JSU volleyball heats up in weekend tournament

Sadie Appleton, Sports Correspondent

The Jacksonville State University volleyball team took a trip to South Carolina this weekend to face off in a weekend tournament at the College of Charleston. After having a winning tournament in the previous weekend, the 4-5 Gamecocks looked to improve on their record. 

The upcoming tournament would be the final non-conference action for the season. 

JSU began tournament play early on Friday against Charleston Southern. CSU handed the Gamecocks their first loss and only loss of the tournament after a 3-1 decision, despite the efforts of senior Kaylee Frear. 

Frear proved to be a threat to the Buccaneers as she was able to match her career high of seven blocks in addition to 15 kills and a .303 hitting percentage. After a close battle for the first set, Charleston Southern put away 25 points against Jacksonville State’s 23 before quickly taking the second 25-16. Down, but not out, JSU was able to prevent CSU’s sweep by taking the third set 25-20 to force the fourth and final set. Despite putting down five unanswered points when trying to close a 22-14, Charleston Southern took the set 25-21 and the match 3-1. 

While they stumbled in their first match of the tournament, JSU surged back against New Orleans with a sweep for the match win. Junior Kaylie Milton aided the Gamecocks with their third sweep of the season after posting 11 kills. The effort was closely followed by redshirt junior, Sadie Anderson, with eight kills and seven for both Lena Kindermann and Kaylee Frear. 

Jacksonville State was quick out of the gate in the initial set by leading UNO 10-5 before sealing the set 25-16. Following the opening set, the Privateers aimed at taking the second by leading the Gamecocks 21-16. However, JSU slowly worked the score to eventually become level with a 22-22 score. Taylor Pribyl helped lead JSU to the impressive comeback with six blocks and a career high six kills against UNO. New Orleans would put up a 24-22 set-point, only to be prevented by kills from Kindermann and Frear. 

JSU and UNO traded pairs of set-points until the Gamecocks were able to secure the win at 32-30. They would ride the momentum to take the third set and sweep New Orleans 3-0. Jacksonville state led in blocks 10-6 and contained UNO at a .162 hitting percentage. 

With day one of the tournament behind them, Jacksonville State aimed to finish the weekend on a high note. Facing off against College of Charleston, the Gamecocks would do just that. The two teams had previously met in 2011 and resulted with a loss for JSU. However, Jacksonville State would flip the script and seal a win with 3-0 sweep over the Cougars. 

Beginning the match, JSU came out on top with a 25-17 set one victory. Charleston would make the second set closer, but still came up short after Sadie Anderson’s final blow sealed the 25-20 win. JSU would go on to finalize the sweep against Charleston with a 25-22 set three outcome. Anderson and Kindermann once again led the charge by scoring eight and seven kills, respectively. Junior Lexie Libs aided with 26 assists and 11 digs. Milton and Libs would be named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts. 

Jacksonville State improved their record to 6-6.

Featured picture courtesy of Matt Reynolds/JSU.

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