@JUvolleyball Rumbles Over UNF; Clinches A-Sun Spot
Sammie Strausbaugh (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)
Sammie Strausbaugh (Photo credit: Skip Tapp)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 2 Jacksonville University volleyball program clinched a spot in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship after sweeping cross-town rival North Florida, 3-0, (25-23, 25-23, 25-16) on Friday night (Nov. 1). This is the second-straight season the Fins will compete in the tournament. With the victory, the Dolphins improve to 22-3 overall, 11-2 in the Atlantic Sun and 10-0 on home court. They also earned another point in the River City Rumble.

On the evening, Kylie Jacob recorded a match-high 13 kills, also good for a season-high three-set kill total, third best for the Dolphins. For the fourth straight match she also hit .450 or above and also added two block assists. Jacob leads the Dolphins with an attack average of .342. Taylor Nyquist hit a second-best .350 (9-for-20) and added four digs, Sammie Strausbaugh made 11 kills and a team-high nine digs, while Kendall Courtney had 40 set assists.

As a team the Dolphins hit their second-highest kill mark this season with 50, behind 52 against Charleston Southern (Sept. 6). They also recorded 43 assists for fifth-most in a three-set match and their combined .312 attack percentage is good for sixth-best this season.

The first match was a battle as both teams managed 14 kills, but North Florida held an attack percentage edge with .375 over JU’s .312. The set was tied 13 times and had five lead changes until 23-23 when UNF’s Anna Budinska tied on a kill. Although it didn’t last after a Gabriela Roman kill and a ball handling error earned Jacksonville a 25-23 set one win.

The Fins swam into the second set with more control, flipping out of the gate to a 5-1 run on Roman and Jacob kills, an Alyssa Robertson service ace and two attack errors. They continued to a 9-2 lead on four straight before the Osprey’s rallied with three of their own near the finish from 24-21 to 24-23. But Robertson smacked the final kill for a 25-23 second set victory. JU hit .400 with 19 kills over UNF’s .393 and 13 kills.

Things changed at the beginning of the final set as North Florida swooped on four straight from 2-1 down to a 4-2 lead. But then it was 7-all on a service error and after Jacob's kill for an 8-7 upper hand, the Dolphins controlled, finishing .238 with 17 kills to .125 and 7, respectively, winning 25-16 on a Courtney kill near the net.

Next, Jacksonville returns to Swisher on Nov. 5 to host Florida Gulf Coast at 7 p.m.