The Gamecock Invitational proved a challenge for the JSU volleyball team as they walked away with two wins and two losses.

JSU opened the tournament of their namesake against the Braves of Alcorn State. They never scored more than 14 points as the Gamecocks swept them with 25’s across the board in each set. Emily Rutherford led the team in kills with 15, while Hannah Kirk and Jennifer Hart both had double digits in digs with 15 and 11, respectively. Hart also contributed a match high 30 assists.

The finals for the match were 25-13, 25-13 and 25-14.

The next match against the Terriers of Wofford proved to be tougher for the Gamecocks. Wofford was able to sweep JSU 25-16, 25-23 and 25-17. Despite only a .116 overall hit percentage, Allyson Zuhlke still had 15 kills.

Kirk aided on defense with her 13 digs while Mackenzie Rombach had two blocks.

The following day was much the same for the Gamecocks as they again went 1-1 on matches. They began their day against Alabama A&M and finished with a match against Louisiana Monroe.

It took four sets to take down the A&M Bulldogs. The Gamecocks started off strong and led 9-4 early in the first set. They hit a snag at nine as the Bulldogs attempted to catch up, but to no avail.

The Gamecocks stopped AAMU’s scoring at 19 and went on to win the first set 25-19. The second set was the only one that the Bulldogs were able to win as they managed to stop JSU at 21 while AAMU scored 25. The third and fourth sets were back in the Gamecocks’ favor as they held AAMU to under 20 points in each. JSU won the third set 25-17 and the fourth 25-11.

It was Charis Ludtke who led the way in kills with 16 against the Bulldogs. Kirk, Rutherford, and Hart all had double digits in digs with 16 for Kirk and 11 for both Rutherford and Hart. Hart again had the match high with 48 assists.

The final match of the tournament against the ULM Warhawks was a tough one for the Gamecocks.

Although they were evenly matched with ULM, they still could not pull off a win and were swept in their last match of the tournament.

The first set was back and forth between the two teams the entire duration. When the match tied at 24, it took two kills from ULM to seal their victory at 26. The second set was the Gamecocks worst as they only managed to score 12 points against ULM’s 25. The final set was another back-and-forth battle, which again came down to a tie at 24. ULM put the match away with two kills and won 26-24.

Ludtke led in kills with 13 while Kirk and Rutherford took the lead on defense with 12 and 11 digs, respectively.

The Gamecocks will travel to North Dakota for their next tournament. Play begins on Sept. 11.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Reporter

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