JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University volleyball earned more than a 3-0 sweep over non-conference Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday evening to improve to a five-match win streak; senior Kendall Courtney tied the Atlantic Sun career record for service aces with 153. One more and she will hold the record.
"Serving is one of Kendall's main qualities,” said head coach Michelle Collier. “She can serve anywhere on the court and she is very consistent doing it. She has done a tremendous job for us not only this season but her whole career.
"Overall [it was] a good match for us,” continued Collier. “We were able to turn around after the break and do things at a higher level. [I am] happy about how we finished the match. Now we turn our focus to UNF who is going to be a great challenge for us on Friday."
The Dolphins improve to 15-2 overall, 5-1 in the Atlantic Sun, and 6-0 on home court with their 25-19, 25-23 and 25-14 performance.
The Wildcats drop to 4-17 overall and 3-2 in the MEAC.
JU edged Bethune-Cookman in numerous categories: 48 kills to 27, a .407 attack percentage to a.096, 36 digs to 28, and 7.0 total team blocks to 2.0.
In addition to Courtney’s service ace achievement, she tallied a match-high 10 digs and 42 assists. Both Kylie Jacob and Alyssa Robertson recorded high attack percentages, .550 and .500, respectively, while Taylor Nyquist finished with a .417. Jacob recorded a match-high 13 kills, Robertson made 8 and Nyquist had seven. Both Gabriela Roman and Sammie Strausbaugh recorded nine kills.
On defense, Roman earned a match-high six block assists, followed by Jacob’s four and Robertson’s three. Roman and Rachel Miller followed behind Courtney’s digs with seven apiece.
JU found its total groove in the final set, leading Bethune-Cookman 11-4 after two four-point rallies from 4-3 to 7-3 and 8-4 to 11-4. In the latter, Jacob smacked down three straight kills. JU held Bethune-Cookman in single-digits until Lauren Turner’s kill brought the Wildcats to 10 points. Jacksonville led 22-10 and ultimately swept the Wildcats with a 25-14 final set, ending with a Strausbaugh kill.
The Dolphins opened the match with an 8-3 advantage before drawing at 10-10 after four straight Bethune-Cookman points on two attack errors, one kill and one service ace. Bethune-Cookman even jumped out to a 15-13 lead after a service error, service ace and kill, before JU fought back with three straight kills and one attack error to lead 17-15. The Wildcats came within two at 18-20, but JU ran away with a 25-19 opening set win.
The second set was a feisty fight as well, with 12 ties. The set was matched early on at 4-4 until Bethune-Cookman broke away for an 8-5 lead after two kills and two attack errors. The teams were back-and-forth until JU rallied to draw 12-12 after two straight kills by Roman and Jacob. Bethune-Cookman recorded four to move into a 17-15 lead before the set was tied three more times until 23-23. Then, Jacob recorded the last two kills to win 25-23.
Next, Jacksonville is back in A-Sun action at rival North Florida for an 8 p.m. match on Friday.