September 8, 2012

Islanders Sweep Host North Texas to Close Out Mean Green Volleyball Classic

DENTON – The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team picked up another win on Saturday, closing out the Mean Green Volleyball Classic with a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 26-24) sweep of host North Texas. The team finished with a 2-1 record with sweeps over Hofstra and UNT in the final preconference match of the season. Shannon Hullum and Ivy Baresh were named to the All-Tournament Team for their performances during the weekend.

The Islanders are now 7-4 on the season with the win, and will begin Southland Conference play on Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Dugan Wellness Center against Central Arkansas. North Texas moves to 8-4 with the loss.

Hullum had a match-high 12 kills while Baresh had a double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs and Logen Bourque contributed a match-high 35 assists.

The opening set featured 17 ties and five lead changes as neither team could get any breathing room against the other until the final points. UNT took an 8-6 lead, the first time either team led by more than one, but kills by Courtney Hall and Hullum evened the score once again at 8-8. The teams traded points back and forth until late in the set.

The final tie came at 18-18 and was followed by a kill by Brooke Alverson and an ace by Baresh to make it 20-18 as UNT called a timeout. An attack error by the Mean Green after the break made it 21-18 before they were finally able to get on the board again. Brianna Brink and Baresh had kills to make it 23-20 and an attack error brought up set point at 24-21. UNT scored once more, but Baresh put away her fourth kill of the set for the deciding point at 25-22 and a 1-0 Islanders lead.

In set two, the Islanders gained an early 6-3 lead on two kills from Hullum and one from Bourque, but the Mean Green rallied with a 4-1 run to even the score at 7-7.  The teams traded points to 18-18 before Texas A&M – Corpus Christi got a Baresh kill and Micah Nolan service ace gave the team a 20-18 advantage and saw UNT call a timeout.

After the break Alverson and Baresh combined for a block and Hall put away a kill to make it 22-18. The run was broken on an attack error, but two straight errors by the Mean Green ended the set at 25-19 for a 2-0 Islanders lead.

The Islanders raced out to a 7-2 lead in the third set before three straight points by UNT after a timeout made it 7-5. Baresh broke the momentum with a kill, but the Mean Green answered right back and worked to a 9-9 tie that forced the Islanders to call a timeout of their own.

In similar fashion to the previous two sets, the teams traded points the majority of the set until back-to-back kills by Alverson and a Baresh service ace made it an 18-15 lead heading into a Mean Green timeout. After the break Bourque and Alverson extended the advantage to four on a block, but three straight from UNT closed the gap to 20-18. An attack error extended the lead before Hall picked up two kills and Brink picked one to bring up match point at 24-20.

UNT scored three straight to force an Islanders timeout, and then added another after the break to even the score at 24-24. It did not rattle Texas A&M – Corpus Christi though, as Hullum picked up a kill to make it match point once again, and Hall and Hullum combined for a block to end the match with a 26-24 third-set victory.

Next up for the Islanders will be the home opener on Thursday against Central Arkansas. It will also be the "Wash Out" game, with fans encouraged to wear blue as Texas A&M – Corpus Christi tries to open Southland Conference play with a victory.

Live stats and video will be available through www.GoIslanders.com.

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