Tag: Terry Gamble

Leadership helps guide JSU student-athletes to give back

By Chris Allen Brown/Associate Editor

Don’t be alarmed if you see a 7-foot male wielding a chainsaw around Jacksonville, it’s just Norbertas Giga. If you spend more time looking around, you might even see several Jacksonville State volleyball players attempting to roll a fallen tree trunk to a more convenient spot.

Before asking why you may see these sights, maybe the first question should (jokingly) be towards JSU strength and conditioning coach Gavin Hallford and if helping move trees counts as their workout for the day.

The reason that should be the first question is simple — because asking why JSU student-athletes are helping is pointless.

Why? Just continue to look around.

There’s JSU head football coach John Grass with a chainsaw. JSU softball assistant coaches Mark Wisner and Julie Boland working on a patch of land. JSU head volleyball coach Terry Gamble, his son Kyle and daughter-in-law Reagan were all helping. JSU associate athletic director for media relations Josh Underwood is there, too.

Are you beginning to see the picture here?

The reason there are so many JSU student-athletes helping around campus is because the desire to help starts at the top; it starts with those with great influence.

There’s a reason Malcolm Drumwright and Mohamed Abuarisha came straight home from last week’s College Basketball Invitational semifinal game and immediately went to work. There’s a reason Jamie McGuire, Cadi Oliver, Stephanie Lewis and Sallie Beth Burch dropped what they were doing elsewhere around the state to come back home to help.

Because it’s what they were taught to do. Helping those in need has become a staple of what Jacksonville State University is all about.

For years now, the communities surrounding Jacksonville State have traveled to support these student-athletes during sporting events, so it should come as no surprise that these same players … humans … are working around the city to help give back, to help rebuild but most importantly to help show they care.

Think back to JSU softball’s annual Fan Day. Head coach Jana McGinnis rarely does much talking at the event, but when she does, there’s always a ringing statement that’s forever imprinted on minds:

“I hope you (the fans) will consider us as your favorite team because this is home and we are always here for you.”

It may take several months — maybe a year even — before the restorations on Pete Mathews Coliseum, University Field and Rudy Abbott Field are completed, so when the football players are lined up to kick off the 2018 season, just remember to be sure to be at Burgess-Snow Field at JSU Stadium to cheer on those guys who came to help when you needed it most.

Sand Volleyball lands at Jacksonville State

Jacksonville State University welcomes Sand Volleyball as the 17th varsity sport.

The NCAA voted to add Sand Volleyball in 2010 to its list of emerging sports for women. The following year, 15 Division I schools sponsored the sport. In 2013, 15 additional programs added the sport.

Now, JSU has added the sport and is alongside UAB as the only Division I programs with Sand Volleyball in Alabama.

“Dr. Meehan, Greg Seitz and the entire administration have done an outstanding job in this process,” said JSU Volleyball coach Terry Gamble.

Competition will begin in the spring of 2016 and will consist of eight to 16 playing dates. There will be a tournament at the end of the season and even a NCAA championship, which is scheduled to finally arrive in 2016.

JSU will compete with the same players and coaches as they do for their indoor volleyball team. They will use the sand court next to Stephenson Hall.

“I think Sand Volleyball is a great addition to JSU,” said Gamble. “I think it is something the community and students at JSU are going to enjoy watching.”

Sand Volleyball is a lot different from indoor volleyball. Indoor is played with six players on the court and allows substitutions. Sand is played with two people on the court. Teams will consist of five pairs of players. The first team to win three of the five matches is the winner.

Gamble said he’s just really excited for himself and everyone involved. He also mentioned that the girls are ecstatic. He talked about how they had smiles from ear to ear when they heard the news.

“It is going to be new to a lot of them, but they are looking forward to representing JSU and playing,” said Gamble.

It will also be new to Gamble as he talked about one key coaching change.

“It will be different wearing sun tan lotion while I coach,” Gamble said.

Marvel Robinson
Sports Editor

Gamecock Volleyball hangs on to beat the Hornets in five sets

~ JSU Sportswire
                                                                ~ JSU Sportswire

MONTGOMERY – For the first time this season the Jacksonville State volleyball team saw the fifth set, and it pulled off a hard-fought 3-2 (25-23, 25-18, 14-25, 20-25, 15-8) road win over Alabama State on Tuesday.

The Gamecocks (5-6) took the first two sets before the Hornets (4-10) fought back to take the next two and force a decisive fifth. JSU held off ASU in the final set to pick up its fifth win in the last seven matches.

“We played well enough to win,” JSU head coach Terry Gamble said. “We didn’t play our best but a positive is that on a night where we didn’t play well we found a way to get a win on the road. Nicole (Merget) played really well and really led us up front.”

Merget, a senior middle blocker from Canton, Mich., had 14 kills on a .364 attack percentage to lead the Gamecock offensive attack and pace a trio of JSU players with double figures in the kills column. Junior Emily Rutherford also had 14 kills in the win, while freshman Allyson Zuhlke added 13.

Rutherford was a dig shy of a double-double with nine, but it was fellow junior Samantha Bohne’s 21 that would lead the JSU back row. Freshman setter Jennifer Hart added 12 digs to go along with her 42 assists for her fourth double-double in the last five matches.

