JU volleyball rallied for a 3-2 (21-25, 25-18, 17-25, 25-19, 15-8) win over cross-town rival UNF, Tuesday evening at Swisher Gymnasium in the first installment of the SunTrust River City Rumble.
JU (12-11) went to the bench after trailing 2-1 and rallied for two consecutive sets to finish with match highs in hitting percentage (.275), digs (64), service aces (7) and blocks (8). UNF (5-17) was cruising after hitting a match-high .406 in set three but could not stop the momentum of the Dolphins, who hit .433 and .500 respectively in the final two sets.
“It’s always a tough match when you play a rivalry game against UNF,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We were inconsistent in the match tonight but fortunately we were in three sets tonight. We have another non-conference match on Friday to work on some more things before a big trip to Nashville.”
Senior outside hitter Brittany Lehman led the squad with 16 kills while adding 12 digs. Freshman setter Kendall Courtney added 46 assists, 13 digs, six kills and two blocks while junior libero Ashley August led the defense with a match-high 20 digs. Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager added 12 kills and four blocks while freshman middle blocker Alyssa Robertson chipped in with 10 kills and four blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki provided a spark off the bench with 10 kills, a match-high .421 (10-2-19) hitting percentage, seven digs and two blocks.
Paige Pridgeon led the Lady Ospreys with 17 kills, 12 digs and three blocks while Jessica Cateland added 14 kills and 13 digs. Britt Claessens added a match-high 47 assists and eight digs while Dagnija Medina chipped in with nine kills, seven digs and three blocks.
In the first set, both teams went through two ties until the Ospreys used a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 advantage after an attack error by the Dolphins. JU would even the score (15-15) on a kill by Yeager and both teams would go through two more ties until UNF used a 4-0 run, capped by a kill by Anna Budinska, to make it 21-17. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Catellano gave UNF a 1-0 lead in the match.
In the second set, JU jumped out to an 8-2 advantage on a kill by sophomore middle blocker Alison Loeppky but UNF would tie the score (10-10) with a kill by Catelano. Both teams would trade a point until the Dolphins used a 4-0 run to take a 15-11 lead on a kill by Drzewiecki. JU increased the margin to 18-13 after an attack error by Pridgeon and then made it 23-15 with another kill by Drzewiecki. The Dolphins would even up the match, 1-1, when Nicole Baran ended the set with a service error.
In the third frame, UNF took an early 9-4 lead on an ace by Claessens and then increased the margin to 13-6 after an attack error by the Dolphins. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Pridgeon gave the Ospreys a 2-1 lead in the match.
In the fourth set, both teams went through five ties in the early going until JU used a 6-0 run to open up a 17-11 advantage on a kill by Lehman. The Dolphins increased the margin to 21-13 with a kill by Robertson and would cruise the rest of the way until a kill by Yeager sent the contest into a deciding set.
In the final frame, both teams went through four ties until JU used a 2-0 run to take a 6-4 lead on a kill by Loeppky. Both teams would trade a point until the Dolphins took an 8-5 lead at the turn after a ball handling error by Claessens. JU increased the margin to 11-7 with a block by Robertson and Drzewiecki before ending the set on a 4-1 run to seal the match.
(Thanks to the sports information offices of Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida for contributing this report.)