JSU volleyball ends on high note in weekend tournament

The Jacksonville State volleyball team pieced together a crucial five-set victory at the Pete Mathews Coliseum, downing preseason conference favorite Belmont to complete the weekend sweep on October 7, 2017. Charis Ludtke (16)

Sadie Appleton, Sports Correspondent

The Jacksonville State University volleyball team traveled to Birmingham, Alabama this weekend to face three different in-state opponents: UAB, Samford and North Alabama. Coming off a sweep of Southeastern Louisiana University in the previous weekend, the Gamecocks looked to improve upon their record. Unfortunately, they came short early in the tournament. 

After giving up the first two sets, Jacksonville State battled UAB for two more intense sets to decide the winner of the match. Although the Gamecocks let up the first two sets with 25 points scored in each by UAB, JSU rallied in late in the third to score 26 and take the set. While they looked to overcome a 2-0 deficit against UAB, Jacksonville State fell to the Blazers in the fourth set. While the Gamecocks defended against multiple match points for the Blazers, it was ultimately too little, too late. UAB captured the win against JSU with a final score of 3-1. 

Nonetheless, the Gamecocks had stand out performances as they were led by the 6’2 sophomore Lena Kindermann, who earned 19 kills and five blocks followed by senior Kaylee Frear with 12 kills and four blocks and finally junior Kaylie Milton with 11 kills. 

Continuing on in their tournament, Jacksonville State moved on to face off against North Alabama and Samford. 

Facing off against the host team of Samford, the Gamecocks were unable to get the ball rolling as they dropped the first set in a 22-18 decision in the first set. The Bulldogs prevented the Gamecocks from getting close again as they took the next two sets with 25-16 decision in the second and a 25-19 decision in the third. Jacksonville State was only able to post a .169 hitting percentage while Samford put up a .306 hitting percentage. 

Moving on to their tournament finale, Jacksonville State prepared to face off against long-time university rival, North Alabama. In their match, the Gamecocks would go on to sweep the Lions with a final score of 3-0. Once again, Lena Kindermann led the Gamecocks and proved to be a giant factor in their win over UNA. 

In total on Saturday, Kindermann posted 19 kills, 20 swings, and zero errors. All of this combined with a .600 hitting percentage helped lead to her being named to the all-tournament team. Kaylie Milton and Erin Carmichael both also proved to be valuable assets in the match against North Alabama, with Milton earning eight digs and seven kills while Carmichael put up 10 attacks. 

After the weekend tournament in Birmingham, Alabama, the Gamecocks record moves to 2-4. They will host the Gamecock Classic in Jacksonville, Alabama and prepare to face off against Sam Houston State, Mississippi State, and Stetson in Pete Mathews Coliseum on September 13 and 14. To keep up with the Jacksonville State University volleyball team, follow them on twitter (@JSUGamecocksVB).

Photo courtesy of JSU

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