JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heading into tonight’s match against No. 10 Mercer with the fourth-most wins in the country, the No. 2 Jacksonville University volleyball team earned their third sweep of their last four matches Friday night, beating Mercer 25-23, 25-23 and 25-10. The Fins improve to 24-3 overall and 13-2 in the Atlantic Sun and are still perfect at home at 12-0.
Before the match began, seniors Kendall Courtney, Kylie Jacob, Taylor Nyquist and Alyssa Robertson were celebrated during senior night for their achievements over the past four years.
Courtney recorded a match-high 37 assists, a team-high nine digs, and added two kills, one block assist and one service ace. Jacob tallied a JU-best .526 hitting percentage (13-3-19) and two block assists, with a second-best kill total of 13, behind sophomore Sammie Strausbaugh’s match-high 14. Nyquist hit double-digits in kills with 10 and added six digs, while Robertson hit .333 (5-1-12), recorded two digs, one block solo and one service ace. Sophomore Gabriela Roman recorded a career-high four service aces of JU’s team total of seven.
The Fins annihilated the third set to earn the sweep, hitting .448 to Mercer’s .160. Jacksonville led 9-3 on eight straight points from four kills - two each from Jacob and Nyquist - three service aces and one service error. The Fins held a 20-8 advantage until Mercer scored on a Lizzie Knapper kill to break the set up. But JU rallied for four straight from 21-9 to 24-9 and won the match on a Jacob kill.
The first two sets looked like they could have gone either way for both teams as they were that close.
JU controlled 8-4 to open the first set before Mercer tied the game at 10-all and took a 15-12 lead on five straight from 12-11 down. The Bears had three attack errors, one kill and one service ace. They led 23-20 and it looked like the Bears had the momentum until Jacksonville caught fire to score the final five points for a 25-23 win.
The Fins took their energy into the second set, controlling 10-3 after seven straight. Jacob made three kills, Nyquist had two and Mercer had two attack errors. The Bears fought back to stand down at 10-7 on four consecutive points and came within one at 15-14 before JU led by three at 24-21. Mercer tallied the next two for a 24-23 score before Strausbaugh ended the set on a kill for a 25-23 victory.
Next, the Dolphins will play their final home match before the A-Suns tomorrow against Kennesaw State at 3 p.m.