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Islanders volleyball readies for Baylor in NCAA Tournament

The Islanders are making their second straight appearance in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament and fourth in program history.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Entering the NCAA Tournament on a seven-match winning-streak, the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi women's volleyball program will take on No. 5 Baylor at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Ferrell Center in the round of 64. 

A&M-Corpus Christi (19-9, 13-1 SLC) has gone over a month since its last defeat on Oct. 25. Over the last seven matches, the Islanders have only dropped two sets. 

The Islanders won six of seven sets in the Southland Conference Tournament to repeat as champions and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A&M-Corpus Christi won both the regular season and tournament titles this year. 

Junior Carissa Barnes, the back-to-back SLC Libero of the Year winner, leads the nation in digs per set with a 6.51 average. She was named the SLC Tournament MVP and is a three-time All-Conference selection. 

Barnes was one of five All-Conference honorees from A&M-Corpus Christi along with junior Faith Panhans, the Player and Setter of the Year, senior Rachel Young, senior Montez Uigaese and freshman Kyndal Payne. Young and Payne were also named to the All-Tournament Team. 

The Islanders have seven student-athletes on the roster that played in last season's NCAA Tournament match against San Diego including Barnes, Panhans, Young, Uigaese, senior Angel Felan, senior Julia Carter and sophomore Ella Litterell. 

It will be the seventh meeting between A&M-Corpus Christi and Baylor (20-5, 14-2 B12). The Islanders will be looking for their first win in the series, but haven taken a set in three of the six matches. The last meeting was a 3-1 defeat on Aug. 27, 2016. 

A&M-Corpus Christi will be making its fourth NCAA Tournament in school history. Its previous showings were against No. 10 Texas A&M in 2015, No. 8 Washington in 2016 and San Diego in 2020.