SAN ANGELO, Texas - Closing out a winning weekend at the Kathleen Brasfield Invitational, the Texas A&M-Kingsville volleyball team captured their second consecutive match, battling past the East Central University Tigers, 25-12, 23-25, 25-11, 25-19 on Saturday afternoon in San Angelo, Texas at Stephens Arena at the Junell Center.
Senior Madison Brabham (Kingwood, Texas) put together her third double-double in four matches by pairing 17 kills with 15 assists. Junior Melanie Casteel (Dallas, Texas) pushed her kill total to double digits with 10 and freshman Kailey Estrada (San Antonio, Texas) added nine. Senior Haley Hutchinson (Kingwood, Texas) led all participants by cashing in at an .800 clip, totaling eight kills without an error.
The assist column was dominated by freshman Emily North (Red Oak, Texas). Her 34 matched the amount she racked up in season opener against New Mexico Highlands. Three Javelinas hit double figures in digs, led by junior Sarah Miller (Long Beach, Calif.) and freshman Nicole Murff (San Antonio, Texas), who each tallied 17. Junior Loren Washington (Austin, Texas) pitched in with 10. Murff's three aces were also a game-high.
The .341 kill rate posted by TAMUK was their best in this young season and easily outclassed the .091 percentage of ECU.
The Blue and Gold never trailed in the opening game and pushed their lead from two to four to six to eight and eventually to 13. A blast from Casteel gave her team a 1-0 edge. Allen's crew posted an attack percentage of .375, committing only two errors on 32 tries. The Tigers could only manage an anemic -.114, scoring consecutive points twice, as they erred 10 times compared to six kills in 35 attempts.
The second set started as a game of runs, with ECU racing ahead 6-0 only to see TAMUK fight back to earn a 9-7 edge. The sides traded leads, neither having an advantage greater than three. East Central edged in front 22-20 and Javelinas couldn't find away to get even. Karina Erregiun's blast to the center of the floor, her seventh smash of the stanza, made the match even. A .205 attack clip helped the Lions knot things at one.
A red-hot start propelled the Javelinas in the third set. They collected the first four points and the Tigers were unable to catch up. A 9-2 spurt moments later pushed the lead to 13 and a rocket from Hutchinson off a perfect set by Brabham put the Javelinas back in front.
TAMUK's offense took over in the fourth and sealed the deal. In 31 attacks, Allen's team logged 20 kills with just four mistakes for a .516 mark. Casteel and freshman Jordan Wonders (Corpus Christi, Texas) each contributed a pair of points as the Javs moved in front 7-2. ECU couldn't get closer than 15-12 before the Javelinas pulled away again. Another unstoppable attack by Hutchinson sent the Javelinas hope happy.
Up next for TAMUK is a home exhibition against Mary Hardin Baylor on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Steinke Physical Education Center. To keep up with everything related to Javelina volleyball all season long, follow @JavelinaVB on Twitter and @javelinasports on Instagram, like Javelina Volleyball on Facebook and visit Javelinasports.com.