Dolpins' Practice Before Season Opener in Alabama 8/18, courtesy of Wayne Welch
The JU Volleyball team has participated in three tournaments so far this season.
South Alabama Invite
The Dolphins’ Volleyball season started in Mobile Alabama on August 27th as the team suited up for the South Alabama Invite tournament hosted by the South Alabama Jaguars.
Jacksonville played their first game of the season against Charleston Southern. Volleyball is played in sets, and the first team to take three sets wins the match. The Dolphins opened strong, winning the first and second sets each with a score of 25-22.
Jacksonville had a five-point lead in the third set, but the Buccaneers fought hard and came back to win the set 27-25. The South Carolina school was also able to take the fourth set 25-23.
It all came down to the fifth set, which is played to 15 points instead of 25 like the other sets.
Jacksonville started strong with a lead in the crucial set, but were not able to hold on as the Buccaneers came back to win the set 15-10, completing the reverse sweep.
Despite the loss, the Dolphins showed that their strength was on offense, being able to keep every set close until the end.
Dolphins’ Practice Before Season Opener in Alabama 8/18
The following day the Dolphins had to matchups. The first being against the Florida A&M University Rattlers, and the latter against the hosting South Alabama Jaguars
Against the Rattlers, Jacksonville started strong taking the lead in the first set, however they were not able to keep momentum and lost the set 25-55.
In the next two sets, the Dolphins struggled defensively giving up big runs to the opponent. The Rattlers took the match 3-0.
In the conclusive game of the tournament, South Alabama was able to control the first set.
The Dolphins came out aggressively in the second set, obtaining a 20-16 lead, however, the Jaguars came back to win the close set 27-25. The Dolphins fell in the final set and Southern Alabama were declared the champions of the Jaguar Invite.
Next on the schedule was to return home for the JU Invitational the next weekend.
Dolphins Green vs White Scrimmage 8/21
Jacksonville was planning to host New Orleans, Drake, and UNC Wilmington during the first home tournament of the year in early September.
However, plans were changed when Hurricane Ida landed in Louisiana in late August. New Orleans and Drake were not able to make the trip to North Florida.
UNCW was able to make the trip and would play the Dolphins twice over the weekend.
The first game of the weekend started off back and forth as the Dolphins and the Seahawks found themselves tied 2-2 going into the final set.
Jacksonville quickly gained momentum in the final set and acquired a 5-0 lead, looking to score their first match win of the season. They kept their foot on the pedal and took the final set 15-7. Now they were focused on getting the weekend sweep on Sunday.
Dolphins Celebrate After Winning Their First Match of Season 9/03
On Sunday, JU had a strong start taking the first two sets. UNCW got hot in the second set, able to take it 25-20.
In the fourth set, Jacksonville was able to get out to a 11-4 lead and never looked back. The game was won on a kill from freshman Cami Kelsay, who had a big day with 19 kills. The Dolphins had completed the weekend sweep.
Cami Kelsay Leading the Dolphins To Victory 9/04
Dolphin Classic Presented By Hampton Inn
The next weekend Jacksonville hosted another tournament, hosting Furman, Long Island, and South Florida.
JU’s first match against Furman started with a set win, however Furman would take the match 3-1.
Keyauna Linwood Against Furman 9/10
Later that same day Jacksonville would face LIU in a match that would go the distance.
The first set took endurance from both sides but the Dolphins were able to snag it 32-30. LIU would rebuttal with a 25-18 win in the second set.
The third set showed off Jacksonville’s offensive potential including a 9-0 run that would allow the team to take the set 25-19. JU was leading late in the fourth set 19-15, but an effective timeout would allow the Sharks to recover and take the set. Their momentum carried over into the last set which awarded Long Island with the match victory.
Jacksonville Against LIU 9/10
The final match of the tournament for JU would be against the intrastate USF Bulls.
The men’s basketball team showed out for the Volleyball team cheering them on for the win.
Despite the effort of those in attendance, the Dolphins were not able to get it done against USF, who were declared winners of the tournament.