The Jacksonville State Gamecocks volleyball team swept Mississippi Valley State and UMass Lowell during the UAB’s “Fight Like Hal” Memorial Tournament, before falling to the host Blazers.

The Gamecocks were unable to match up, but were able to avoid a sweep against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers during the last day of UAB’s tournament.

UAB took the first set pretty handedly with a score of 25-8.

The Gamecocks improved during the second set of the match, but were unable to take the lead after they rallied to tie the game at 12. Jacksonville State kept it competitive, however, keeping the score within six points.

The Gamecocks were able to avoid the sweep in the third set. In a competitive set that ended with only a four-point difference, Jacksonville State topped the Blazers 21-15.

The Blazers were able to win the series in the fourth set of the match, winning 23-17.

Emily Rutherford led or tied the team in all but one category. She executed 14 kills, two blocks, had 12 digs and three aces. Allyson Zuhlke had six kills, a block and an assist. Jennifer Hart led in assist with 31. She also had eight digs. Hannah Kirk had nine digs, and five assist. Ashley Clingan had one ace. Mandee Eberle had seven kills, and Mackenzie Rombach had two blocks.

Before facing the Blazers, the Gamecocks faced off against the Ole Miss Rebels. Jacksonville State was able to make a come-from-behind win, making the last seven points of the opening set, and winning 26-24.

The Gamecocks were unable to stop Ole Miss after the first set, falling 15-25, 20-25, and 19-25, during the last three sets.

Jacksonville State moved on to the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils.

The first set was gridlocked with a 6-6 tie before the Gamecocks were able to go on a 5-0 run. Jacksonville State was able to hold on for a 25-18 win.

The second match saw the Gamecocks jump to an early 8-1 lead before eventually winning 25-14.

The Gamecocks were able to sweep MVSU in the third set with a 25-15 victory.

The Gamecocks then set their eyes on the University of Massachusetts – Lowell River Hawks.

Jacksonville State quickly jumped to an 8-4 lead thanks to a 6-0 run. The Gamecocks went on to win the first set 25-14.

The Gamecocks were able to overcome a 21-16 deficit during the second set win, 25-21.

After being tied 8-8 during the third set, JSU was able to jump to a 16-11 lead. However, the River Hawks did not give up that easily and once again tied the set at 24. The Gamecocks never lost hope, and won 28-26 to take the sweep.

The Gamecocks will open up conference play when they travel to Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville on Friday, before traveling to Eastern Illinois on Saturday. The Gamecocks will finish their road trip at Tennessee Tech on Sept. 29. Jacksonville State will then return home to take on Jackson State on Oct. 2 in the newly renovated Pete Mathews Coliseum.   

Timothy Cash
Staff Reporter

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