The JSU volleyball team suffered a pair of hard losses to the No. 16 ranked Michigan State Spartans and the Southeastern Louisiana Lions last Saturday.
The losses came on the last day of the UAB/Samford Volleyball Challenge that took place at Samford University.
The Gamecocks lost to Georgia State and Samford on the first day of the challenge.
Last Friday was the debut of the Gamecocks new head coach Terry Gamble. JSU lost 3-1 to Georgia State with final match scores of 25-21, 25-19, 20-25, and 25-23. Then, the Gamecocks came back and lost to Samford 3-0 with final match scores of 25-22,25-7, and 25-22 again.
The Gamecocks began the last day of the challenge against the Spartans. The Spartans showed their strength, and the reason for their national ranking, as they hit .364 during the match. They also had 10 kills from Allyssah Fitterer, eight from Holly Toliver and were led in digs by Rachel Minarick who had 12 on her own.
Despite the low .024 offensive percentage of the Gamecocks, the team produced 4 kills apiece from Allyson Zuhlke and Nicole Merget. While on defense Hannah Kirk produced nine digs, and seven each came from Jennifer Hart and Samantha Bohne.
The final scores from the first match were 25-15, 25-14, and 25-10.
The second match was against the SLU Lions and nearly gave the Gamecocks a victory. Although the first set was well in SLU’s favor, the second was harder for them to win. Set two saw six lead changes and 15 ties that paved the way to SLU’s eventual 31-29 victory. The final set saw JSU come within one at 11-10, but it didn’t take long for SLU to regain control and grab the last victory.
They finished the match with scores of 25-13, 31-29, and 25-16.
SLU was led in kills by Parrie Hartley who had 15. Morgan Todd had the defense with 16 digs, while Elizabeth Ramee was directly behind her with 15.
The Gamecocks had a .333 attack percentage and were led in kills by Emily Rutherford with 14. She also had 11 digs but it was Samantha Bohne who led the defense with 20 digs on the day.
The JSU volleyball team will head to the Troy Invitational on Thursday. They will face Alabama A&M first. They will follow it with matches against Mercer and the Trojans of Troy on Saturday.