Osprey volleyball loses 3-2 to JU as comeback falls short in River City Rumble

Joslyn Simmons

UNF is 16-14 all-time against JU.  Photo by Joslyn Simmons
UNF is 16-14 all-time against JU.
Photo by Joslyn Simmons

UNF’s hot start fizzled against the Jacksonville University Dolphins, ending in a 3-2 loss at rival JU’s Swisher Gym on Oct. 23. The Ospreys have lost three straight matches, and four of their last five.

Most of the sets were tightly contested all the way down to the set point. There were 11 lead changes and 28 tie scores throughout the match.

The Ospreys (16-8 overall, 3-5 A-Sun) took the first set 25-22 and the fourth set 25-23. The Dolphins (8-12 overall, 5-3 A-Sun) took the second set 25-22, the third set 25-12 and clinched the match with a 15-9 win in the fifth.

In the fourth set, the Ospreys’ energy began to rise with a rally after being down five at the beginning of the set over the Dolphins. This energy carried over to the fifth and final set, but the Dolphins came out with the win.

JU had 64 attack kills to UNF’s 55.

UNF Volleyball Head Coach Steve Loeswick said overall the Ospreys played well throughout the intense match.

“You know I was very proud of our team and you know how they came with the right amount of energy and the right amount of focus,” Loeswick said. “JU made a couple of runs at some important parts of the match that made it difficult for us. But our overall approach to tonight’s match I was really happy with, and I think it gives us a good spot that we can get better from.”

UNF has split their season series with JU this season. Photo by Joslyn Simmons
UNF has split their season series with JU this season.
Photo by Joslyn Simmons

Dolphins senior Emily Laskelle had a team-high 16 kills. UNF outside hitter Courtney Miller led the match with 17 kills. Sophomore Katarina Raicevic and senior Tessa Alyman both had 14 kills for the match.

Jacksonville Volleyball Head Coach Julie Darty said the rivalry between the two teams is both intense and fun.

“They have a lot of fans here tonight so it did not exactly feel like a home court advantage but it’s such a great rivalry,” Darty said.

The crosstown rivals played earlier this season on Sept. 25, with UNF coming out on top 3-2. UNF still leads the all-time series 16-14 against JU.

“People are going to get feisty and heated at the net, people are going to get feisty and heated in the stands, Darty said. “You know I almost lost it a couple times on some calls because we are just all in. It is such a high-stress and intense environment but is a lot of fun.”

The Ospreys will play the Florida A&M Rattlers on Oct. 28 at the UNF arena. UNF already defeated the Rattlers earlier this season, 3-0 in Tallahassee.

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