The Gamecocks returned home after a forfeit on Tuesday from Alcorn State to start their home stretch with both a loss and a win to OVC opponents.

The JSU volleyball team started their five-game home stretch against OVC leader Murray State who currently is at 20-2.

The Racers were able to hold onto their wins and pull out a victory against the Gamecocks in four sets. The first set started off in the Gamecocks’ favor and was tied at three early. The Gamecocks then went on a four-point run to go ahead 7-3.

The score took a leap back and forth with each team taking turns on double-point runs. The Gamecocks went up 22-20 and the defense managed to hold the Racers there and took the match 25-20.

The second set was harder for JSU. MSU took the lead early, and after a quick tie at two, managed to secure a lead that they never lost. They took three runs of four points or more on the way to a 25-16 victory in the second set. The third set was again dependent on a tie, this time at five.

The Racers then separated themselves from their competition and took a lead that they continued to capitalize on before winning it 25-17.

The final set was the Gamecocks’ last chance to compensate. It was a close run up until the very end. MSU was able to take their lead and win 25-20.

The Gamecocks managed a .141 overall attack percentage. Charis Ludtke led with kills for the Gamecocks with 12, while Mackenzie Rombach had eight.

Hannah Kirk led on defense with 12 digs and Jennifer Hart returned true to her form with 29 of JSU’s 31 assists. After that loss, the Gamecocks finally were able to gain a victory against Austin Peay in five sets.

The first and second sets were both tight. Each one was a battle for the respective victors as Austin Peay took set one and JSU took set two.

The third set was harder for the Gamecocks as the Governors repeatedly took runs for their win. The fourth set took a turn for the Gamecocks as they managed a victory after several runs of their own.

With the match tied, the two teams entered the fifth set. It was a close shave for JSU, but they eventually stole the win and took home their victory.

The finals for the match were 23-25, 26-24, 18-25, 25-16 and 15-13. The win was helped along by the Gamecocks’ .205 overall attack percentage and a high of 23 kills by leader Allyson Zuhlke.

Emily Rutherford and Rombach also both had 11. Three Gamecocks had digs in the doubles. Kirk led with 27, while Rutherford added 17 and Hart had 15. She also tied for the game high in assists with 55.

With the win, the Gamecocks move to 13-18 overall and 3-9 in the OVC. They continue their home stretch with a match against Belmont on Nov. 6.

Rebekah Hawkins
Staff Reporter

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