Ospreys battle through five sets to take down Dolphins

Drew McDonald, Sports Editor

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Featured image by: Darvin Nelson

Video by: Brett Nweeia

“If you can’t win your city championship, how do you expect to win your conference championship?”

That was the theory that UNF Volleyball Head Coach Kristen Wright adopted from UNF Athletic Director Lee Moon in the team’s five-set road win over JU. 

The Ospreys kept a consistent lead as first set played out until JU tied at at seven on a service ace by Bailey Foy. Just as JU was finding their footing, the Ospreys were close behind their tail, tying it at 13 on a Solimar Cestero kill. At the first timeout, the Dolphins led, 20-18. The Ospreys recorded a .222 hitting percentage at that point in the set. UNF gained a 21-20 lead on a JU attack error but the Dolphins quickly countered to tie it at 21.  A key kill from Miriam Stingl won the first set for the Ospreys, 26-24. The defense stood tall as UNF swatted away five blocks to the Dolphins two. 

The momentum was split between both sides early in the second set. An attack error from JU tied the game for the Ospreys at 10. Stingl struck again and gave the Ospreys the edge with a 17-14 lead and pushed the team into fifth gear. The Dolphins weren’t far behind as they only trailed 21-17 after they called a timeout. The Dolphins rallied late and pulled within three but a sneaky kill by Julianna Askew gave the Ospreys a 25-21 second set win. Cestero lead the team with eight kills after two sets. 

The Ospreys faced an early 6-3 deficit in the third set but battled back to tie it back at six on a kill from Cestero. JU found a hot streak as they scored five straight points to lead, 11-6. The Ospreys faced their largest deficit of the set, down 14-18, at the first timeout. The Dolphins were connecting as they recorded a .389 hitting percentage. The Dolphins lead loomed larger as they extended it to 17-9. The Ospreys couldn’t overcome the large deficit as JU took the third set, 25-13. The Ospreys struggled to connect on the attack with a .156 hitting percentage. 

The Dolphins began the third set with control as they continuously carried a lead over the Ospreys. At the first timeout, the Dolphins were up, 13-8. The Ospreys were playing a game of catch-up as the Dolphins led 18-12 at the second timeout. The Dolphins eventually took set four with a 25-16 win. 

The Ospreys were hot coming out of the gate as they scored four straight points to begin the fifth set. As both teams switched sides, the Ospreys carried an 8-3 lead. The Dolphins inched back, cutting the deficit to 11-8, Ospreys. UNF out-blocked JU, 3-1, as UNF called a timeout. The Ospreys fought and took the fifth set, 15-11. 

Askew played a major role in the match with 50 assists and talked about what she saw from the court in the five-set win. 

“I saw that a lot of my hitters were demanding the ball a lot throughout the game,” Askew said. “When the third and fourth set came about, they were getting a little frustrated because my sets were a little tight. I feel like that was more of my errors then I readjusted and we ended up closing it out,” Askew said. 

This was Coach Wright’s second straight season defeating JU on the road, moving UNF to 8-12 (2-4 ASUN) as the Dolphins drop to 7-13 (3-3 ASUN). 

Stingl earned a career-high 13 kills in the win over JU.

The Ospreys head back to their side of Jacksonville as they take on FAMU at home on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:00 p.m. 

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