CORPUS CHRISTI (Islanders Athletics) - The Texas A&M – Corpus Christi Volleyball team snapped a three-match losing streak on Thursday night, returning home after five consecutive Southland Conference road matches for a 3-1 (25-15, 25-14, 22-25, 25-23) win over the Nicholls Colonels at the Dugan Wellness Center. Setter Logen Bourque and libero Micah Nolan set new milestones in team history in the match, with Bourque becoming the first Islander to reach 3,000 assists in a career, and Nolan earned the 1,500th dig of her career in the win over the Colonels.
The Islanders (17-9, 9-5 Southland) also tied the school record for wins in a season with the 17th of the year while Nicholls (10-17, 5-11 Southland) lost its third straight match.
Nolan finished the night with 17 digs, while Bourque had 13, Shelby Coppedge tallied 12 and Ivy Baresh earned 11 in the match. Bourque led the team with 43 assists while a trio of Islanders reached double digit kills on the night. Baresh led the way with 14, Brianna Brink had 13 and Brooke Alverson totaled 12 against the Colonels.
Courtney Hall, Brink and Baresh opened the first set with kill each to give the Islanders a lead they would not relinquish at 3-2. With the score 4-3, the Islanders reeled off seven consecutive points on four kills by Baresh and two by Alverson to make it an 11-3 score. The closest it would get from that point on was five points at 14-9, but another kill by Baresh helped extend it back to seven at 16-9. With the lead at 18-12, the Islanders put it away with three straight points to make it a 21-12 advantage, and a Shannon Hullum kill ended the set at 25-15.
The Islanders and Colonels played close early on in the second set, with the score reaching a tie at 5-5 and neither team leading by more than two points until kills by Brink and Ashley Phelps made it an 11-8 lead for the home team as Nicholls called their first timeout of the set.
The advantage grew to five for the first time following a kill by Phelps, a service ace by Nolan and another Phelps kill to make it a 14-9 Colonels deficit. With Texas A&M – Corpus Christi leading 19-13 late in the set, Alexis Fritz made her Islanders debut and came out blazing, picking up three service aces in her first collegiate action as the lead expanded to 24-13 and set point. After Nicholls broke the 6-0 run, Tyger Holt and Brink combined for a block assist that ended the set with a 25-14 win for the Islanders.
The third saw the tables turned as the play was closer early on before the Colonels took advantage of Texas A&M – Corpus Christi errors to build a six-point lead at 21-15. Despite an Islanders rally, Nicholls would withstand the comeback to take a 25-22 set and make it a 2-1 match.
The final set was the closest of the match, with 11 ties and four lead changes marking a battle until the end. The first lead of more than one point came when an Islanders attack error gave the Colonels a 10-8 advantage early on in the set, but a pair of kills by Hullum, one from Baresh and a Nolan service ace flipped the score to a 14-11 lead for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
After a timeout with the Islanders leading 16-12, Nicholls rallied to earn a 20-18 advantage as Texas A&M – Corpus Christi tried to stave off a fifth set. The Islanders scored three straight points late in the set on a pair of kills by Hullum and a block assist by Hullum and Alverson to make it a 23-22 lead for the home team. After the Colonels tied it at 23-23, Hullum picked up another kill to make it match point, and a Nicholls attack error ended it at 25-23 for Texas A&M – Corpus Christi.
Next up for the Islanders will be a 1 p.m. match on Saturday against the Southeastern Louisiana Lady Lions in the Dugan Wellness Center.
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