Volleyball set for tough weekend

Oct. 14, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A share of first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference is on the line Saturday afternoon as the Jacksonville volleyball team hosts East Tennessee State on Homecoming at Swisher Gymnasium. First serve is set for 5 p.m.

ETSU (14-5, 2-0 A-Sun) and Jacksonville (7-11, 3-0 A-Sun) are currently two of the four teams left that are undefeated in conference play. The only other undefeated teams in conference play are Florida Atlantic (2-0) and Belmont (5-0).

"ETSU is showing that they are a good team in the A-Sun," said JU head coach Kevin Paul. "We think they have a solid block and are very balanced with their attack. We have our work cut out for us Saturday with this ETSU team, but I think our girls will bounce back fine knowing this is a match that counts."

The Dolphins will also be putting their current 13-match winning streak in A-Sun play on the line. Of those 13 wins, only four have been at home, with three of them coming by the score of 3-0.

"We are excited to be back in Swisher and we're looking for the excitement we've had in there all year to give us that extra boost," Paul said. "The players told me how much fun it is to play at home and I think we will have the advantage with that come game time."

On Sunday, the Dolphins return to the court to face in-state rival South Florida at 2 p.m.

"USF is down this year, but you also have to look at the competition they are playing," Paul said. "Their record is not a good reflection of the ability that program has. It would be nice to get a win over another non-conference opponent to add more confidence as we get to the important part of our A-Sun schedule."

The Dolphins are also trying to bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 loss to archrival North Florida on Wednesday night. Jacksonville had only one block in the match, the lowest total this season.

"Wednesday's loss was a tough one to swallow," Paul said. "We talked about how you can't begin to get satisfied with the good start in conference because the tough teams are still ahead and we need to be working harder then before to accomplish what our goal at the beginning of the season was. I think everyone on the team is equally disappointed with their performance on Wednesday at UNF and we know we let a lot of JU fans down. But, we came back yesterday and had a more energetic practice to help put that loss behind us."