Ruler of the Court
Kendall Courtney
Kendall Courtney

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University volleyball slammed cross-town rival North Florida 3-1 on Friday night to improve to 16-2 overall (6-1 Atlantic Sun) and six straight wins. Along with JU’s victory, senior setter Kendall Courtney became the Atlantic Sun career-leader in service aces (154) after recording one on the night. Courtney pushed Belmont’s Kayla Albritton (2007-10) into second with 153.

The Dolphins took down UNF 25-23, 25-17 and 25-19 in the ninth-annual SunTrust River City Rumble. The lone set UNF won was 25-17 in the third. The Fins held the upper hand in kills with 56 to 48 and in digs with 49 to 40, but were just barely out-blocked by UNF’s 9.0 total team blocks to 8.5.

In addition to Courtney’s feat, she also tallied match-highs in digs (12) and assists (44). Sammie Strausbaugh recorded another double-double on the season with 18 kills and 10 digs. Gabriela Roman also had 18 kills, plus seven digs and four block assists. Kylie Jacob made eight kills and four block assists as well. Freshman Rachel Miller had 11 digs.

JU was winning the match 2-0 before UNF caught fire from the first whistle of the third set, pulling to 8-5, 16-10 and eventually 25-17. The Ospreys ran from 12-9 to 16-9 with three kills, one attack error and one service ace.

The Dolphins began the final set down 6-8 before bumping to 10-8 on two Strausbaugh kills, one Roman kill and one attack error. From there, the Dolphins always kept their nose out front. JU tallied four from 11-9 to 14-9, three from 15-11 to 17-11, and three from 18-12 to 20-12 before capitalizing on a fierce Roman kill for the victory.

In the opening set, JU inched toward a lead, moving from 7-7 to an 11-7 advantage after four straight points on a Strausbaugh kill, one service ace and two attack errors. The Dolphins stood at 15-9 before UNF earned a number of points to switch it up and take the lead 19-18. JU responded with another set of four on a service error and three kills until winning 25-23, ending with a Roman kill.

Much of the second set was controlled by the Dolphins, scoring to 12-5 until UNF added three straight from JU attack errors. The Dolphins continued to have the upper hand holding a large gap until winning 25-17 for a 2-0 match lead.

Next, Jacksonville returns to Swisher to host three straight matches against conference-leading ETSU (10/18), USC Upstate (10/19) and Stetson (10/22).