The Ospreys won against Jacksonville University, their city rival, in four sets Friday night at the UNF Arena to sweep the Dolphins in the River City Rumble.
UNF (15-9 overall, 5-3 ASUN) came to play as they and JU (6-15 overall, 2-6 ASUN) took center stage in front of a little over a thousand fans.
Head Coach Steve Loeswick talked about the rivalry.
“We know that every match against JU is going to be tight and we look forward to that competition,” Loeswick said. “It makes us a stronger team. It’s always a fun match.”
The first set was tight, as the rivals fought for dominance. The Ospreys went down 12-14, but a big ace by Gabby O’Connell brought UNF within one (13-14).
O’Connell had a game-high three aces.
JU continued to extend its lead as they went up 20-17, before UNF called a timeout.
North Florida brought the game within three after the Dolphins prematurely celebrated a kill that was actually kicked before it hit the ground. Morgan Van Alstine followed with a kill to kick off a UNF rally as the crowd roared.
UNF kept chipping at the lead until the score was 24-23 in JU’s advantage. The Dolphins called a timeout to slow them down, but the Ospreys could not be stopped.
After three straight JU mistakes, UNF took the set 27-25.
The second set was tight, with the score being tied 11 times.
Katarina Raicevic made many big plays. The junior had her second double-double, with a career- high 18 kills and 10 digs in addition to eight blocks.
Raicevic spoke on how it felt to earn a double-double.
“It feels amazing, I play for my team and for my coaches, the feeling is awesome,” Raicevic said. “I stayed with my team and provided energy. They give me energy back.”
Freshman O’Connell also earned her tenth a double-double, with 18 kills and 16 digs.
UNF took the second set 25-23, to go into halftime with a two set lead over the Dolphins.
Out of the break the teams were point for point as the lead changed three times. UNF led for most of the set, but near the end JU had an edge over them.
Erin Edwards had a big kill to bring the score to 23-20.. Edwards had 10 kills and six blocking assists.
After confusion over who scored, JU won the set 27-25.
The Ospreys were relentless during the fourth set. They had many big hits, digs, kills and blocks, pleasing the crowd.
“I was really happy with the composure that we showed late in these sets.” said Loeswick
UNF had a total of 66 kills, and Madilyn McCarty had 56 of UNF’s 65 assists.
Carrine Turner sealed the 26-24 win with her eleventh kill of the game.
Next UNF will take a break from conference play as they travel to FAMU for a 6 p.m., in Tallahassee, FL.
For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact email@example.com.