The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi volleyball program hosted their Islander Classic this past weekend that was presented by Schlotzsky’s here at home.
By returning to the home court after the 2021 season, the Islanders used these home games to prepare for future matches against other opponents. The team fell to strong and competitive teams such as Sam Houston, SMU, and Indiana while each game challenged the team on what to expect later on in the 2022 season.
In game one against Sam Houston, the Islanders went 0-3 against the Bearkats with scores of 25-22, 25-17, and 27-25. In this match, TAMU-CC secured 41 kills, a .148 hitting percentage, rallied 49 points, 40 assists, three aces, and five blocks.
“I’m really glad that we’re able to bring competitive teams here, and the crowd was amazing,” head coach Steve Greene said. “Especially Friday night, we had a really good crowd. The cheer team was out there doing their thing and we’re excited to have everybody supporting us.”
The second match ended in SMU and TAMU-CC battling back and forth in all three sets, falling 25-19, 25-21, and 25-22. Senior Carissa Barnes ended the match as the leader, achieving three service aces and 17 digs.
“The key for us is trying to get the toughest competition we can find, and we’d like to challenge ourselves,” Greene said.
Greene continued by saying how the preseason doesn’t have any bearing on what their conference schedule will look like and how the Islander Classic allows the players to play in different spots to prepare them for future games.
“We use it as a way to kind of gauge our weaknesses so that we can improve,” Greene said. “We need some offensive production, especially from our outside hitters.”
Finally, game three against Indiana came in full force to take down the Islanders in all three sets, scoring 25-18, 25-19, and 25-14. TAMU-CC picked up the pace in set two and began moving their feet more to place the ball in open gaps against Indiana.
“It’s always a great opportunity to face such challenging and well-rounded teams, it really shows us what we need to work on in practice, get better, and get ready for conference,” senior Faith Panhans said.
At the end of the Islander Classic, two student-athletes were selected for the All-Tournament team for their performance in all three games. Senior Faith Panhans and sophomore Leah Stolfus achieved not only many kills in each set, but assists to control the court in the matches to help their team.
For more information on upcoming games, please visit https://goislanders.com/sports/womens-volleyball/schedule.