Dolphins Honor Seniors in Regular Season Finale at Swisher

Dolphins Honor Seniors in Regular Season Finale at Swisher

MATCH #26: Jacksonville vs. NJIT Highlanders
DATE: Friday, Nov. 10 – 6:00 pm
SITE: Historic Swisher Gymnasium – Jacksonville, Fla.
2017 RECORDS: Jacksonville (16-9, 10-2 ASUN); NJIT (12-17, 2-10 ASUN)

MATCH #27: Jacksonville vs. USC Upstate Spartans
DATE: Saturday, Nov. 11 – 5:00 pm
SITE: Historic Swisher Gymnasium – Jacksonville, Fla.
2017 RECORDS: Jacksonville (16-9, 10-2 ASUN); USC Upstate (8-18, 4-8 ASUN)
*USC Upstate record prior to Nov. 10

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville University volleyball closes out the regular season this weekend as NJIT and USC Upstate head to Historic Swisher Gymnasium in the final two ASUN Conference matches. The Dolphins face the Highlanders Friday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m., and take on the Spartans the following day, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m.

Weekend Festivities

Friday evening's match against NJIT will be the Battle of the Greeks. Members of JU's fraternities and sororities are encouraged to come out and support the Dolphins, and prizes will be awarded to the top three Greek organizations. Following Friday's match, select Dolphins will be available for an autograph session for fans.

Saturday's match is senior day, and we will be honoring our five seniors – Cristina Finan, Jessica Armstrong, Mackenzie Swan, Shelby Babowicz, and Olga Nushtayeva – for their contributions on and off the court. Come and cheer on our seniors in their final home match in Swisher!

Last Time Out – at Lipscomb and Kennesaw State

Jacksonville split last weekend, as JU earned a 3-1 victory at Lipscomb and fell at Kennesaw State, 3-0. Senior defensive specialist/libero Mackenzie Swan became just the eighth Dolphin in JU's 46-year program history to reach 1,000 career digs, as she totaled 36 digs on the weekend. Jacksonville hit .280 at Lipscomb, including .344 in the first set, and four Dolphins posted double-digit kills to propel JU to victory. The following night, the Dolphins were upended at Kennesaw State, as the Owls snapped the Dolphins' five-game win streak.

Where They Rank …

Jacksonville (10-2 ASUN) is second in the ASUN standings, just behind Kennesaw State (11-1 ASUN). Statistically, the Dolphins rank in the top three in the ASUN in several categories tracked by the NCAA including:

  • Digs per set (16.49) – first (54th nationally)
  • Team attacks per set (36.92) – second (66th nationally)
  • Team digs (1,600) – second (73rd nationally)
  • Opponent hitting percentage (0.185) – third (95th nationally)

Individually, several Dolphins also rank in the top 10 in the ASUN:

  • Mallory Mattingly leads the ASUN in total attacks (1,042, 70th in the nation) and ranks second in attacks per set (11.33, 37th in the nation).
  • Additionally, Mattingly is third in the league in service aces (28), kills per set (3.43), points scored (363.0), points per set (3.9), and ranks fourth in kills (316) and aces per set (0.30).
  • Alleah Stamatis ranks second in the league with 892 assists, and third with 9.20 assists per set.
  • Mackenzie Swan is second in the ASUN in both digs (438, 91st in the nation) and digs per set (4.52, 93rd in the nation).
  • Amarrah Cooks ranks third in the league with a .303 hitting percentage (204-71-439), 19 solo blocks, and is tied for sixth with 73 total blocks.
  • Olga Nushtayeva ranks sixth in the league with a .270 hitting percentage (206-70-504), is tied for seventh with 13 solo blocks, and is eighth with 59 block assists and 72 total blocks.
  • Hannah Marchand ranks tenth in solo blocks (11).

The Series with NJIT

Jacksonville holds a 5-0 advantage in the all-time series with NJIT, and the Dolphins won their previous contest earlier in the season in Newark, 3-0. JU hit .247 in the match, including a decisive .387 in the third set. Notable performances by sophomore Amarrah Cooks (6 kills, 6 blocks, .625 hit %), senior Olga Nushtayeva (8 kills, .368), senior Jessica Armstrong (6 kills, 5 blocks), and sophomore Mallory Mattingly (11 kills, 6 service aces, 6 digs, 3 blocks) helped surge the Dolphins to victory.

Scouting the Highlanders

NJIT enters the weekend with a 12-17 overall record, and is 2-10 against ASUN opponents. As a team, the Highlanders lead the ASUN in service aces (167) and aces per set (1.56). NJIT also ranks in the top three in the league in kills (third, 1,282) and total attacks (third, 3,707).

