Islanders face tough battle against UTRGV


Gabriella Ruiz/ISLAND WAVES

The Islander defense prepares for UTRGV to serve.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi volleyball lost after a tough battle against UTRGV 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-18, 16-14) on Oct. 25 at the Dugan Wellness Center. 

The South Texas Showdown White Out Game was presented by NavyArmy Community Credit Union that allowed the Islanders (12-9, 8-1 SLC ) to win the attendance point versus the Vaqueros (14-7, 5-2 WAC)

“I thought we were kind of on and off with our effort level in the odd sets,” said head coach Steve Greene. “It’s nice to compete at a high level throughout the whole match, just wish we would have not given up a couple rounds of points. Physically we did well but mentally you know stay a little stronger. We’re still leading the conference, we’re at one in conference play, so first in conference right now with five more conference matches to play.”

#6 junior Faith Panhans sets up her front row hitters, #7 freshman Leah Stolfus, #12 Graduate student Montez Uigaese, and #9 freshman Kyndal Payne to get a hit. (Gabriella Ruiz)

The Islanders made a comeback in the first set by leading 17-12 with Rachel Young spiking the ball to make the score 24-18. As both teams battled back and forth, Kyndal Payne finished the set with a kill. The second set had the Vaqueros win the set 25-20 as the Islanders were neck to neck with the outcome of the score.

Third set allowed the Islanders to take control with an early lead of 8-2 and Julia Carter made the score 20-13 with a kill by Montez Uigaese to win the 25-20 set. The fourth had both teams tied 9-9 with the UTRGV taking advantage by going 21-17 and winning 25-18. The final fifth set had the Vaqueros taking home the win with 16-14 after leaving fans in the crowd anxious.

Greene was happy with the overall performance with how the Islanders played despite the loss. He spoke on how UTRGV is an outstanding team and how both teams have a lot of respect for one another throughout the night. He continued by speaking how he hopes to work on the team’s mental toughness and mental stability as they play for two and a half hours.

Rachel Young, senior Middle Blocker for the Islanders, said how despite each back to back loss the team never gave up. Young hopes to get right back on track as they keep pushing forward to do well in the conference tournament. 

“Well last time we played UTRGV we beat them for first place so we knew they were going to come out strong,” said Young. “I think having our home crowd helped us but in the end we just weren’t able to pull it out. We’re played our hearts out, you know we did all that coming off of a tough loss over the weekend. We just really wanted to play our game and make some changes.” 

The Islanders will be playing their next home game this Thursday, 10/28/2021 at the Dugan Wellness Center starting at 6:30 p.m. against Nicholls.