After a loss to Eastern Kentucky and then a win against Morehead State last week, the Gamecocks flipped things around and lost a rematch against Morehead State before following up with a win against Eastern Kentucky.
The game against Morehead State Friday night started out in the Gamecocks’ favor after a win in the first set. They followed up with a loss in the second set against a powerful .455 attack percentage for the Eagles. The third set was won again by the Gamecocks forcing the game into extra sets. JSU dropped the final two sets by a margin of only two points and sealed the deal for Morehead State. The win was the first of the year for the Eagles who won the conference championship last year.
The Eagles boasted a .222 overall attack percentage with JSU only hitting .178. It didn’t seem to slow the Gamecocks offense which saw three players hit double digits in kills. Emily Rutherford had 16, Nicole Merget had 13 and Allyson Zuhlke had 12. Defense also saw double digits for three Gamecocks. The leader was Samantha Bohne with 21 digs. Rutherford followed with 13 and behind her was Jennifer Hart, who had 12 digs in addition to 43 assists.
The finals for the match were 25-21, 22-25, 25-21, 23-25 and 13-15.
After the five set loss to Morehead State, the Gamecocks were ready for a win as they faced Eastern Kentucky yet again. The match against the Colonels was a tough one and was forced into extra sets as well after wins in the first two and a loss in the third. The fourth set brought the match to a 2-2 tie as EKU hit .318 attack percentage, which was their highest of the night. The Gamecocks rallied back in the final set and closed it out after a tie at 14 to win it all.
The Colonels were barely above the Gamecocks in overall attack percentage hitting .238 to JSU’s .234. Rutherford led the team in kills with 22 and just behind her were Merget with 18, Zuhlke with 14 and Charis Ludtke with 13. Bohne led the defense with a season-best 30 digs, while Rutherford, Hannah Kirk and Hart came behind with 16, 14 and 11, respectively. Hart also had the game-high 61 assists overall.
The finals for the match were 25-20, 25-20, 29-31, 23-25 and 16-14.
JSU goes to 15-11 overall and 7-3 in OVC play. They sit fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference standings just below Eastern Kentucky who has a two-game lead over the Gamecocks. They just have two home games that remain on their schedule. Alabama State comes to Pete Mathews on Tuesday before the Gamecocks return to the road for a five game stretch. The last home game of the season will be on Nov. 15 against Southeast Missouri.