CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Texas A&M - Corpus Christi Islanders opened their annual Conni & Jay Wise Islander Classic beach volleyball tournament with a close 3-2 decision over Stephen F. Austin at Water's Edge Park.
Sophomore Kela Moreno and redshirt junior Shea Slusser, the reigning SLC Pair of the Week, opened the day with a straight set win at court five against the Lumberjacks. The Islanders No. 3 sport pair, junior Tori Johnson and sophomore Jade Bennett also swept SFA 2-0.
"To be honest I just enjoy playing with Tori (Bennett). We always have a lot of fun when we play," Jade Bennett, Islanders sophomore, said. "When things are tough like with the wind being 40 miles an hour, I'm sure it wasn't 40 miles an hour, you just try to enjoy and do as much as you've been taught and that's really what we did today and I enjoyed that."
The Islanders have now won six of their last eight matches, only dropping to No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 LSU. Though, one of the six victories came against No. 17 Arizona for the program's first ever win over a top-20 opponent.
"I think we definitely played for each other. Touching every ball that we could," Tori Bennett, Islander junior, said. "Not giving up. It's really hard in the win, so just not giving up on the ball is really important."
The tournament continues on Saturday as the Islanders play Houston Christian University at 9 a.m. and Texas A&M-Kingsville at 1 p.m. The Islanders will honor its seniors and be presented the inaugural Southland Conference regular season championship trophy prior to the match against TAMUK at approximately 12:30 p.m.
A&M-Corpus Christi 3, SFA 2
1. Morrow, Madison/Ogden, Hannah (SFA) def. Poletti Corrales, Giuliana/Lewis, Kiley (AMCC) 21-19, 10-21, 15-11
2. Tome, Chloe/Bobay, Kristin (AMCC) def. Culver, Chloe/Bennett, Natalie (SFA) 21-17, 19-21, 15-9
3. Johnson, Tori/Bennett, Jade (AMCC) def. Duhon, Olivia/Hall, Madison (SFA) 22-20, 21-7
4. Johnson, Kelly/Elder, Abigail (SFA) def. Doyle, Hannah/Fernandes De Melo, Maria Duda (AMCC) 16-21, 21-18, 15-13
5. Moreno, Kela/Slusser, Shea (AMCC) def. Erwin, Rylee/Sherman, Toby (SFA) 21-17, 21-10