JSU suffers heartbreak against SEMO

Sadie AppletonSports Correspondant

This past Saturday, the Jacksonville State volleyball team traveled to Cape Girardeau, Missouri in hopes of beating Southeastern Missouri State University for the top spot in the OVC. Leading up to the match, both the Gamecocks and the Redhawks were both tied for this spot and this showdown would serve as a tie-breaker for the two. Unfortunately, Jax State came up short following a nail-biting four-set battle that ended with Southeast Missouri capturing the victory in a 3-1 decision.

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Streak Snapped: Gamecocks lose in OVC for first time since 2013

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(Mark Mahnke/SEMO) 
Marquis Terry (center) and the SEMO Warhawks snapped JSU’s streak of 36-straight OVC victories on Saturday.

Daniel Mayes, Editor-in-Chief

The streak has been snapped.

After nearly five years and 36 straight Ohio Valley Conference wins, the Jacksonville State Football team finally lost a conference game, ending their run with a 37-14 loss at Southeast Missouri State on Saturday.

The Gamecocks were just three wins shy of tying the mark of 39 conference wins in a row by Duquesne in the MAAC from 1999-2006, which is the FCS record.

The Gamecocks’ streak started on November 23, 2013 with a win over SEMO, and the Redhawks brought an end to the streak that saw its beginnings against them.

It took turnovers and special teams mistakes for JSU’s streak to come tumbling down.

“You have five turnovers and a blocked field goal for a touchdown,” Coach John Grass said. “You just can’t win games doing that.”

The blocked field goal came early in the second quarter, with a Stinnett field goal attempt that would have given the Gamecocks the lead at 10-0. Instead, SEMO seized the lead and the momentum, turning a 14-7 game into 30-7 by the end of the third.

Quarterback Zerrick Cooper threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns as the Gamecocks made their comeback attempt, but also threw three costly interceptions.

“It’s pretty amazing that we’ve played well enough to win 36 in a row.” Grass said at his press conference on Monday. “The reason I don’t talk about it ever is it doesn’t affect this football team. The streak has nothing to do with how we play. If we grow as much from this loss as we did from the opening loss of the year, then this team is going to play a lot more football.”

Saturday’s loss is the first conference defeat for Grass since he took the helm at Jacksonville State beginning in the 2014 season. Grass was the Offensive Coordinator on the Bill Clark-led 2013 squad that last lost to Jimmy Garoppolo and the Eastern Illinois Panthers 52-14 on November 16, 2013. Grass and current Assistant Head Football Coach Jimmy Ogle are the only individuals—staff members or players—that were at JSU in their current capacity during the last loss.

Saturday’s loss puts the Gamecocks’ other notable OVC streak, their four straight conference championships, in jeopardy.

Murray State currently leads the OVC with their 4-0 conference record, and SEMO joins JSU with one OVC loss. The Redhawks will hold a tiebreaker over JSU with the head-to-head win, however. The Gamecocks will likely need to win the remainder of their games and have SEMO drop another game for the “five-peat” to happen.

The Gamecocks start their post-streak life with a road game at OVC-leading Murray State this Saturday. Kickoff against the Racers is at 3 p.m.

For the first time in the John Grass Era in Jacksonville, it’s do-or-die time in the OVC.

Gamecocks lose in a sweep

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Allyson Zuhlke led both teams with 17 kills in the Gamecocks’ loss at SEMO. (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

Rebekah Hawkins, Associate Editor 

The JSU volleyball team traveled to Southeast Missouri and fell to the Redhawks 25-14, 25-22 and 25-20 in three sets.

The loss came after the Gamecocks’ Ohio Valley Conference opening victory over Tennessee Tech.

With the loss, the Gamecocks move to 1-1 in conference play and 14-6 on the season.

The Gamecocks struggled to put anything together in the first set of the night.

SEMO scored five quick before JSU could put one point on the board.

Allyson Zuhlke got the Gamecocks on the board with a kill followed by a service ace from Charis Ludtke.

The Redhawks locked the Gamecocks at five and proceeded to score six with only one kill from Ludtke interrupting the streak.

She had another kill to move JSU up to seven, but by that time the Redhawks had doubled the Gamecocks’ points.

JSU managed another seven before the set ended with SEMO victorious.

