The JSU volleyball team came into their Saturday afternoon game against Belmont undefeated after a sweep of Tennessee State, but left with their first conference loss of the season.
On Friday night, the Gamecocks met Ohio Valley Conference opponent Tennessee State and played a well fought match to sweep the visiting Tigers. The first set was evenly matched despite JSU’s early lead of seven and eventually the Gamecocks were able to put it away.
The second set had nine ties that set the Gamecocks up to win despite being down by four. The final set was easier for JSU to claim, although it was tied at one point. After the initial tie, JSU only allowed TSU to score three more points while they racked up 25 to make the sweep.
The Gamecocks had a fantastic .305 attack percentage overall, with .433 in set two alone. The leader with 10 kills, Emily Rutherford, had a .444 percentage by herself. Nicole Merget came in second behind her teammate with eight kills and a .333 attack percentage. Two Gamecocks had doubles in digs with Samantha Bohne’s 16 being the highest followed by Rutherford’s 10. Jennifer Hart continued with her assists and had 34 on the night.
The finals for the night were 25-23, 26-24, and 25-17.
Despite the glorious sweep of their OVC opponent, the Gamecocks would ultimately fall in five sets to their next conference foe, Belmont. It was a tough battle for JSU as they fell early in the first set before a win in the second set. The third was the best in overall attack percentage for the Gamecocks at .344 which helped them come out victorious. The following fourth set was the worst as JSU never even broke a .000 percentage, and they would fall in that set and in the final to seal Belmont’s victory.
The game may have been a loss, but the Gamecocks still proved to be a force on the court. Three Gamecocks had kills in the double digits. Allyson Zuhlke, who had a .393 attack percentage on the day, led the team with 15. Merget and Rutherford were behind her with 12 and 10 respectively. Bohne was one of two Gamecocks with digs in the doubles. She had 25 and Brianne Glidewell added 11.
The finals for the match were 22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 16-25, and 12-15.
JSU moves to 9-10 on the season with just one loss in conference play. They will play a non-conference match-up against Alabama A&M for the third time on Oct. 15. After that, they will return to conference play against Eastern Kentucky in Richmond.