Lady Demons fall to Islanders

NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State came out strong and battled blow-for-blow with the top team in the Southland Conference but Texas A&M-Corpus Christi showed its versatility in a 3-0 (25-23, 25-14, 25-19) win on Saturday afternoon.

“We played well in the first but we just didn’t have that spark to be able to get on a run to close it out,” head coach Sean Kiracofe said. “We did a lot of good defensive things and were a lot better offensively than when we saw them the first time at their place. We did what we needed to on the outside but needed to connect a little better in the middle. They had a lot of attempts and did some good things, but we weren’t able to get them in scoring situations enough.”

The Lady Demons (10-17, 4-8) played even with the Islanders throughout the opening set. After a total of 14 tie scores in the first set, the final coming on a Symone Wesley kill that evened things at 18, the Islanders (16-9, 12-1) jumped ahead on a late 4-0 run.

NSU had an immediate response with a kill from Breanna Burrell and ace from Jaylibeth Garcia-Rosa that sparked a 4-1 stretch to pull the Lady Demons back within a point at 23-22. Corpus’ middle Rachel Young stopped the momentum with a kill to edge the Islanders ahead for the 25-23 opening-set win.

Holding off the late charge by the home team fueled the Islanders early in the second, starting the frame with two blocks within the first three points. The early lead grew to eight after another 4-0 run made it 12-4.

The Lady Demons had a pair of three-point bursts before the end of the set, both featuring aces and kills from Wesley and Garcia-Rosa, but the early lead was plenty for the Islanders who cruised to the 25-14 win.

NSU jumped ahead early in the third but needed a 4-1 run on a kill from Welsey and two more from Garcia-Rosa to tie the game at 10. A block from Reagan Lee evened the match again at 13 a few moments later forcing a Corpus timeout.

Following the break, the Islanders sprinted ahead on a 5-1 stretch, and although the Lady Demons got within a pair twice thanks to kills from Burrell and Wesley, Corpus was able to pull away again to secure the winning point.

Burrell and Wesley both reached double-figure kills in the match and Ragan Ward recorded her second double-double of the week with 11 assists and 11 digs.

NSU travels to Southeastern next Thursday in the final road match of the season.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services