Lady Demons succumb to efficient Islander attack

Northwestern State was on the receiving end of a clean and efficient attack Saturday afternoon in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-13, 25-13) loss to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The Islanders (7-7, 3-0) hit above .300 in each of the three sets with their three primary attackers each turning in attack percentages over .350 for the match. The loss is the third in a row for the Lady Demons (6-12, 0-3) to start conference play.

“They’re efficient with their swings and when you take something away most of their attackers are very good about making immediate changes,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We played much better than Thursday night, which I was happy with, and did a lot of good things to start the match.

“Unfortunately, you can flip a coin 10 times and it can land on tails all 10 times, so even though we were much better at following the scout it didn’t always result in points.”

An early 4-0 run for the Lady Demons gave them the lead in the first set. Two uncharacteristic-for-the-day errors from the Islanders along with a kill and ace from Piper Boydstun made it a 7-3 game.

The tide quickly turned as Corpus stormed back ahead with a 6-0 run to answer and eventually took a 15-10 lead. Jaylibeth Garcia-Rosa, who led the Lady Demons and tied for the match high with 11 kills, brought NSU back with two kills and an ace making it a one-point game.

Still down by just a point at 19-18, the Lady Demons had another chance to tie the game, but a strong finish from the Islanders sparked a 5-0 run that led to the first set win.

The Lady Demons were unable to take advantage of the early miscues by the Corpus offense. The chances the remainder of the match were even fewer and farther between.

The efficient Islander offense made just three errors in the second and third sets that were not a result of an NSU block, keeping the Lady Demons from building any momentum the rest of the way.

A 9-2 run early in the second helped the Islanders pull away and take a 15-8 lead. NSU was unable to string any points together in the set as Corpus converted on 12-of-13 sideout opportunities. They finished the match 22-for-27 in the metric across the final two sets.

An early lead in the third slipped away after three straight Corpus kills followed a pair of NSU errors turning the two-point advantage into a four-point deficit. A 10-2 run started a few serves later and spelled the end for the Lady Demons.

Garcia-Rosa reached double-figure kills for the fifth time this season and the second during conference play. The junior middle is hitting .440 through the first three league matches.

The Lady Demons return to Prather Coliseum for the first of two straight Southland Conference home matches on Thursday night against Houston Baptist.

Photo: Gary Hardamon

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