HUNTSVILLE, Texas – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team suffered their first Southland Conference loss of the season, falling 3-0 (25-16, 25-23, 25-20) to Sam Houston State Thursday evening at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. The Bearkats (7-6, 4-0 SLC) controlled the net with 12 blocks and hit a match-high .254 to stay undefeated in conference play.
Junior Ashley Phelps recorded 12 kills on .156 hitting to lead the Islanders (7-7, 2-1 SLC) and Ivy Baresh chipped in eight kills and a match-high 19 digs. Logen Bourque tallied 32 assists and eight digs while Hailey King added 17 digs.
The Islanders and Bearkats battled in the first set, rallying back-and-forth with five ties. Sam Houston State built a 10-7 lead on straight points and extended their lead to 14-9 on a 4-1 run. After some intense rallies, the Bearkats scored four straight to push ahead 20-11. Sarah Sanchez and Baresh added consecutive kills to trim the deficit to seven but the Bearkats put together a 3-1 run to win the first set 25-16.
After falling behind 13-10 in the second set, the Islanders evened the set at 13-13 on three consecutive errors by the Bearkats. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi stayed even with the home team until another 3-0 run by the Islanders pushed them ahead 17-14. During the run, SHSU committed back-to-back errors and Phelps added a kill. The Islanders then built a 23-20 lead after another Bearkat hitting error. However, the Islanders saw their lead evaporate as the Bearkats answered back with five straight points to capture a 25-23 second-set victory.
In the third set the Islanders and Bearkats were deadlocked at 10-10 until a 5-0 run by Sam Houston State gave the home team a five-point lead. During the run the Islanders committed four hitting errors. The Islanders then gained some momentum to trim the deficit to three. During the run Sanchez added a kill and Megan Olivarez chipped in an ace. The two teams battled back-and-forth until three straight points by the Bearkats gave them a 22-16 lead. After trading kills, the Islanders scored two straight with a kill by Sanchez and a Bearkat hitting error to pull within four, but it wasn't enough as Sam Houston State sealed the third set 25-20 and the match 3-0.
The Islanders will continue conference play on the road Saturday, Sept. 28, against Lamar at 1 p.m. in Beaumont, Texas.
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