Volleyball Prepares For TAAC Tournament

Nov. 16, 2000

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Dolphin volleyball team is preparing to participate in the 2000 Trans America Athletic Conference Volleyball Tournament beginning on Friday, Nov. 17 in Boca Raton, Fla.

The following is a breakdown of how JU did during the regular season as well as notes on the Dolphins accomplishments throughout the season.

How We Got Here

The Dolphins advanced to the TAAC Tournament and earned the No. 3 seed after going 6-3 in league play and 16-10 overall. Along the way, JU had a seven-match winning streak that spanned nearly three weeks.

Currently, the Dolphins are riding a three-match winning streak as they defeated Troy State 3-0 on Nov. 4, Bethune-Cookman 3-2 on Nov. 8 and Mercer 3-0 on Nov. 10.

JU In Tournament Play

During the 2000 season, JU has played seven matches in two regular-season tournaments. The Dolphins went 1-2 in the Georgia Southern Invitational to open the season with losses to Florida Atlantic, 3-1, and host Georgia Southern, 3-2, and a 3-0 victory over UNC-Ashville.

On Sept. 15-16, JU flew to Providence, R.I., to take part in the Brown University Invitational. The Dolphins were much more successful at Brown. After a 3-1 loss to Providence, JU rattled off three-straight wins with victories over La Salle (3-2), St. Peter's (3-1) and Brown (3-0).

Looking For No. 1

As the Dolphins enter their third season in the TAAC, they are still looking for their first-ever TAAC Tournament victory. After not qualifying for the tourney in 1998, JU earned the No. 2 seed and took on host Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton. The Owls ended the Dolphins' season with a 3-1 win over JU (4-15, 15-3, 15-9, 15-11) before going on to win the championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.

The last time JU won a postseason match was in 1989 when the Dolphins defeated Virginia Commonwealth 3-0 (15-9, 15-8, 15-7) in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament hosted by the University of South Florida.

The last time JU won a postseason tournament was in 1983 when the Dolphins won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and advanced all the way to the Division II Elite Eight.

The Staff

Head coach Robin Mignerey is in her first season at the helm of the Dolphin program after serving the previous three seasons as an assistant coach. Mignerey guided JU to a 16-10 record during the regular season, including a 6-3 record in TAAC play.

Mignerey played collegiately at Clemson University where she set school records for kills, hitting percentage and total attempts. She earned team MVP honors from 1991-93 and was a two-time AVCA All-South Region honoree.

Her assistant, Aiko Beltran, is also in her first season as a full-time assist at JU. Beltran, who played collegiately for the Dolphins from 1995-98, served as a student assistant last year when JU finished second in the TAAC. Beltran started four seasons for the Dolphins and set records for assists in a season, season assists per game and career assists per game.

Last Time Out

The Jacksonville University Volleyball team made quick work of TAAC foe Mercer as the Dolphins defeated the Bears, 3-0, in the regular season finale in Swisher Gym.

The Dolphins' four-member senior class of Juanita Barb, Brooke Jackson, Tiffany Twaddle and Jessica Windell all had standout performances as JU won its third straight match. JU, who already qualified for the TAAC Tournament in Boca Raton, Fla., improved to 16-10 on the year and 6-3 in TAAC play. Mercer, meanwhile, concluded its season with a 9-25 record while going winless in league action at 0-9.

Twaddle led the Dolphins with 10 kills and a .563 attack percentage (10 kills, 1 error, 16 attempts) as JU hit .400 (44 kills, 6 errors, 95 attempts) as a team. Windell was next on the kills list with eight, while Jackson, Barb and junior Carrie Arago each had six. Arago paced the Dolphin defense with 14 while Barb had nine and Twaddle tallied six. Windell also had a good match from the serving stripe with three aces.

The Dolphins made it look easy early on the contest, winning game one, 15-4. It was much of the same in game two as JU cruised to a 15-5 victory. The Bears played tough in game three and were down just one midway through the game, but the Dolphins regrouped and outscored Mercer 7-2 down the stretch for a 15-8 decision.

Mercer's Erin Jalbert led all players with a match-high 14 kills, and paced the Bears with 10 digs.

Leader Of The TAAC

Junior outside hitter Carrie Arago leads the TAAC in service aces, averaging 0.57 per game. Arago who has 39 aces in 68 games, also ranks 11th nationally among Division I volleyball players.

