TEXAS A&M - CORPUS CHRISTI (14-9, 9-3 SLC) AT CENTRAL ARKANSAS (18-3, 10-0 SLC)
Saturday, Oct. 26 • 12 p.m. • Prince Center • Conway, Ark.
CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team will compete in its final road match of the season Saturday, Oct. 26, against Central Arkansas. The Islanders come into the contest against the Sugar Bears with a school best 9-3 record in conference play and sit at 14-9 overall.
On Monday, the Islanders jumped up four spots to 24th in the nation in digs and 31st in the nation in assists. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi is coming off a devastating loss to Oral Roberts on Thursday 3-2 (16-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-5).
The Islanders clinched the first two sets against the Golden Eagles, who rallied back to seal the final three sets. Sophomore Ivy Baresh recorded her 13th double-double of the season with 12 kills and 17 digs. Bourque also finished with her eighth double-double of the season with 56 assists and 16 digs. Brianna Brink registered a season-high 21 kills and Ashley Phelps added 16 kills. Shayla Maldonado tacked on 18 digs for the Islanders' defense.
Bourque continues to be a consistent leader for the Islanders' offense. As of Monday, the senior was ranked 25th in the nation in assists, which is good for second place in the conference. She is the first Islander to reach 4,000 assists in a career with 4,154. Bourque has tallied 50 or more assists in seven matches this season. The Houston native is fourth in the Islanders' record book in career digs with 1,010 and is currently tied for fourth in service aces with 71.
The Islanders currently sit in second place in the conference in assists (12.96) and digs (16.55) and third in kills (13.55). Baresh is ranked fifth in the conference with 3.55 kills per set and 15th in digs with 3.57. The sophomore is also ranked 11th in service aces. Brink is right behind Baresh offensively with 3.10 kills per set (11th SLC) and 260 total kills. Hailey King and Maldonado have powered the team defensively. King is averaging 3.86 digs per set (10th SLC) with 297 digs on the year and Maldonado is averaging 3.14 digs per set.
Central Arkansas, the reigning Southland Conference Tournament champions, enter Saturday's match with a perfect 10-0 record in conference play and are 18-3 overall. The Sugar Bears are coming off a 3-1 victory Thursday at home against Houston Baptist. Heather Schnars leads UCA with 3.36 kills per set and Paige Gantar is averaging 2.37 kills per set. Marissa Collins runs the offense for the Sugar Bears with 11.99 assists per set. Defensively, Shelbee Berringer leads the team with 4.88 digs per set and three Sugar Bears have tallied over 30 blocks apiece this season.
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will meet Central Arkansas for the ninth time in program history, with the Sugar Bears holding the 6-2 series advantage. Last season, the Islanders clinched a 3-2 thrilling victory at home in the first meeting before dropping a 3-1 loss to UCA in Conway, Ark.
The Islanders will return home to the Coastal Bend for its final six regular-season matches of the season before hosting the Southland Conference Tournament. First up is a non-conference match vs. Prairie View A&M on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Dugan Wellness Center. First serve is set for 6 p.m.
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