ARLINGTON – After a rough start, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team bounced back to clinch three straight sets over Mississippi Valley State to win 3-1 (19-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-10) Friday at College Park Center in the opening match of the Hilton Maverick Classic. Freshman Morgan Carlson had a career day with a match-high 21 kills on an impressive .581 hitting. The Islanders (3-5) hit a season-high .370 as a team, while limiting the Devilettes (3-8) to just .218 hitting.
The Islanders had a slow start falling behind early 4-2 in the first set. The team rallied back to push ahead 7-5 with three straight points. Both teams rallied back-and-forth with a total of 11 ties until MVSU put together a 3-0 run to build a 20-17 lead. After a timeout by the Islanders, a kill by Bourque pulled the Islanders within two but a pair of errors by Texas A&M - Corpus Christi kept the Devilettes in front 22-18. After a MVSU service error, the Islanders dropped three straight points to fall 25-19 in the first set.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi rallied back to win the next three sets behind impressive play by Baresh and Carlson. The Islanders hit .464 in the second set and out-blocked MVSU 2-0. Baresh and Carlson each registered five kills in the set without recording an error. The Islanders started off trailing 3-0 before rallying back with eight straight points to push ahead 12-7. From there the Islanders never trialed and cruised on to win 25-14.
In the third set, Carlson hit .556 with six kills and Baresh added five kills and six digs. The Islanders hit .389 while limiting the Devilettes to .280 hitting. The Islanders jumped out to a 10-6 start with kills by Bourque, Abby Whitehead, Baresh and Carlson. The Islanders never trailed after that. The team built a 15-9 lead after kills by Carlson, Brianna Brink, Baresh and Bourque. MVSU answered with back-to-back kills to pull within four, but Baresh and Carlson responded with straight kills to extend the Islanders lead to 18-12. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi stayed out in front the rest of the way to win 25-19.
The Islanders finished the match with a solid fourth-set victory. The team hit a set-high .630 and Carlson hit .875 with seven kills to lead the team. MVSU took an early 3-2 lead before the Islanders answered with seven consecutive points to garner a 9-3 lead. After trading points back-and-forth the Islanders went on a 4-0 run to build a 14-5 lead. During the run, Carlson, Bourque and Brink all recorded kills. The Islanders finished the set with six straight points to cruise to a 25-10 victory. In the set, 13 Islanders saw action.
The Islanders will continue play tomorrow at 11 a.m. against UTSA before taking on UT Arlington to wrap the classic at 7 p.m.
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