NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Despite three players with double-digit kills, three with double-digit digs, and a dominating second set victory, the #6 Jacksonville University volleyball team fell to #3 Florida Gulf Coast, 3-1, in the ASUN Conference Tournament quarterfinals, Thursday evening.
"I thought we put it all out there," said Head Coach Julie Darty. "Our keys were to serve tough and play gritty defense and for a good chunk of the match we did that."
With 33 assists and 10 digs in the match, Jizzyan Gesualdo capped the 2016 season with 914 assists and moves up to fourth all-time in JU program history with 3,337 career assists.
"I'm really proud of this group. We started the year young and inexperienced and I think we really did grow as a team this season. I appreciate Jizzy for the tremendous career she's had at JU."
Mallory Mattingly recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 21 digs to lead the Dolphins, while Olga Nushtayeva and Cristina Finan added 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Defensively, Mackenzie Swan led JU with 22 digs.
After set one ended with FGCU earning the final two points after a 23-23 stalemate, the Dolphins bombed back with a decisive and dominating second set victory.
Jacksonville jumped out to a 4-1 lead never trailed. The Green and White led 16-8 halfway through the set and the Dolphin defense didn't allow more than three consecutive Eagle points en route to a 25-21 win to knot that match at 1-1.
Sets three and four both started with back-and-forth scoring from both teams with multiple ties in the score, but mid-set rallies allowed the Eagles to take the final two sets by identical 25-16 scores to move on to the semifinal.
"When we came off the gas from the service line, that's when things got a little dicey for us," added Darty.
"It's exciting that all but one are returning next season and I think we will remember this feeling for a while. It stings, but the sun will come up tomorrow and life will go on."
The Dolphins' 2016 season ends with a 9-19 overall record and its 17th-straight appearance in the ASUN Tournament.