Volleyball’s win over JU starts conference play

Ronnie Rodgers

Photo by Lili Weinstein
Photo by Lili Weinstein

The Ospreys rallied together to win their first conference game of the season against Jacksonville University in five sets.

With this win, they handed the Dolphins their ninth consecutive loss. 

During the first set, JU jumped out to a 4-1 lead. The Ospreys rallied together, as they chipped away at the lead. You could hear supporters chanting “let’s go Ospreys,” as they tied the game 6-6 and from then on they did not take their foot off the gas.

JU’s coach called a timeout at 13-8, in an attempt to switch the momentum, but it was too late. The Ospreys took the lead and ran with it taking the set 25-12.

The Dolphins only had 6 kills to the Ospreys’ 14.

JU came into the second set hot. UNF tried to slow them down by calling an early timeout at 9-3, but it did little to help. JU lead UNF 15-8 when the Ospreys took their last timeout of the set.

JU lead by as many as eight points in this set.

Late in the second set UNF began to come back, but the gap was too wide to bridge. JU won the set 25-20.

With game being tied one set to one, things were intense after halftime. Both teams were fighting for control during this set. They went back and forth with the set being tied 3-3.

JU took control of the set with a dominating 12-5 lead. The Ospreys took a timeout to try to regroup. But there were many plays that just did not go UNF’s way.

The Osprey’s supporters could be heard chanting “UNF UNF UNF” in an effort to give the girls some added energy. But momentum was on JU’s side.

The Dolphins won the set 25-11. UNF had nine errors, in this set, to JU’s one.

Early in the fourth set UNF took advantage of JU’s many errors. The Ospreys took a comfortable 9-2 lead over JU. This forced JU to call a timeout. The lead continued to grow as UNF went up eight points at 15-7.

The Dolphins then called their final timeout of the set to slow the Ospreys down. The energy began to change a little as the Dolphins started to chip away at the Osprey’s lead.  

UNF called a timeout with a 20-14 lead, to make sure the Dolphins did not creep back into the game.

The Dolphin had different plans. With an ace, they were within a four point striking distance.

Both teams were now fighting for this crucial set. If JU won the set, they won the game. If UNF won the set, they would force a fifth set, with the winner being whoever got to 15 points first.

The Dolphins came back and had 24 points. UNF’s Carinne Turner put the team on her back, hitting back to back kills so that the Ospreys could swoop in and take the fourth set 26-24. 

UNF had come back from a 2-1 deficit to force a fifth set. This final set would decide who would win their first conference game, and the River City Rumble.   

Starting the fifth set, neither team was willing to give in. The match was back and forth early on, there were five ties and one lead change. UNF went up 8-5, JU called a timeout to slow things down before the game got away from them.

UNF was giving their all and fought for every point. The crowd noticed and continued with their cheers and chants.

JU was not going down without a fight, they tied the game 8-8. With big swings by Gabby O’Connell and Carinne Turner, who both had double doubles, the Ospreys were able to close out the fifth set 15-11.

Turner had the game and career high in kills (20) and career high in digs (22). O’Connell also had 14 kills and 14 digs.

With this win, UNF won their first conference game of the season, and brought their overall record to 10-6. 

The Ospreys will face Lipscomb next on Sept. 30 at 6 p.m. at the UNF Arena.

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