Volleyball falls in five sets to USC Upstate
Senior Alliya Drzewiecki tallies career-best 20 kills in  Saturday's loss
Senior Alliya Drzewiecki tallies career-best 20 kills in Saturday's loss
Despite having two players with career days, the JU volleyball team suffered a 3-2 loss (20-25, 25-23, 25-23, 23-25, 15-17) to USC Upstate in Atlantic Sun Conference action on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Alliya Drzewiecki (20) and sophomore Kylie Jacob (19) each posted career-bests in kills to lead the Dolphins (10-11, 3-3 A-Sun) who finished with match-highs in points (77) and hitting percentage (.246).

The Spartans (6-11, 2-3) secured the final two sets to get the win with the help of three players with double-digit kills - led by Morgan Thomas’ 15 strikes.

“We played well, but fell short,” JU head coach Shaun Kuperberg said. “We just couldn’t put them away in the end. Our goal is to learn from this loss and be better next time out at home.”

Senior Kathryn Kane added 18 kills and 15 digs in the loss, while sophomore Alyssa Robertson rounded out the offense with 10 kills. Sophomore Kendall Courtney had assists on 62 of JU’s 77 kills. Senior Ashley August chipped in with 23 digs.

Mindy Quimby tallied 13 kills and Kayla McAvoy added 12 strikes to help the USC Upstate cause.

In the first set, the Spartans took a 19-15 lead on a bad set by the Dolphins. A Jacob kill closed the JU deficit to 20-19, but a service ace by Quimby pushed the advantage back to 23-19. The Spartans took the set on a Quimby kill.

In the second set, a kill by junior Alison Loeppky gave the Dolphins a 16-12 advantage. Three straight kills by the Dolphins extended the lead to 20-15. After a timeout, the Spartans tied the set at 21-21 on a McAvoy kill, but a kill from Jacob and a service error helped JU take the set.

In the third set, Robertson recorded a kill to give JU an 11-9 lead. The Dolphins later built a 20-15 advantage on consecutive kills from Drzewiecki. The Spartans rallied to make it 24-23 before a Jacob kill ended the set in JU’s favor.

In the fourth set, a 10-4 USC Upstate run, capped on a JU attack error, gave them a 15-6 lead. The Dolphins battled back and took a 21-20 lead on the second straight kill from Jacob. JU tied it at 23-23 on a Drzewiecki kill, but an error and service ace forced a deciding set.

In the fifth set, the Dolphins took 12-8 lead on a Drzewiecki kill to cap a 9-5 stretch. The Spartans tied it at 13-13 on consecutive kills from Thomas. Drzewiecki gave the Dolphins match point on a kill, but the Spartans stayed alive on another kill by Thomas. The Spartans tied it at 15-15 on a Quimby kill. The Dolphins had an attack error and gave up a Quimby kill to take the loss.

The Dolphins return to Swisher Gymnasium on Friday to host Lipscomb at 7 p.m.