FLORENCE, Ala. – With its third straight victory and fourth win in five games, the Jacksonville University volleyball team came out hitting .333 in the first set and never let up in a 3-0 victory at North Alabama, Sunday afternoon at Flowers Hall.
Now 7-11 overall and 3-1 in ASUN Conference action, the Dolphins held the Lions to hitting just .027 and .083 in the second and third sets, respectively. Jacksonville is now 3-0 in the month of October, with wins at Bethune-Cookman to open the week, followed by a victory against NJIT two days ago.
"We had a lot of strong performances this afternoon," noted head coach Evan Muys. "[Natalie Martin] did a great job of distributing the ball today and finding the hot hitters, and [Natalie Wehner] did a great job anchoring our defense.
"That being said, we still aren't firing on all cylinders yet. We're going to continue to work on some things in practice this week in preparation for a big match at FGCU Friday and then at home against UNF on Sunday."
Martin recorded 44 assists as five Dolphins recorded seven or more kills, while Wehner posted a match-high 17 digs in the effort.
An evenly matched opening set gave way to a 4-0 Dolphin run down the stretch – capped by freshman Lexi Wierzbicki's sixth kill of the day – that ignited Jacksonville's 25-23 win to open the match. Wierzbicki hit .667 (6-0-9) to lead JU early on and finished the day with 11 kills and two blocks.
Junior Bailey Foy served up back-to-back aces to tie things up in the second set as the Dolphins pursued a 6-0 run to build a 13-9 advantage. Jacksonville added two separate 4-0 streaks thereafter to extend its lead to 21-15, but the Lions worked their way back to within four, 22-18. A block from senior Mallory Mattingly and freshman Sydney Bolding opened a point-for-point battle down the stretch and the Dolphins came out on top with a 25-20 win.
Looking to strike back, North Alabama (3-13, 1-2 ASUN) battled to take a 14-13 lead. That lead, however, was short-lived as the Dolphins' offense exploded for a decisive 8-0 run to regain the lead, 21-14. Holding its momentum, Jacksonville fought off a 3-1 run that brought the hosts within five and sealed the win with kills from Bolding and Foy for the final 25-19 win.
Bolding finished the day with 11 kills and two blocks, while Foy added eight kills and three blocks. Junior Madison Rayam chipped in seven kills.
The Dolphins continue ASUN action this Friday, Oct. 11 as they hit the road for a Friday night match at Florida Gulf Coast before returning home to take on crosstown rival North Florida on Sunday, Oct. 13.