Individually, Adriana Nieto leads the league with 40 service aces (27th nationally) and 0.38 aces per set (66th nationally), and ranks third with 423 digs. Tess Albyn ranks third in the ASUN with 348 kills, while Iva Mandic (225 kills) and Madi Busler (216 kills) also have 200 or more kills on the year. Behind her 8 solo blocks and 67 block assists, Adrianne Bynoe is fifth with 0.94 blocks per set (73 total blocks). However, Mikalah Hughes leads the team with 83 total blocks on 8 solo and 75 block assists.

The Series with USC Upstate

Jacksonville is 15-3 all-time against USC Upstate, and the Dolphins came away with a 3-2 win earlier in the season. Cooks (10 kills, 5 blocks, .368 hit %), Mattingly (16 kills, 4 aces, 14 digs), Nushtayeva (10 kills, 7 blocks), and sophomore Natalie Wehner (12 kills, 21 digs) all posted double-digit kills and sophomore Alleah Stamatis (50 assists, 10 digs), Mattingly, and Wehner recorded double-doubles. Armstrong also set a career-best with seven blocks against the Spartans.

Scouting the Spartans

The Spartans hold an 8-18 record overall, and have clinched a spot in the ASUN Tournament with a 4-8 record against league opponents. USC Upstate ranks in the top three in the ASUN in attacks per set (first, 37.99 – 26th nationally), total attacks (second, 3,723 – 65th nationally), digs (third, 1,582 – 79th nationally), and digs per set (third, 16.14 – 77th nationally).

Individually, Madison Haake leads the league and is third in the nation with five triple-doubles on the year. Lily Dempsey leads the team behind 253 kills – eighth in the ASUN – and 59 blocks (10 solo, 49 block assists); she also ranks second on the team with 19 aces. Haake, the Spartans' leader in assists (742) and aces (27), has 136 kills and 33 blocks on the year. McKenna Kirkpatrick is also a double-threat as she has 153 kills and 56 blocks – just three behind Dempsey.

ASUN Weekly Honors

Three Dolphins have earned ASUN Player of the Week honors this season, with the most recent being senior libero/defensive specialist Mackenzie Swan. The Colorado Springs, Colo. native earned her fourth career ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honor after she totaled 48 digs in the Dolphins' weekend sweep of Stetson (27 digs) and FGCU (21 digs). She was previously named ASUN Defensive Player of the Week Oct. 3 after she amassed 53 digs in three matches. Swan posted back-to-back 20+ dig performances against Bethune-Cookman (21 digs) and Kennesaw State (22 digs) as JU swept the three-game week with victories over the Wildcats, Owls, and Lipscomb.

Sophomore outside hitter Mallory Mattingly earned her second career ASUN Conference Player of the Week honor after posting career numbers over the weekend. The Sanford, Fla. native totaled 10 service aces on the weekend – four at USC Upstate and a career-best six at NJIT – to move into third in the league with 21 aces. Mattingly also posted her seventh double-double of the season with 16 kills and 14 digs against the Spartans. The Dolphins swept the weekend with a 3-2 victory over the Spartans and a 3-0 win against the Highlanders.

Hannah Marchand continued to impress in the league after earning her second ASUN Freshman of the Week honors following her performance at UNF on Sept. 22. The Sturgis, Mich. native posted seven kills, three digs, and led the team with six blocks. Marchand previously earned ASUN Freshman of the Week honors Aug. 28 after an impressive weekend at Clemson's Big Orange Bash. The middle-blocker opened her collegiate career with 11 kills and four blocks against Lamar en route to a .476 hitting percentage.

Nifty 50

Head Coach Julie Darty earned her 50th career victory Oct. 6 with a 3-1 win over Kennesaw State. The fourth-year head coach guided the Dolphins to a sweep last weekend for their sixth straight victory and their first 5-0 start to league play since 2007. Since taking over the program in 2014, the Dolphins have won at least 10 matches in three of four seasons with Darty at the helm, and have amassed a 25-22 record against ASUN opponents.

Home Sweet Home … Back in Swisher

Following the completion of repairs to Historic Swisher Gymnasium in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Jacksonville University Volleyball returned home to Historic Swisher Gymnasium Oct. 27. JU Athletics and JU Volleyball would like to extend its most sincere gratitude and appreciation to UNF Athletics and Jacksonville Juniors Volleyball Association for graciously opening their facilities for the Dolphins to compete and practice in.

The Dolphins played their first seven home matches of the 2017 season at UNF Arena and held a 5-2 record while playing across town. With a sweep of Stetson and FGCU Oct. 27 and 28, Jacksonville is now 7-2 in Jacksonville.

Up Next

The Dolphins await seeding in the upcoming ASUN Tournament, held Nov. 18-21 at Lipscomb's Allen Arena in Nashville, Tenn.