Jo Mayo, Correspondent
JSU Volleyball spent the weekend at home sweeping Bellarmine and Eastern Kentucky in the Pete Mathews Coliseum. The Gamecocks competed in great games coming back from their previous loss to Florida Gulf Coast. Starting the weekend off with a 19-5 overall seasonal record, the team was able to make great achievements and pull off amazing wins.
The first game was played on Oct. 29 against the Bellarmine Knights. The Gamecocks were able to sweep this great team 3-0, making this their 15th sweep of the season. JSU set the tone of the game by getting the first point. After the Gamecocks had a seven to one run, the Knights took a timeout to try and mess up JSU’s rhythm, which did not work. Carmichael helped end the first set by getting multiple digs, ending 25-9. The second set had a rough start. Bellarmine gets the first point, followed by a kill from JSU’s Quigley. Serving multiple times out of bounds helped Bellarmine gain a few points, with JSU leading by only 8-6. A few kills from Quigley and smart plays from Gonzales brought them a slightly bigger lead of 18-12. To secure a win for this set, Thomas made an excellent dig for Garrison to assist Brown in a kill, ending 25-20. This last play from the younger side of the team helped secure this victory. The third and last set started with a .466 hitting percentage compared to Bellarmine’s 0.163 percent. This set was similar to the last. The Knight’s setter made a sneaky dump, and Smith made an outstanding pancake to save the play. A block by Brown and Kindermann gave the Gamecocks the energy to step up their game 8-5. Montgomery continues by getting a kill, then serving the last two points of the game. It ends with an ace by Montgomery, making this a 25-18 sweep by the Gamecocks.
The statistics for Friday’s game showed that JSU’s hitters are almost unstoppable. Montgomery and Kindermann tied for the most kills at 10 each, and they both tied with Brown for the most blocks at two each. Even though the overall hitting percentage ended at 0.366, the first set alone was an astounding 0.538. During the first set, Lexie Libs managed to achieve her 4000th assist, being one of the only few people at Jacksonville State to do this; 41 of these assists were made in this game alone. Carmichael helped carry the defense and had the most digs at eight, while Libs was a close second with seven. With help from a very entertaining bench doing kicklines and Wii bowling spins to keep the energy high, Jacksonville State dominated once again, making their record 20-5.
The second game of the weekend was against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Oct. 30. Since this was their last home game, seniors Lexie Libs and Kaylie Milton were recognized for their achievements. For the first set, JSU had a great lead with a run of 6-1 lead by Kindermann. EKU had a great run to follow, pulling ahead, and eventually tying the game 18-18. Quigley and Kindermann once again helped the Gamecocks come back with their kills, ending the set 25-21. The second set again started with a great Jacksonville State lead helped by an amazing kill from Montgomery. After maintaining the lead for the whole set, JSU won it 25-18. The third set started slow, but a kill from Gonzales showed their lead 11-7. After battling runs, the Colonels tied the score 18-18. Nelson put the Gamecocks up by getting an ace, followed by a kill from Kindermann, and a second ace of the night from Carmichael ended the set 25-21.
The Gamecocks made this their 16th sweep of the season. Although the score was close, the match details are noticeably different from previous games. Jacksonville State had a lower kill percentage than normal at 0.215; although, Eastern Kentucky had only 0.198. This is shocking considering JSU had 40 kills total, being led by Kindermann with 14 individual kills. Libs keeps racking up her total assists adding 33 from tonight. The most important factor and game-changer were the serves. The Gamecocks had 11 aces led by Libs, Montgomery, Schiffli, and Carmichael, each contributing two; meanwhile, the Colonels only had one. Aside from offense, we can not forget about the great defense. Libs and Schiffli led team digs with nine each, followed by Carmichael with eight.
The Jacksonville State volleyball players really do act as a team, and it can be seen through the leaderboard statistics. This just proves that the team is well-rounded and capable of anything. By sweeping both Bellarmine and Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State now has a seasonal record of 21-5 with a few games left in the season. Their next game will take place in Florence at the University of North Alabama on Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.