Winners of its last five matches, the JU volleyball team (10-8, 2-0 A-Sun) will play two road contests in Georgia beginning with Kennesaw State (8-9, 1-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. in the KSU Convocation Center.
The Dolphins will end the weekend at Mercer (6-14, 0-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Owls recently spit their trip through Nashville, pulling out a 3-2 win over Belmont on Friday before falling to Lipscomb (3-0).
The Bears were swept by the Bruins and Bisons to open A-Sun play.
Both matches this weekend will be available on ASun.TV and LiveStats by logging onto JUDolphins.com
With a 3-0 win over Stetson, JU has won a season-high five matches. The program’s longest winning streak was a 13-match run last season...the Dolphins’ seven true freshman in 2010 is the most on a roster since joining the A-Sun in 1998. The closest number was six during the 2003 season...JU played 14 matches away from Swisher Gymnasium to start the 2010 season. Its is the longest road stretch to start the season since joining the A-Sun in 1998.
Yeager named A-Sun “Player of the Week”
Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager has been known for her long frame but her broad shoulders carried the JU volleyball team to a 2-0 week, including a 3-2 win over FGCU, and her first Atlantic Sun Conference “Player of the Week” honor.
In two matches to start A-Sun play, Yeager led the Dolphins with 27 kills, 3.86 kills per set, a .421 (27-3-57) hitting percentage, eight blocks, six service aces and two digs.
In the slugfest against FGCU, Yeager paced the squad in the final two sets to finish with a career-high 21 kills, a .426 (21-1-47) hitting percentage and a career-high six service aces. She concluded the weekend with six kills, a .400 (6-2-10) hitting percentage and five blocks in only two sets during a 3-0 win over Stetson.
With an infusion of youth, there is a necessary need for veteran leadership and you can look no further than senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager.
In her fourth year with the program, Yeager is finding her way into the JU career record books for her abilities at the net.
With two blocks vs. New Mexico on Sept. 18, Yeager surpassed Melissa Merchant (281, 2006-07) for second on the JU career list for blocks assists. She is now 56 shy of Danielle Neville’s (2002-05) program record of 353. She also moved into the top five in total career blocks with 307 and is 10 shy of surpassing Merchant (316) for fourth.
Offensively, Yeager is making her way into the top five in career kills and is 64 kills away from becoming the sixth Dolphin to reach 1,000. She is currently 72 kills away from surpassing Sara Bendorf (1,006 - 2006-08) for fifth on the all-time list.
Yeager currently ranks sixth in the A-Sun with a .300 hitting percentage, tied for second with 0.43 service aces per set and 10th with 2.68 kills per set.
After a slow start to her 2010 freshman campaign, setter Kendall Courtney is developing into the field general for an improving Dolphin offense and is the fresh new face in the A-Sun.
Through her first five matches, Courtney registered 9.2 assists per set while the squad hit a combined .111.
In the next five matches, she tallied 8.4 assists per set but the squad increased its mark to .201.
In her next five matches, Courtney picked up the pace with 10.47 assists per set while the Dolphin offense increased their output to .240.
In her last three matches, she is racking up 11.45 assists per set and the JU offense is clicking to the tune of a .274 percentage.
With 629 assists thus far, the Houston native has current teammate Hannah Munneke’s single-season record (1,356) in her sights. She currently ranks fourth in the A-Sun with 9.7 assists per set.
Defensively, she has also increased her dig effort en route to a team-high three double-doubles. Courtney also leads JU with 32 service aces which ranks her first in the A-Sun with 0.49 aces per set.
Jacob stepping up
Freshman middle blocker Kylie Jacob has also had a slow start adjusting to the college game but has quickly turned a corner for the Dolphins.
By energy alone, Jacob came up big for JU in its 3-2 win over FGCU on Oct. 1 by racking up six kills, a .600 (6-0-10) hitting percentage and four blocks in less than two sets (four and five).
The Fayettville, Ga. native is starting to register in the conference stats now that her playing time has increased. Jacob currently leads the A-Sun in hitting percentage (.353) while ranking third with 1.09 blocks per set.
Here’s to you Ms. Robertson
Freshman middle blocker Alyssa Robertson is an immediate impact player for the Dolphins and has quickly established herself as one of the best at her position in the A-Sun.
Thus far in 2010, the Pompano Beach, Fla. native ranks second on the squad with 49 blocks and one block per set and third with a .277 hitting percentage.
The hitting percentage places her ninth in the A-Sun while her blocks per set average places her fourth.
Robertson also ranks fourth on the squad with 92 kills and 1.88 kills per set while also ranking third with 13 aces and 0.27 aces per set.
Effective youth movement
Along with Courtney, Jacob and Robertson, other true freshman are making an impact in their first season with the program.
In the second weekend, freshman outside hitter Taylor Nyquist led the defensive effort by racking up a season-high 24 digs at Sacred Heart (9/4). Unfortunately, a back injury has slowed Nyquist’s progress as she has missed the last eight matches.
Freshman outside hitter Niatha Cullen and freshman middle blocker Janell Larson have also been valuable contributers off of the bench.
Freshman outside hitter Nadia Booker will sit out the year as a redshirt.