A&M-CC Wins Islanders Invitational Finale

A&M-CC Wins Islanders Invitational Finale

CORPUS CHRISTI (ISLANDERS ATHLETICS) - The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi volleyball team rebounded from a loss to UNLV on Friday to open the Islander Classic presented by Emerald Beach Hotel with a convincing 3-1 victory over UT Arlington Saturday to close the tournament on a high note.
 
The Islanders won 25-23, 25-15, 22-25, 25-15 to improve to 4-4 on the season.  The Blue and Green are now 2-1 on their home court and will return to the Dugan Wellness Center on Tuesday to host Texas State at 6:30 p.m.
 
"It was a great comeback after last night's loss," Head Coach Steve Greene said. "We had a few things to work on to get back to our game and we did a good job of that against UT Arlington. They're a strong team so it was nice to be able to showcase our style of play and to stop them from doing what they wanted to do."
 
A&M-Corpus Christi did it with a balanced attack asBrittany Gilpin and Mallory Moran each had 14 kills andMorgan Carlson added 13.  Madeleine DoudKristyn Nicholson and Morgan Williams chipped in eight, seven and six kills, respectively.
 
"That's what we've been looking for all season," Greene said. "We've had pieces of it; one game where Gilpin does really well, one game where Carlson does really well, this time we had everybody. Gilpin was firing on all cylinders and Moran just did awesome. It was a really great match for her."
 
Moran's 13 kills were a career high, topping her previous best of six, recorded as a freshman against Prairie View on Sept. 22, 2015. 
 
After winning the first set 25-23, the Islanders cruised to a 25-15 win in set two to take a 2-0 lead.  The Mavericks didn't back down, though, fighting out a 25-22 win in set three to force a fourth stanza.
 
The Blue and Green's rhythm was as good as ever in the final set of the match, winning 25-15 to end the contest.
 
Kate Klepetka anchored the defense once again, recording a season high 35 digs, diving for stunning stop after stunning stop all match long.  It was just one shy of her career high of 36, set twice last season.
 
"Thirty-five digs in four sets is not easy," Greene said. "That's almost nine digs per set. It shows a couple of things. One, that she's a talented player. And two, that our team trusts her to take a ton of court. When the block is doing their thing, balls get funneled in her direction and she puts them right on target. She's doing a great job defensively."
 
The block was doing its thing, and Morgan Williams finished with a career high five total blocks, tying her best from last season.  With two solo blocks and three block assists, Williams matched her total number of blocks from the first seven matches of the 2016 season.
 
Carlson added three blocks, while Doud chipped in with two.
 
Klepetka and Carlson were named to the Islanders Classic All-Tournament Team following the final match of the weekend.  UNLV's Bree Hammel was named the MVP, while Caitlin Wernentin and Elsa Descamps were named to the All-Tournament Team. UTA's Cassidy Wheeler and Zhanelle Geathers were also recognized on the All-Tournament Team.


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