THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 03, 2011
Volleyball hosts rival North Florida for key match Friday
This time last season, the JU volleyball team needed to beat cross-town North Florida to get into the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament. The script will remain the same for Friday when they host their Southside rivals in Swisher Gymnasium at 7 p.m.
The Dolphins (12-15, 4-6 A-Sun) failed to get the job done last season and missed the tournament for the first time since joining the A-Sun in 1999.
Entering Friday’s match, the Dolphins hold a one game lead over the Ospreys (12-15, 3-7) with three matches remaining, but a second loss to UNF could sink JU’s chances again.
“UNF always plays its best ball when they see us,” JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “We’re going to have to be ready physically and mentally for a tough match.”
In the first meeting on Oct. 21, the Ospreys took the final three sets to down the Dolphins, 3-2, at UNF Arena.
The Dolphins secured 25-23 wins in the first two sets, while the Ospreys struggled by hitting .130 each set.
The intermission did UNF some good as they came out with a .324 hitting percentage (17-6-34) and held the Dolphins to a .028 clip.
In the fourth set, the Dolphins used a 6-2 run to claw their way back into it and cut the deficit to 22-21 on a senior Alliya Drzewiecki kill. UNF held off JU and secured the set on an attack error.
The Dolphins came out strong in the deciding frame and had match point, but broke the game-winning point several times before kills kills Majia Pantovic and Paige Pridgeon finally gave UNF the win.
Pridgeon recorded 26 kills and 29 digs to lead the Ospreys, while senior Kathryn Kane had 10 kills for the Dolphins.
Despite that loss, the Dolphins looked like they may have turned the right corner over the weekend matches with a quick 3-0 win against Mercer on Oct. 29.
Sophomore Kylie Jacob and Kane each had 10 kills to help the Dolphins get the road win. Kane, sophomore Kendall Courtney and freshman Cari Whitmire each had 12 digs to help the cause.
After the UNF matchup, the Dolphins will face Savannah State Saturday in Savannah, Ga. at 1 p.m. The Dolphins downed the Lady Tigers at home on Sept. 11, 3-0. The Lady Tigers have yet to win a set this season.
Fans can follow the UNF match on Friday through live stats or live video streaming on A-Sun.tv by logging onto JUDolphins.com.