Volleyball loses to Georgia Southern, 3-1
Freshman Sammie Strausbaugh
Freshman Sammie Strausbaugh
Host Georgia Southern defeated the JU volleyball team in four sets (18-25, 25-22, 20-25, 21-25) in the final contest of the Spring Hills Suites Invitational Saturday at Hanner Fieldhouse.

Moriah Bellissimo led the Eagles (9-5) with 19 kills and 15 digs. Meredith Paskert (17) and Enjoli Johnson (12) also finished with double-digit kills to help the cause.

“We took another tough loss against a good team,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “We are still having trouble staying consistent throughout the match. Even though we have had a challenging preseason, I know it has made us a better team as we start conference play. I am looking forward to facing our A-Sun teams.”

The Dolphins (2-11) got a double-double freshman Sammie Strausbaugh with 12 kills and 17 digs. Freshman Gabriela Roman earned all-tournament honors after recording 11 kills, while junior Kylie Jacob finished with 10 kills. Junior Kendall Courtney had 46 assists and 14 digs.

In the first set, the Eagles took an 8-1 lead on an attack error from the Dolphins. A Jacob kill and an error helped the Dolphins pull within two at 9-7. After a timeout, the Dolphins were able to tie it at 13 on a four straight points. Five straight JU errors and a Bellissimo kill gave the Eagles a 21-16 advantage. Georgia Southern took the set on another Bellissimo kill for the 1-0 lead.

In the second set, Strausbaugh gave JU an 8-4 lead with a kill. The Dolphins took a 14-12 advantage on kills from freshman Chunia Graves and Strausbaugh. The teams tied seven times until a Georgia Southern service error started a 4-2 JU stretch for a 24-22 advantage. JU earned the set win on a kill from sophomore Taylor Nyqusit.

The Dolphins tied it at 10 early in the fourth set before a 12-6 Eagles run, capped on an error, gave them a 21-16 advantage. The Dolphins made it 23-20 deficit on a Nyquist kill and error, but the Eagles recorded the next two points to take the set.

In the fourth set, the Eagles pulled away again with the score tied at 10 to build a 16-12 advantage from a JU attack error. Jacob recorded two straight kills to tie the set for JU at 17. Graves had a kill to tie the set at 21, but Georgia Southern recorded the next four points on kills to secure the victory.

The Dolphins will begin A-Sun play Friday at Lipscomb in Nashville, at 6:30 p.m. They will also play against conference newcomer Northern Kentucky the next day at 3 p.m. Fans can follow the action with the live links on