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Southland Conference regular season champion Islanders prepare for annual Conni & Jay Wise Islander Classic

Southland Conference regular season champion Islanders prepare for annual Conni & Jay Wise Islander Classic
Posted at 7:23 PM, Mar 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-29 20:36:56-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas A&M-Corpus Christi beach volleyball has proven to be unstoppable in the Southland Conference this 2023 season, winning the inaugural regular season championship. Now they prepare for their home tournament this Friday and Saturday on the Bayfront.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, the defending Southland Conference Tournament Champions, have raised the standard this season after having already secured the program's first ever win over a top-20 program.

"Not only qualify for the NCAA DI tournament, I want to win there," Gayle Stammer, TAMU-CC beach volleyball head coach, said. "I don't want to just show up and be happy, I'm not happy to be there. I want to win there and they do too."

The Islanders have now won 25 consecutive regular season matches against Southland Conference opponents dating back to 2019.

"I knew that this incoming class was going to be good, and so to just make sure I'm still doing my part to work hard as a good teammate," Shea Slusser, TAMU-CC senior beach volleyball player, said. "Our team this year is very skilled."

Shea Slusser puts most of her trust with her teammate Kela Moreno. The two won this past week's conference pair of the week after a three-set victory over No. 5 LSU.

"I love playing with Shea. She pushes me to work hard and I work hard for her," Kela Moreno, TAMU-CC sophomore beach volleyball player, said. "It's just like we're playing for each other and it's really awesome."

Fans can come out to Water's Edge Park this Friday and Saturday to enjoy the sand and the Conni and Jay Wise Islander Classic. The same location as the 2023 Southland Conference Tournament Championships in late April."

"We have a really good advantage of just the feel of it and the environment all together, so it will perfectly prepare us," Moreno said.

"They put on a great event downtown. They do such a good job, and it's honestly just a really cool chance to actually play beach volleyball on the beach," Slusser said. "You can't say you can do that at many schools."

TAMU-CC is hosting Stephen F. Austin, HCU and the TAMUK Javelinas for their Bayfront beach bash.

"We've got a DJ. We've got music, food trucks," Stammer said. "It's a fantastic environment."

- vs. Stephen F. Austin at 11 a.m.
- vs. Houston Christian University at 9 a.m.
- vs. Texas A&M-Kingsville at 1 p.m.