Coley Birchfield, Correspondent
The JSU volleyball team continued their hot start to the 2021 season this weekend. The Gamecocks improved their record to 9-1 after beating Nicholls, South Alabama, and Southern Mississippi. The four teams competed in the Jax State Invitational hosted at Pete Mathews Coliseum.
Jax State cruised past Nicholls on Friday morning, 25-11, 25-14, and 25-22. The Gamecocks’ .528 hitting percentage in the match was the highest in program history. Lena Kinderman led the JSU offensive attack with 12 kills in the match. Her effort was partnered with Addie Halverson who compiled 10 kills and a team high .750 hitting percentage.
The Friday nightcap featured the Gamecocks getting the best of the talented South Alabama Jaguars squad, 3-2. In the match, Katie Montgomery and Kaylee Quigley led the JSU team back from a 2-0 match deficit. Each of the duo had at least nine straight kills, and Quigley earned a career-high in digs with 19.
Finally, Todd Garvey’s Gamecocks squad was eyeing the potential for the weekend sweep during the Saturday matchup with Southern Miss. In this match the Gamecocks once again were down after dropping the first set, 25-12 to the Golden Eagles. However, JSU won the next three matches and captured the win 3-1. Kinderman once again dominated the net with 19 kills in the game.
“Lexie is the heart of this team and is a great leader,” said Garvey. “The players feed off her energy. Her energy has been awesome, and her effort has been awesome ever since she’s been here.”
The win against Southern Miss extended the Gamecocks’ win streak to five games. Their last loss came to Wyoming on September 3 in the Charleston Southern Tournament.
Jacksonville State looks to use the weekend momentum to carry them into a difficult weekend coming up. The Gamecocks will participate in the Stacey Clark Classic hosted in Lafayette, Indiana. The other participants include 9th-ranked Purdue, 22nd-ranked Tennessee, and Purdue-Fort Wayne.
Jax State will begin the weekend contests on Friday, Sept. 17 against Purdue at 9:30 a.m. The Boilermakers enter the match with a 5-1, their only loss coming to 10th-ranked Louisville.
JSU will finish Friday’s competition with a 4:00 p.m. meeting with Tennessee before ending the weekend with a Saturday contest against Purdue-Fort Wayne at 10:00 a.m.