The second set was more evenly matched.

The Gamecocks went ahead early 4-2, and stayed ahead through four ties until the Redhawks went ahead 15-14.

Mackenzie Rombach and Kaylie Milton had three kills that propelled the Gamecocks up to 17, still only down by one.

SEMO went up 21-18 and then a kill by Ludtke started the Gamecocks on a four-point run that boosted them ahead 22-21.

The Redhawks tied it up and scored four of their own to claim the second set.

Heading into the final set, it began shaky for the Gamecocks who were down 5-2 fast.

A kill by Rombach had them down 6-4, before the Redhawks scored another three to go up 9-4.

Two errors and two kills later and the Gamecocks came within one.

SEMO went ahead 11-8 and Ludtke again started a four-point run, helped by Redhawk attack errors, that gave the Gamecocks their first lead of the night 12-11.

The score tied two more times before the Gamecocks lost control and couldn’t catch back up.

SEMO halted them at 20 and went on to sweep the series.

Despite the loss, the match was well matched. JSU had 41 kills to SEMO’s 47, 39 assists to SEMO’s 44 and 35 digs to their 40.

Overall the Gamecocks hit .260 on the night while SEMO hit .356 overall including a .500 in the first set.

Zuhlke led the night for both teams with 17 kills, Rombach had nine and Ludtke rounded it out with eight.

Jennifer Hart led both teams with 28 assists and led the Gamecocks with 11 digs.

JSU returns to action against Morehead State on Sept. 29.

They finally come home for their home OVC opener against Tennessee State on Oct. 16.

Gamecocks handle business against SEMO

Rebekah Hawkins, Associate Editor

The Gamecocks took care of SEMO in a sweep doubleheader on Sunday.

The skies were cloudy and the day was warm at University Field Sunday when Southeast Missouri came to town.

The Gamecocks were on just their second set of OVC Conference matchups but boasting a 19-9 overall record.

Three Gamecocks scored runs en route to the 3-1 victory in the first game.

Jamie McGuire was 2-for-2 and had a home- run in the fourth inning that gave the Gamecocks their final run.

Taylor Sloan was 2-for- 3 and Anna Chisolm was 1-for-2.

Both she and Leila Chamber contributed to the final score with one run apiece.

Chisolm opened the bottom of the rst with a triple that put her on


After Cadi Oliver grounded out and Alexus Jimmerson went out at first, Chisolm headed home to put the Gamecocks ahead by one.

The Gamecocks second run came at the bottom of the second.

With bases loaded McGuire singled and sent Chambers home for her first and only run of the game.

The Gamecocks’ and SEMO went scoreless in the third inning, but at the bottom of the fourth the Gamecocks sealed the deal with their last run.

McGuire homered to center and took it home for the Gamecocks.

Three scoreless innings later and the Gamecocks took their second conference victory and readied for their evening rematch.

SEMO came prepared for game two.

The Gamecocks scored four early in the first two innings and opened it up to score

five in the fifth inning. While SEMO managed five runs, three in the final inning, it was too little too late and the Gamecocks ultimately took the game and the sweep 9-5.

Eight different Gamecocks scored runs including Stephanie Lewis who was at bat four times and had two runs and two hits.

Sloan was 2-for-4 and Chambers was 2-for-3.

Between the three pitchers for the Gamecocks they had five strikeouts.

The Gamecocks started their scoring early in the bottom of the first with a Jimmerson run that was helped by McGuire’s single and Lewis’ double.

After Sloan singled on the next pitch, both Lewis and McGuire ran home and put the Game- cocks ahead 3-1.

SEMO scored their first run of the day of a homer at the top of the second.

The Gamecocks answered in the bottom with a homer by Chisolm that gave the Gamecocks a 4-1 lead.

The third and fourth innings were scoreless for both teams but then the fifth came around. SEMO managed their second run in the top but it was the bottom inning that impressed.

Torre Roberts sat on second after a Lewis single. When Sloan tripled the next pitch, both Lewis and Roberts ran for home and put the Gamecocks up 6-4.

Sloan, Hayley Sims and Chambers scored consecutively to give the Gamecocks their nine for the game.

SEMO managed three more on a home run in the top of the seventh, but it was done.

The Gamecocks swept the series at home.

They will play Murray State in their next OVC series on April 1.