The JSU volleyball team clinched a spot in the conference tournament even with a loss to Tennessee Tech, which they made up for with a win against Southeast Missouri on Senior Day.
The Gamecocks headed north to play OVC rivals Tennessee Tech last Tuesday night. It was a night that ended in a loss and ended a win streak against the Golden Eagles that goes back seven games.
JSU won only one set in the match against TTU and struggled to hold back their opponent’s weapon, Cody Dodd. In the first set, JSU fell down early and was unable to catch up and surrendered a victory.
The second set was the Gamecocks’ only win of the night and started strong in their favor. TTU managed a comeback, but couldn’t hold onto it and fell. The third set saw a similar scenario to the first set in that JSU fell behind and simply couldn’t come back. The fourth and final set saw JSU climb into the lead, but like Tennessee Tech in the second set, the Gamecocks couldn’t keep it and lost the match.
The Gamecocks hit a .138 attack percentage overall and .227 in their winning set. Allyson Zuhlke had a big game for JSU as she had 17 kills. Behind her came Nicole Merget with 12 and Emily Rutherford with ten. On defense, Samantha Bohne led with 23 digs, but her teammates Jennifer Hart, Rutherford and Hannah Kirk had 14, 12 and 11 respectively. For TTU it was all Cody Dodd, who had 30 kills by herself and 20 digs on defense to add to it.
The finals for the match were 18-25, 25-22, 22-25 and 22-25.
Saturday was Senior Day for two of the Gamecocks, Merget and Victoria Cross. The seniors saw a win as Jacksonville State defeated Southeast Missouri to wrap up the regular season. The first set saw JSU be in a tight race for a win that they eventually took after trailing the Redhawks. The second set was a bust for the Gamecocks that wound up being their only loss of the day; however, it was a winner for Merget who managed to top over 1,000 career kills with one in the set. The third was all JSU and they easily routed SEMO by ten. The final saw a tie at 20, but the Gamecocks were able to finish strong and take the last set for a match victory.
Although the Gamecocks had a lower overall attack percentage at .158 than SEMO who hit .212 overall, it was a productive day for the Gamecocks. Not only did Merget break 1,000, but she had 14 kills on the day. In the lead was Charis Ludtke with 18. On defense, the leader was Hart with 17 digs, who also had the team-high 47 assists. Kirk had 14 digs behind her and finishing up the double digits was Rutherford with ten.
The finals for the match were 26-24, 15-25, 25-15 and 25-21.
The Gamecocks concluded their regular season with a berth to the OVC Tournament. They will head to Murray, Ky. on Thursday to play a rematch against Tennessee Tech in the first game.