Arago tied a JU five-game match record when she served up nine aces against Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 8 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Senior right-side hitter Jessica Windell, meanwhile, is not far behind. Windell ranks tied for second in the league with 0.51 service aces per game with 45 in 88 games.

As a team, JU ranks sixth in the TAAC, averaging 1.84 service aces per game (180 aces in 98 games).

The Wizard Of Boz

Junior setter Carrie Bosworth is on pace to set JU's single-season record for assists in a season. With 1,074 set assists in 97 games, she already has the single-season assist-per-game record all but tied up with an 11.07 average. Former Dolphin standout and current JU assistant Aiko Beltran currently holds the record with 9.84 assist per game during the 1998 season.

Bosworth's 1,074 assists so far this season is already good enough for the No. 2 single-season mark in the JU record book, passing the standard of 1,066 set by Michelle Glover in 1991. Beltran holds the No. 1 spot with 1,123 during the 1997 season. Bosworth needs just 50 assists to pass Beltran for the record.

Playing In Boca Raton

The last time JU played in Boca Raton in the FAU Gymnasium, the Dolphins walked out with a convincing 3-0 win (15-8, 15-3, 15-13) over the Owls in TAAC play back on Oct. 28.

The last time the Dolphins played a postseason match in the FAU Gymnasium, however, their season was ended after just one match. Host Florida Atlantic defeated then-second seeded JU, 3-1(4-15, 15-3, 15-9, 15-11). FAU would then go on to win the TAAC Tournament for the second consecutive season and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Playing Within The Sunshine State

JU has played 15 matches within the Florida state boundaries and the Dolphins are 9-6 in those contests. The Dolphins are 7-2 in matches played in the friendly confines of Swisher Gymnasium and are 2-4 in games played outside of the Jacksonville city limits.

In games played outside of the Sunshine State, JU is 6-4. Including in those 10 matches are a pair of conference victories over Jacksonville State (15-10, 15-4, 15-17, 7-15, 15-11) and Troy State (15-7, 15-7, 15-9).

Saving The Best For Last

Senior right-side hitter Jessica Windell saved her best performance for her last season. The team's only four-year letterwinner, Windell has enjoyed a career year in 2000.

Windell has set career highs in kills (184), digs (191), assists (60) and service aces (45) during her senior campaign.

Windell ranks tied for second in the TAAC in service aces, averaging 0.51 per game. She also ranks 21st among NCAA Division I volleyball player in the service aces category.

Mom, I'm Coming Home

Senior middle blocker Brooke Jackson has made the most of her one season in a Dolphin uniform.

The native of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and graduate of Cardinal Gibbons High, Jackson played three seasons at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., before deciding to come back home and play her final collegiate season at JU.

After transferring from Furman in the spring, Jackson has become a force in the middle for the Dolphins. The 1998 Southern Player of the Year paces JU in blocks with 10 solo stops and 61 assists, is second on the club in kills per game with a 3.55 average and is tied for second in attack percentage with a .286 clip (295 kills, 105 errros, 665 attacks).

In the TAAC, Jackson ranks eight in blocks, ninth in attack percentage, and 11th in kills per game.

The Twaddle Touch

For the second-consecutive season, senior middle hitter Tiffany Twaddle is leading the team in attack percentage.

After transfering to JU from Pasco-Hernando Community College prior to the 1999 season, Twaddle led the Dolphins with a .260 attack percentage (99 kills, 36 errors, 242 attempts). This season, however, Twaddle has jumped that number to an impressive .301 mark (159 kills, 49 errors, 366 attempts), which currently ranks fifth in the TAAC.

Twaddle has posted a .400-or-better hitting percentage on seven occasions during the 2000 season, including a .647 mark at Florida Atlantic (Oct. 27) on 11 kills, 0 errors and 17 swings.

Rowdy Roddy

Freshman outside hitter Radka Dimitrova has made her presence felt during her first collegiate season. The 6-2 native of Sofia, Bulgaria, has proved that she can swing from the outside as well as block in the middle.

Dimitrova has tallied 10-or-more kills eight times during the year and has five double-doubles. Against UCF (Oct. 13), she tallied a career-high 27 digs to go with 13 kills.

Against Florida Atlantic (Sept. 29), Dimitrova set a JU record (20-or-more attacks) when she recorded a .667 attack percentage in the 3-1 win over the Owls. In that match, Dimitrova tallied 17 kills and one assist in 24 attempts, breaking the record of .655 set by Carrie Arago vs. Mercer on Nov. 11 last season.

