set lead for the Islanders.
The third set saw Texas A&M – Corpus Christi lead early, taking a 13-9 edge before the Broncs scored five straight points to hold a 15-14 advantage, forcing the Islanders to call their first timeout of the night. The lead stretched to as many as three on two occasions, the second coming at 18-15. The Islanders rallied to within one point on a Hullum kill, but UTPA scored four of the last five points to take a 25-21 set.
In the final set, the Islanders started out strong, building a nine-point advantage at 18-9 on multiple kills from Hullum, Alverson, Brink and Baresh. The lead nearly turned into a tie score as the Broncs rallied to score five-straight to make it 18-14. It would be as close as the Broncs could get, though, as back-to-back-to-back kills from Alverson, Brink and Tyger Holt extended the lead back to seven on the way to a 25-19 final. Match point came at 24-15, but UTPA reeled off four-straight points to close the gap before a Brink kill ended the match.
Next up for the Islanders will be the TCU Nike Invitational in Fort Worth this weekend. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi will face Army to open the tourney on Friday, while taking on TCU and SMU on Saturday to finish the weekend.
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