Coley Birchfield, Correspondent
The Jacksonville State University volleyball team split its final regular-season series with Morehead State.
The Eagles and Gamecocks each earned a share of the regular-season Ohio Valley Conference championship. The title was the second straight for the Gamecocks, with the other coming in the 2019 pre-COVID-19 season.
The two matches of the series were a tale of two tapes from the Gamecock squad. In the first, the team responded to Morehead’s attack to capture the 3-2 victory. However, the Eagles halted any Jax State pressure in the second match and won in straight sets. The loss was the Gamecocks first of the season, ending the nation’s second-longest winning streak at fifteen.
Due to the 3-0 loss, the Gamecocks lost the tie-breaker for the OVC Tournament host to Morehead State. Therefore, Todd Garvey’s squad will make the trip back to Morehead, Kentucky for Thursday and Friday.
In the 2021 OVC Volleyball Championship, only the four best teams by record are guaranteed a position. Those teams in order of ranking are: Morehead State, Jacksonville State, Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
However, due to COVID-19 protocols SIUE was forced to declare a no contest and allowed Morehead State to advance to the final match. Meaning that the Eagles will face either JSU or SEMO for the coveted crown.
Jacksonville State last saw SEMO in Pete Mathews Coliseum for the opening series of the season. JSU took both of those games, and were expectant of an eventual postseason matchup. The Redhawks have yet to lose a match since meeting the Gamecocks in February.
Fans have the opportunity to watch the Gamecocks chase a ninth OVC title, even from afar. All of the OVC tournament matches are able to stream on ESPN+ and the ESPN app.