Volleyball falls to Stephen F. Austin, 3-1
Senior Alliya Drzewiecki tallies 15 kills for JU in loss
Senior Alliya Drzewiecki tallies 15 kills for JU in loss
Stephen F. Austin used momentum from its final two sets to earn a 3-1 victory (20-25, 25-16, 23-25, 13-25) over the JU volleyball team at the Spring Hill Suites Invitational on Friday afternoon.

Mary Caitlin Bottles registered 16 kills to pace the Ladyjacks (2-0) as they hit .200 (43-18-125) for the match. Sabrina Burns added eight kills for SFA, while Paige Holland finished with 36 kills.

“Like any season-opening tournaments, there are several things to work out,” JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg said. “I saw some positives from today that we can build on as we get going. We look forward to smoothing out the rough edges and getting back after it tomorrow.”

After downing Montana State earlier in the day, the Dolphins (1-1) would hit .170 or less in three of the four sets to take the loss. Senior Alliya Drzewiecki finished with a team-high 15 kills, while junior Alison Loeppky added eight kills. Sophomore Kendall Courtney tallied 35 assists to round out the group.

In the first set, the Dolphins took a 5-3 lead on a service error by the Ladyjacks’ Katzy Randall. The teams tied five times before a kill from Jill Ivy put SFA up 19-16. A late kill by Loeppky cut the Dolphins’ deficit to 23-20, but the Ladyjacks got a kill from Ivy and an attack error to take the set.

In the second set, JU took an early lead again, 10-5, on a kill by Drzewiecki. Following a timeout by SFA, senior Ashley August pushed the lead to 14-5 on two attack errors and two aces. Drzewiecki and Loeppky each got a pair of kills down the stretch to help the Dolphins outscore the Ladyjacks, 10-8, to win the set.

In the third set, the team traded points early before the Ladyjacks pulled away with an 11-7 advantage on two JU attack errors and a kill by Leslie Jackson. The Dolphins made it 12-10 deficit on a kill by sophomore Kylie Jacob, but SFA used a 9-3 run, capped on a JU error, for a 21-13 lead. With freshman Cari Whitmire serving, the Dolphins rattled off an 8-0 stretch to take a 22-21 lead on five attack errors and a kill by Loeppky. Drzewiecki registered a kill to tie the match at 23-23 for the Dolphins, but the Ladyjacks blocked an attack and had a kill from Bottles to steal the set.

In the fourth set, the Dolphins cut a deficit to three, 10-7, on consecutive SFA errors. The Ladyjacks put some distance between them with a 12-3 run, capped on a Bottles’ kill for a 22-10 lead. Burns secured the set with a kill to give the Ladyjacks the win.

The Dolphins will round out the tournament tomorrow against host Georgia Southern at noon and South Dakota State at 5 p.m. Fans can follow the action through live stats or live video streaming by clicking the links on