@JUVolleyball Rolls Into A-Sun this Weekend
Gabriela Roman (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
Gabriela Roman (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – JU volleyball is hitting the road this weekend for its first Atlantic Sun match of its already impressive year. The Dolphins open at last season’s No. 1 seed Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 6 p.m. – FGCU lost in the semifinals of the 2012 A-Sun tourney.

The Dolphins (9-1), who had their undefeated nine-game winning streak snapped by UCF with a 3-1 loss on Wednesday, will wrap their first conference weekend at Stetson on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Sophomore Sammie Strausbaugh currently leads the Dolphins with 120 kills in 33 sets. Kylie Jacob follows with 90 kills in 37 sets, while Gabriela Roman (75), Taylor Nyquist (72) and Alyssa Robertson (72) trail. Strausbaugh also stands tall in digs with 105, followed by Nyquist (99) and Rachel Miller (79).

FGCU (1-9) has lost its last four matches. The most recent was a 3-0 defeat (25-8, 25-15, 25-17) by No. 3 Penn State in the “Big 10 Face Off” Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Volleyball Classic on Sept. 14. Thus far, the Eagles have been shutout 3-0 a total of seven times and have two 3-1 defeats. Their single win was a 3-1 score against Florida A&M on Sept. 8 in the Seminole Invitational.

Kaitlin Holm leads FGCU with 100 kills in 33 sets, averaging 3.03 kills per set, while Whitney Masters is first in digs with 125. The Eagles also have three players with four or more solo blocks in Karina Mambuca (5), Olivia Mesner (4) and Christine Pinder (4).

Last season, JU lost at home to FGCU 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) on Oct. 2.

Stetson (8-5) is on a two-game winning streak after shutting out Bethune-Cookman 3-0 (Sept. 17) at home and beating Louisiana Tech 3-1 (Sept. 14) on the road. But, the Hatters are 0-2 away.

The Hatters have three players with more than 100 kills each in Kaley Melville (151), Tiffany Creamer (109) and Ellen Hawks (104) in more than 40 sets. Michelle Kastner tops with 181 digs and Melville is second with 130.

JU beat Stetson twice last season; 3-0 in DeLand, Fla. on Sept. 25 and 3-0 in Jacksonville, Fla. on Oct. 23. All-time, Stetson is 13-54 against the Dolphins.