After taking a close opening set by two points, the Gamecocks seemed to take control of the match by claiming the second set 25-18 and taking a 2-0 lead. The Hornets wouldn’t go away before dropping JSU in the third set 25-14 and 25-20 in the fourth to tie the match and force a deciding fifth set.

In the fifth, ASU struck first, but the Gamecocks went on a surge that quickly pushed them to an 8-2 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

After a tough 0-4 start to the season, the Gamecocks have turned things around to win five of their last seven matches.

JSU will look to maintain its winning form this weekend at the Auburn War Eagle Invitational, where it will open play against Northwestern State on Friday at 4 p.m. The Gamecocks will then take on the host Tigers Saturday at noon before finishing with Florida A&M at 5 p.m.

~ JSU Sportswire

800 and counting

~ Steve Lathan/JSU
~ Steve Lathan/JSU

It was a historic day for first- year head coach Terry Gamble last Thursday. His Gamecocks swept the series against opponent Alabama A&M and brought him his 800th career win.

The win came during the Troy Invitational held at Trojan Arena. The Gamecocks were set to play Alabama A&M, Mercer and finally the host Troy Trojans.

While A&M had 7 kills from Ashundria McNeal, their attack percentage was minimal at best. The Gamecocks held them to .080 while they boasted a .319 percentage on their way to the victories. Emily Rutherford led the Gamecocks with 15 kills, while Jennifer Hart had 31 assists and Samantha Bohne had 17 digs.

The final scores for the sweep were 25-19, 25-15 and 25-9.

After the sweet victory for Coach Gamble and his team, the Gamecocks rode their high straight into another sweep of the Mercer Bears. Despite the win, each set was closely matched for the Gamecocks with final scores of 25-23, 25-22 and 25-20.

The Bears were held to .069 attack percentage, while the Gamecocks were at .191. Nicole Merget led the team with her 13 kills and Allyson Zuhlke was right behind her in double digits with 10 kills. Jennifer Hart led the team with her 32 assists, while Emily Rutherford, Samantha Bohne and Charis Ludtke all had seven digs apiece on defense.

It seemed that the Gamecocks would continue on their winning streak but it came to a close on the final day of the tournament when host Troy defeated the Gamecocks. JSU played four sets against the Trojans and won only once. The finals for the match were 25-13, 25-17, 19-25 and 25-15 with set three being the lone win for JSU.

This time it was Troy who held the Gamecocks to a low attack percentage of .138 while the Trojans cruised to a .347 percentage. They had three players with kills in the double digits, 18 of which came from Blair Winston. The Gamecocks had their share of kills though. Zuhlke and Merget were back at the top of the kills list with 15 and 12 respectively. Hart added another 31 assists to her record and Hannah Kirk took care of defense with 14 digs.

The Gamecocks will head to Oxford, Miss., next for the Magnolia Invitational. Friday will bring matches against UAB and Ole Miss followed up on Saturday with a match against Mercer.

Rebekah Hawkins
Sports Writer

Gamecock Volleyball off to slow start

~ JSU Sportswire
~ JSU Sportswire

The JSU volleyball team suffered a pair of hard losses to the No. 16 ranked Michigan State Spartans and the Southeastern Louisiana Lions last Saturday.

The losses came on the last day of the UAB/Samford Volleyball Challenge that took place at Samford University.

The Gamecocks lost to Georgia State and Samford on the first day of the challenge.

Last Friday was the debut of the Gamecocks new head coach Terry Gamble. JSU lost 3-1 to Georgia State with final match scores of 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, and 25-23. Then, the Gamecocks came back and lost to Samford 3-0 with final match scores of 25-22,25-7, and 25-22 again.

The Gamecocks began the last day of the challenge against the Spartans. The Spartans showed their strength, and the reason for their national ranking, as they hit .364 during the match. They also had 10 kills from Allyssah Fitterer, eight from Holly Toliver and were led in digs by Rachel Minarick who had 12 on her own.

Despite the low .024 offensive percentage of the Gamecocks, the team produced 4 kills apiece from Allyson Zuhlke and Nicole Merget. While on defense Hannah Kirk produced nine digs, and seven each came from Jennifer Hart and Samantha Bohne.

The final scores from the first match were 25-15, 25-14, and 25-10.

The second match was against the SLU Lions and nearly gave the Gamecocks a victory. Although the first set was well in SLU’s favor, the second was harder for them to win. Set two saw six lead changes and 15 ties that paved the way to SLU’s eventual 31-29 victory. The final set saw JSU come within one at 11-10, but it didn’t take long for SLU to regain control and grab the last victory.

They finished the match with scores of 25-13, 31-29, and 25-16.

SLU was led in kills by Parrie Hartley who had 15. Morgan Todd had the defense with 16 digs, while Elizabeth Ramee was directly behind her with 15.

The Gamecocks had a .333 attack percentage and were led in kills by Emily Rutherford with 14. She also had 11 digs but it was Samantha Bohne who led the defense with 20 digs on the day.

The JSU volleyball team will head to the Troy Invitational on Thursday. They will face Alabama A&M first. They will follow it with matches against Mercer and the Trojans of Troy on Saturday.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Writer