TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (13-7, 8-1 SLC) vs. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN (12-8, 4-3 SLC)
Thursday, Oct. 17 • 7 p.m. • Dugan Wellness Center • Corpus Christi, Texas
CORPUS CHRISTI – After being on the road for its last three matches, the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team returns home to the Dugan Wellness Center Thursday, Oct. 17, to host Stephen F. Austin in the annual Dig Pink match for breast cancer awareness. In addition to the Southland Conference match, the first 300 fans in attendance will receive a free t-shirt and fans can enjoy a pre-match tailgate on the east lawn in front of the Dugan Wellness Center. More than 15 organizations will be on hand for games, food and prizes, along with The Beach 96.5.
The Islanders are off to the best Southland Conference start in program history with an 8-1 record including a 13-7 overall record. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is coming off a three-match sweep in Louisiana, including a sweep of Nicholls Monday night. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi has won six straight, including 10 of its last 11 matches.
The Islanders currently sit behind undefeated Central Arkansas (7-0) in the conference standings and are tied with Sam Houston State (7-1) and Northwestern State (6-1).
On Monday, Ivy Baresh recorded 15 kills, 18 digs and two service aces to lead the Islanders over the Colonels. Sarah Sanchez registered a career-high six blocks, including four block assists and two blocks solos. The senior also chipped in eight kills on an impressive .412 hitting. Shayla Maldonado had another impressive match at the libero position. The sophomore helped power the Islanders' defense with 11 digs, her third straight match in double figures.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi currently leads the conference in assists with 13.00 per set, which as of Monday ranked 32nd in the nation. The Islanders are also ranked 36th in the nation in digs. The team is in second in the conference in digs with 16.33 per set and currently sits in third place in the conference in kills with 13.64 per set.
Senior Logen Bourque reached a new milestone against Nicholls after passing out 36 assists. Last season at home against the Colonels, Bourque became the first Islander to reach 3,000 assists in a career. This season, she becomes the first Islander to reach 4,000 assists in a career with 4,013 with 10 regular-season matches left to play. This season she has collected 807 assists. Prior to Monday's match, the Houston native was ranked 32nd in the nation in assists per set. She leads the conference in conference matches only with 11.91 assists per set and overall she ranks second in the conference with 11.05 assists per set.
Baresh has been a consistent all-around player for the Islanders. The sophomore leads the Islanders' offense this season with 3.65 kills per set (3rd SLC) and is second on the team in digs with 3.54 digs per set (15th SLC). Baresh has also registered a team-high 21 service aces. She is ranked 14th in the conference with 0.30 service aces per set. Brianna Brink is right behind Baresh offensively with 2.93 kills per set and 211 total kills.
Along with Maldonado, Hailey King has powered the team defensively with 4.02 digs per set (9th SLC) and 265 digs on the year.
Stephen F. Austin enters Thursday's match with a 12-8 record including a 4-3 record in conference play. The Ladyjacks are coming off back-to-back five-match victories to Nicholls and McNeese State. Prior to that, SFA dropped four straight road matches. Jill Ivy leads the Ladyjacks with 3.18 kills per set while Jacque Allen is right behind her with 2.51 kills per set. Paige Holland runs the Ladyjacks' offense with 8.63 assists per set and OJ Olson leads the defense with 4.84 digs per set.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will meet the Ladyjacks for the 14th time in program history with SFA holding the 10-3 series advantage. Last season, the Islanders split with the Ladyjacks. In the first meeting, at home, the Islanders swept SFA 3-0 before dropping a 3-0 loss to SFA in Nacogdoches, Texas. In the victory, Baresh led the team with 12 kills on a .417 hitting percentage and recorded three block assists while Bourque dished out 38 assists.
Islanders Athletics has once again teamed with the Promotion of Sport class in the University's kinesiology department to put on the annual Dig Pink match that brings attention to, and raises funds for, breast cancer research. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the match in support of the cause, as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The Islanders will remain at home to host Northwestern State on Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Dugan Wellness Center. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
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