Straight Set Victory in Conference Opener
The Jacksonville Dolphins’ women’s volleyball team opened their conference play by defeating Kennesaw State in straight sets for their first conference win of the season.
The Dolphins’ energy level was on full display in the first set, as they led the set for its entirety. Although the Dolphins wouldn’t relinquish the lead, the Owls would keep this set close by coming to within a point of the lead on two separate occasions. Once at 22-21, and 24-23 for the second time. The Dolphins were able to win the set 25-23 after an Owl error.
The Owls picked up their momentum in the second set keeping the contest close with 13 ties. Senior Emily Laskelle stepped up; however, with back-to-back kills, giving the Dolphins a 26-24 second set victory. The decisive final set was a battle of ties and lead changes until JU was able to find resolve and win the match with a 25-21 third set victory.
“I’m so proud of the total team win and total team effort tonight,” said Julie Darty, head coach. “Kennesaw is a very talented team and we went in with the mindset that they were going to push us and we had to battle.”
Laskelle led the Dolphins with 15 kills throughout the contest helping bolster her hitting percentage to .406 this season. The average is her highest of the season.
Dolphins Continue Their Weekend Dominance
The Dolphins secured their second win in as many days by beating USC Upstate on the road three sets to one. The win locked in the weekend sweep for the Dolphins and improved their conference record to two wins and one loss.
The Spartans showed great confidence in the first set as they jumped out to a 16-11 lead. JU began to fight back, but USC Upstate was able to hold off the Dolphins’ charge and won the first set 25-19.
The second set proved to be a different story as the Dolphins scored the first two points and refused to relinquish that lead. The sudden change of pace and momentum caught the Spartans off guard and led to a 25-18 second set Dolphins victory.
The third set was a test of wit for the Dolphins who found themselves early in the set. The Dolphins dug out of their 5-11 deficit and roared to a 15-14 lead. The Dolphins would harness that momentum and use to propel them to a 25-18 set win. The Dolphins would take the fourth set 25-12 giving them the match three sets to one.
“This was such a great weekend for us,” Darty said. “I’m really proud of the way everyone stepped their game up today.”
The Dolphins return to action when they welcome the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Oct. 9 for the Dolphins’ first home match of the season. The meeting is the first between the two schools.