Volleyball picked sixth in A-Sun preseason coaches’ poll
Junior Kendall Courtney
Junior Kendall Courtney
For the second consecutive season, the JU volleyball team was selected to finish sixth in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches’ poll released by the league office.

Three-time defending champion Lipscomb was picked first with 95 points, including grabbing six of the 10 first-place votes. They were also slated as the preseason favorite to win the conference tournament.

Florida Gulf Coast came in second with 86 points (one first-place vote), while East Tennessee State, Kennesaw State and North Florida made up the rest of the top five. JU, Mercer, newcomer Northern Kentucky, Stetson and USC Upstate rounded out the poll.

“This is a fair assessment for our squad with who is coming back,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “This is a very tough conference so we will have to battle all year. Our goal now is to focus on getting better each day as we progress towards the A-Sun schedule.”

The Dolphins return six players from last season’s 14-17 team which finished tied for sixth in the A-Sun, but lost a tiebreaker to cross-town rival North Florida to miss the conference tournament for the second straight season. JU got snake bit with 13 five-set matches, falling in seven of them.

Juniors Kendall Courtney and Kylie Jacob paces the crops of returners for JU. Courtney led the A-Sun in overall assists (1,222) and ranking second in service aces (54). She also had a team-best 23 double-doubles (assists & digs), including one in the final nine contests.

Jacob finished first in the A-Sun with a .350 hitting percentage (243-65-509), while ranking second on the team in kills. She recorded 13 double-digit kill efforts, including 13 or more on five occasions.

The Dolphins open the season with the first of four tournaments Aug. 24 for the Hampton Inn & Suites West Ashley Invitational against North Carolina State State in Charleston, S.C.