Martin Posts Career-High Day as Dolphins Down Belmont in Weekend Finale

Martin Posts Career-High Day as Dolphins Down Belmont in Weekend Finale

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. ( – The Jacksonville University volleyball team closed out the River City Rumble Tournament Saturday afternoon with an impressive five-set victory over Belmont, 3-2, at Historic Swisher Gymnasium.

Eclipsing her previous career-high by three, sophomore Natalie Martin posted 55 assists on the day, while senior Mallory Mattingly produced her fourth double-double of the season with 16 kills and 14 digs. The duo of freshman Lexi Wierzbicki (20 kills-4 errors-33 attempts) and junior Bailey Foy (13-2-23) hit an outstanding .485 and .478, respectively; Foy also totaled four blocks on the day and was named to the All-Tournament Team. 

"We battled through adversity this weekend.  We had some tough matches against some good teams and I liked the way we battled. The encouraging piece for me is I know we have areas to improve, and we are only getting better," commenter head coach Evan Muys. "We have some tough matches coming up this week; we are excited to get back on the court this week and practice."

Jacksonville quickly gained control of the match, first with a dominant 25-16 advantage in the opening set followed by a 25-21 victory in set two. Between the first two sets, Mattingly totaled 10 of her 16 kills, while Foy added seven of her 13 kills. Commanding respect at the net, freshmen Kari DeYoung (3 blocks) and Lindsey Grossman (2 blocks) combined for five block assists in the second set.

Riding that momentum to extra points, the Dolphins looked poised to earn their first sweep of the season.

However, Belmont (1-10) did not go down without a fight. Facing a 16-11 deficit, the Dolphins answered with a 4-0 run to bring it within one. Jacksonville then slid ahead, 22-20, and after trading several set points, Belmont managed the final two to take the third set in extra points, 29-27. As handily as the Dolphins dispatched the Bruins in the opening set, Belmont mirrored in the fourth with a 25-17 win to tie the match at 2-2.

As Belmont searched for its first win on the weekend with a 7-4 lead in the deciding set, Jacksonville doused the Bruins' fire with an 11-3 run to put the set out of reach, 15-10, for the match win.

Senior Natalie Wehner totaled 23 digs, while Grossman finished the day with nine kills, six digs, and three blocks.

The Dolphins hit the road next week, with a trip to South Florida (Sept. 17) before heading to North Carolina for the Davidson Tournament (Sept. 20-21).