WACO, Texas – Texas A&M-Corpus Christi opened the 2016 season with a three-set sweep over Prairie View as the Islanders rolled to a 25-14, 25-19, 25-19 victory in the debut of head coach Steve Greene.
"I thought we came out and competed pretty well," said Greene following his first win as a collegiate head coach. "Obviously, we had some nervous jitters, especially from some of the newcomers, but overall I though we did a really good job. We stayed focused on our side and did a lot of the things we had been working on in practice the past couple of weeks so that was nice to see in competition."
On the court, the night belonged to another new Islander as freshman Claire Karsten floored 13 kills to lead the Blue and Green. Joining in a dynamic Islander attack which hit .308 in the victory were sophomore Morgan Williams with seven kills and juniors Brittany Gilpin and Madeleine Doud with six apiece.
"Claire did great," said Greene. "She played all the way around for us and did a really good job. Her attack was awesome and it was the best she's attacked all preseason so we were thrilled about that."
Following the match, Karsten was notably excited.
"It was awesome," said the freshman. "Being a starter as a freshman, it really boosted my confidence. All the upperclassmen really gave me confidence in my game. Being on the court with them, they really brought me in and made me feel like family. I loved it."
The Islanders took control early, jumping out to a 10-5 lead in the first set. From there, a 9-3 run keyed by three consecutive service aces from Kate Klepetka extended the advantage to 19-8. The Blue and Green cruised on to take the first set 25-14.
The second set followed a similar script with the Islanders jumping out to a 10-3 advantage. It was Karsten coming to life which led the Islanders in the second. The rookie had four of the first 14 points and finished with six kills in the set. With a host of newcomers on the floor, the Blue and Green went on to take the set 25-19.
An identical third set of 25-19 completed the sweep and gave the Islanders their 19th consecutive regular season win and a 1-0 start to the season.
• The Islanders were on fire in the first set, hitting a blistering .591.
• Gilpin hit a team best .750 on 6-of-8 swings in limited action.
• Libero Kate Klepetka dug a match-high 13 attacks.
• Seven newcomers saw the floor in the Islanders opening match, including setter Madison Green who had a match-high 22 assists.
TWIN BILL SATURDAY
The Islanders return to action at the Baylor Invitational Saturday with two matches. The Blue and Green will face rival UTRGV at 1 p.m. before taking on host Baylor at 7 p.m.