Volleyball outlasts Mercer, 3-2
Junior Alyssa Robertson Play Video
Junior Alyssa Robertson
The JU volleyball team was able to right the ship from last night with five-set win (17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8) over Mercer in A-Sun action Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium.

The Dolphins (4-16, 2-5 A-Sun), who lost in five sets Friday, got double-doubles from freshman Sammie Strausbaugh (14 kills, 19 digs) and junior Kendall Courtney (50 assists, 18 digs). Strausbaugh also had four aces, while senior Alison Loeppky added 11 kills. Freshman Gabriela Roman and junior Alyssa Robertson each chipped in with 10 kills.

“We were more consistent this afternoon,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “Today, we didn’t let them off the hook with mistakes like we did last night. Everyone had a hand in this win. This is a good type of win for us as we return to the road.”

The Bears (7-10, 3-4) had four players with double-digit kills, led by Jamie Duffy with 16. Carolina Carlton and Molly Locke each added 15 kills, while Jennifer Katona had 12. Duffy (22) and Locke (16) also finished with double-digit kills.

In the first set, a 10-3 run helped the Bears open with a 13-4 advantage. Katona recorded a kill to make it a 17-9 lead. The Bears kept the lead at least seven points the rest of the way en route to taking the set for a 1-0 lead.

In the second set, the Dolphins trailed for most of the frame until kills by freshman Chunia Graves and Robertson tied it at 16 all. Strausbaugh followed with an ace to give JU its first led the set. The teams times six times until a Robertson kill and an error gave the Dolphins a 23-21 lead. Following a timeout, the Bears tied it at 23, but a Strausbaugh kill and error secured the set for JU.

Trailing 11-7 in the third set, the Dolphins used a 9-7 stretch, capped on consecutive Robertson kills, to make it an 18-16 deficit. Two aces from sophomore Taylor Nyquist and three Strausbaugh kills helped the Dolphins take a 23-19 lead. Katona broke the run with a kill, but Nyquist and Courtney used kills to close the set in JU’s favor.

In the fourth set, the Dolphins pulled within a point, 16-15, on a kill from junior Kyle Jacob. The Bears followed with a 5-2 stretch, capped on a JU error, to take a 21-17 advantage. JU used a timeout, but Mercer’s momentum continued by taking four of the next five points to force a deciding set.

In the fifth set, the Bears took an 8-7 advantage from a service error. The Dolphins found a rhythm by getting kills from Strausbaugh, Nyquist and Loeppky for an 11-7 lead. After a Mercer timeout, Strausbaugh had two of JU’s final four points on kills to help corral the win.

The Dolphins return to the road starting Friday against East Tennessee State in Johnson City, Tenn. First serve is set for 7 p.m.