CORPUS CHRISTI – The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi volleyball team swept McNeese State 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 25-15) Saturday afternoon at the Dugan Wellness Center. Ashley Phelps powered the Islanders (17-10, 11-4 SLC) with 16 kills on .452 hitting while Ivy Baresh collected her 15th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 13 digs.
Senior Logen Bourque had another impressive performance with 37 assists and eight digs while Shayla Maldonado tallied four of the Islanders' season-high 10 service aces. The sophomore also registered seven digs. The Islanders and Cowgirls (14-14, 6-8 SLC) battled it out at the net with 19 total blocks. Brianna Brink tied a match-high five block assists and Sarah Sanchez chipped in five total, including four block assists.
The Islanders opened with an early 8-3 lead before the Cowgirls evened the set at 8-8 on a 5-0 run. Phelps followed with a kill before Baresh hit back-to-back kills and Hailey King added an ace to push the Islanders ahead for good. After a kill by the Cowgirls, Baresh tacked on two more kills to extend the Islanders' lead to 14-9. From there it was all Islanders, with the team pushing ahead 23-17 on a 3-0 run. During the run, Baresh added a kill and Sanchez served consecutive aces. McNeese State cut the Islanders' lead to three on a 4-1 run, but a kill by Brink capped the first set at 25-21. Baresh propelled the Islanders with a set-high eight kills in the opening set on .400 hitting.
Ashley Phelps exploded for 10 kills in the second set and helped ignite the Islanders who hit .263 in the second set. The Islanders and Cowgirls stayed even throughout the second set until the Islanders pushed ahead 13-10 on a 5-0 run. The Cowgirls answered back with three straight points to knot the set at 13-13. Phelps responded with a kill while Brink and Sanchez followed with a block assist. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi garnered a 16-13 lead after a Cowgirls' error and maintained the lead until a 7-4 run by McNeese State knotted the set at 20-20. The Islanders however scored two straight to capture a 22-20 lead, and finished the set with a 3-2 run that ended with back-to-back kills by Phelps to win 25-22. The set featured seven ties and four lead changes.
In the third set, the Islanders jumped out to an 8-3 lead after an ace by Baresh. The Islanders built a 22-13 lead on an 8-0 run that included kills from Baresh, Brink and a pair of aces by Maldonado. After an Islanders' error, Baresh put down consecutive kills. The Cowgirls followed with a kill before a service error by McNeese State sealed the third set for the Islanders at 25-15.
The Islanders will be back in action Saturday, Nov. 9, when they host Houston Baptist at the Dugan Wellness Center. First serve is set for 1 p.m.
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