Islanders Host UTPA Friday in Non-Conference Action
TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (6-6) vs. UTPA (9-4)
Friday, Sept. 20 • 7 p.m. • Dugan Wellness Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team will look to keep its three-match winning streak alive when it returns home to host Texas - Pan American Friday, Sept. 20, at the Dugan Wellness Center. The Islanders will take a break from Southland Conference play to face the Broncs at 7 p.m.
The Islanders are coming into Friday's match with a 6-6 record after securing three straight wins on the road, including two in conference play. Texas A&M – Corpus Christi swept McNeese State 3-0 on Tuesday night and followed it with a 3-0 victory over Houston Baptist Thursday night.
On Thursday, the Islanders hit .228 in the match and limited HBU to just .140 hitting. Phelps hit .303 in the match while Brink hit .360. Senior Logen Bourque dished out a match-high 35 assists and Ivy Baresh and Hailey King powered the Islanders' defense. The Islanders collected a match-high 56 digs with Baresh tying a match-high 12 digs and King chipping in 11 digs. The Islanders also registered six blocks in the match.
Baresh is leading the Islanders with 142 kills and Brink has 142 kills. Ashley Phelps is hitting .259 and Bourque has 52 kills on .237 hitting. The senior is running the offense with 10.47 assists per set while also recording 2.53 digs per set. Hailey King is leading the defense with 3.60 digs per set and freshman Shaquinn Parker is leading the team with 23 total blocks, including 18 block assists.
The Broncs come into the contest with a 9-6 record and have won four of their last five matches. UTPA has wins against the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Lamar, Jackson State, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Incarnate Word, Prairie View A&M and McNeese State. Maria Kliefoth leads the Broncs with 106 kills on .328 hitting while Nycole Masaki runs the offense with 436 assists and 9.08 assists per set. Defensively, UTPA is led by Nausheen Merchant with 3.06 digs per set.
Friday's match will mark the 30th meeting between the two schools with the Broncs holding a 15-14 series advantage. Last season, the Islanders took both matches from the Broncs. The Islanders sealed a 3-1 victory (25-20, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19) in Edinburg in the first contest. Baresh picked up 14 kills while Brink chipped in 11 kills and Bourque dished out 52 assists. The Islanders followed that match with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-16) victory at home against the Broncs. Brink tallied 10 kills on .333 hitting and Baresh recorded seven kills and eight digs. Bourque passed out 30 assists and recorded four kills.
The Islanders will head back on the road next week to take on Sam Houston State and Lamar in conference play. The Islanders will first take on the Bearkats on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Huntsville, Texas, before taking on the Cardinals on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Beaumont, Texas.
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