Kaelyn Albright, Correspondent
Jacksonville State volleyball entered the ASUN conference tournament with a ASUN record of 13-3. The Gamecocks had an incredible season and were expected to have a great performance in the tournament.
The Gamecocks first match of the tournament was against Stetson. JSU won the match in three straight sets with game scores of, 25-18, 25-12, 25-19. In the first set, the Gamecocks immediately took the lead with a score of 3-0. JSU ended the set with two kills from senior Katie Montgomery with a total score of 25-18 for the Gamecocks. The second set started off with a 13-0 run for the Gamecocks, which was a lead that proved to be too difficult for Stetson to catch. The set ultimately fell in favor of the Gamecocks with a game score of 25-12. The Hatters made the third set a little closer than the previous, but still could not beat the Gamecocks. Zoe Gonzales’ kill set the Gamecocks up for the match point win with a score of 24-19. JSU took the match the next point off of an attack error from the Hatters.
The Gamecocks played a great match for their first match of the ASUN Tournament. Jacksonville State had a total of 48 kills for the match, with senior Katie Montgomery leading the team with 17 kills for the Gamecocks. Lena Kindermann and Addie Halverson also contributed to the number of kills with 10 kills each. The Gamecocks had a total of 42 assists from game, and 38 coming from Lexie Libs.
Jacksonville State advanced to the semifinals to compete against Kennesaw State. The Gamecocks had a close match, but were able to pull out a win against the Owls. The first set was quite close throughout, but ultimately the Owls took the first set with the score of 23-25. However, JSU picked up the pace and took a big win in the second set over Kennesaw State with a score of 25-14. The Gamecocks created a 7 point lead with a score of 19-12 that the Owls were never able to recover from, only scoring 2 more points or the remainder of the set. The third set was much closer than the previous as the Gamecocks became tied at 25-25 with a kill from Zoe Gonzales. Eventually JSU took the set off of an attack error from the owls with a tight score of 28-26. In the fourth set JSU fought hard against the Owls, but in the end Kennesaw State’s 5-2 run at the end of the set proved too difficult for the Gamecocks to catch. The Owls had a game score of 20-25 tying the match with a set score of 2-2. This caused the teams to have a tie break to determine the winner of the match. The tie breaker was very close, but the Gamecocks took the match with a final kill from Lena Kindermann, for a tie breaker score of 15-13. This secured the semifinal win for the Gamecocks with a set score of 3-2.
The Gamecocks had a total of 62 kills for the match. Lena Kindermann, Addie Halverson, and Katie Montgomery all contributed to that total with 14 kills each. JSU had 56 assists for the night with 49 coming from Lexi Libs. The Gamecocks had a total of 68 digs, Erin Carmicheal led the team with 22 digs. Because of this great performance from the Gamecocks, they were able to advance to finals of the tournament.
The championship match for the ASUN tournament was between Jacksonville State and Florida Gulf Coast. The first set went to FGCU with a set score of 17-25. The Gamecocks took an early lead with a score of 8-3 in the second set. Lexie Libs set JSU up for game point against the Eagles, and JSU won the set off of a FGCU service error. The Gamecocks took the second set with a score of 25-17. Jacksonville State held the lead for the third set with a score of 16-13, but the Eagles battled back and took the set with a score 20-25. The fourth and final set proved to be a close set that was back and forth until they took a 14-10 lead. However, JSU tied the score up at 20 all, but it was not enough to win the match as FGCU won the set with a score 21-25. This set won the match and the ASUN tournament for FGCU.
Even though JSU did not win the championship, they played a very close match. The Gamecocks had a total of 52 kills for the match. Lena Kindermann led the team with 17 kills for the match. Jacksonville State had the most aces with seven. Lexie Libs had three of those aces, followed by two from Erin Carmicheal. Lexie Libs also had the most assists for the team, with 39 out of the 49 for the team. Junior Erin Carmicheal contributed 18 out of the team’s 70 digs for the match.
Two of JSU’s seniors, Lexie Libs and Lena Kindermann, made the ASUN All-Tournament team. The JSU volleyball team had an incredible season, which was reflected in their great performance in the ASUN tournament.