The Jacksonville State Gamecocks dropped their first two conference games of the season against SIU Edwardsville and Eastern Illinois. JSU started conference play on Friday night against the Cougars of SIU Edwardsville.
The match was forced into five sets to determine a winner, but the Gamecocks were unable to walk away the victor. The first set was back-and-forth between the two teams with SIUE managing to hold on to win 25-23.
The Gamecocks rallied in the second set and were able to win 25-16, but the third set was the opposite as SIUE walked away with the 25-15 win.
Forced into more sets, the Gamecocks made it clear they were not going to quit and managed a tough 29-27 win in the fourth. However, it would ultimately be SIUE who would claim the match victory after a 15-12 win in the final set.
The Gamecocks hit .169 overall and .268 in their winning fourth set. Emily Rutherford had double digits in both kills with 15, and digs with 16. Charis Ludtke and Allyson Zuhlke also had 14 and 13 kills, respectively.
True to form, Jennifer Hart led her team in assists with 49, while also having 17 digs on defense. Hannah Kirk led the team in digs with 19.
The following evening, the Gamecocks played against OVC offensive leader Eastern Illinois. The Panthers would build solid leads to sweep the Gamecocks swiftly in three sets. The first set saw the Panthers take the lead early with JSU never really able to catch up.
The Gamecocks would go on to fall 25-15.
The second set was promising with the Gamecocks having the early lead, but it wouldn’t take long for EIU to jump out in front and take the set 25-19. The final set was much the same with the Panthers leading early.
The Panthers took the set, and match, with a final 25-19 win holding the Gamecocks to under 20 points for each individual set.
Despite the loss, Ludtke was able to get seven kills just in front of Rutherford with six.
Kirk and Ludtke also had double digits in digs with 13 and 10, respectively.Hart also added 21 assists to the mix, just four shy of the game high of 25 from EIU’s Marah Bradbury. Despite their loss, the Gamecocks maintain an all-time winning record versus EIU 15-6.
The Gamecocks moved to 8-11 overall and 1-2 in conference play after defeating Tennessee Tech on Tuesday.
The Jacksonville State Gamecock Volleyball team will now come home to the Pete Mathews Coliseum for the first time this season to play Jackson State on Oct. 2. The match is set for 7 p.m.