Aces All Around

JU set a team record for service aces in a five-game match when they served up 20 in a 3-2 win over Bethune-Cookman College on Nov. 8 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

In that match, Carrie Arago tied the school record for aces in a five-game match with nine while Jessica Windell had five, Radka Dimitrova had three, and Tiffany Twaddle, Carrie Bosworth and Juanita Barb each had one.

The former record of 19 was set against BCC on Oct. 9, 1993 and again vs. Furman on Sept. 12, 1999.

Against the Field of Competion

The following is a breakdown of JU's performance against the opposition:

No. 1 Georgia State--Carrie Arago had a match-high 20 kills while Kelly Ryals and Jessica Windell each tallied 18 digs as the Dolphins handed Georgia State their only TAAC loss, 3-0 (15-5, 15-9, 15-13), in Jacksonville.

Arago, who also had 11 digs for a double-double, posted a .447 attack percentage during the match with just three errors in 38 attempts. As a team, JU hit .324 (64 kills, 18 errors, 142 attempts) while holding GSU to just a .213 clip (40 kills, 13 errors, 127 attempts).

Anna Popenko led Georgia State with 13 kills while Amanda Sapp was close behind with 10. Molly Sapp led the Lady Panther defense with 14 digs while Popenko tallied 12.

No. 2 UCF--Carrie Arago posted her eight double-double of the year and Brooke Jackson had 10 kills, but it was not enough as JU fell to UCF, 3-0, in Orlando, Fla.

Arago tied Jackson for team-high honors with 10 kills while pacing the team with 11 digs and five service aces. The duo's performance, however, was not enough to overcome a poor atttacking night as JU hit just .128 (41 kills, 25 errors, 125 attempts) while the Knights tallied a .312 hitting percentage (49 kills, 14 errors, 112 attacks).

Piper Morgan led UCF with a match-high 15 kills and teammate Lindsay Whalen was close behind with 12. Becca Saldena led the Knight defense with 13 digs while Whalen had 10. Morgan finished with a match-best six blocks (five solo) and Saldena had five.

No. 4 Campbell--Brooke Jackson had a match-high 16 kills, but it was not enough as the Dolphins fell, 3-1, to Campbell in Jacksonville.

Carrie Arago joined Jackson in the double-digit kill category with 11, but it was not enough to overcome the team's poor hitting and Campbell's service game. JU hit just .106 in the match (51 kills, 34 errors, 160 attempts) and the Fighting Camels logged 12 aces. Carrie Bosworth led the Dolphin defense with 11 digs while Jessica Windell tallied 10.

Kara Lewis led Campbell with 15 kills and Abby Jenkins was close behind with 11. Pam Hughes led the defense with a match-high 16 digs, followed by Sarah Peterson with 12 and Crystal Brim with 11.

No. 5 Florida Atlantic--Carrie Arago and Tiffany Twaddle each recorded double-doubles as JU defeated Florida Atlantic, 3-0, in Boca Raton.

Arago finished the night with 12 kills and 12 digs while Twaddle tallied 11 kills and 11 digs.The Dolphins attacked the ball well, tallying a .310 hitting percentage with 46 kills and only 11 errors in 113 attempts. Twaddle, who did not commit a single attack error in 17 swings, finished the night with an impressive .647 hitting percentage.

Kelly Ryals fell one kill shy of being the third Dolphin with a double-double, posting nine kills and a match-best 14 digs.

FAU's Lori Lombard tied Arago with 12 kills and had 11 digs to tally a double-double of her own.

No. 6 Troy State--Carrie Arago tallied 21 kills and 17 digs as the Dolphins defeated Troy State, 3-0, in Troy, Ala.

For the match, JU recorded a .272 attack percentage (57 kills, 16 errors, 151 attempts) while holding the Trojans to a .071 clip (36 kills, 25 errors, 155 attempts).

Brooke Jackson also finished with a double-digit kills total with 10 while four Dolphins finished with 10-or-more digs. Kelly Ryals led all players with 22 digs, followed by Arago, Tiffany Twaddle with 11 and Juanita Barb with 10.

TSU's Erika VanHootegem led the Trojans with eight kills. Emily Larson had 18 digs, and Amy Kellog chipped in with four service aces.