Volleyball Update

Spinnaker

By Zach Morgan

The UNF Ospreys (13-15, 4-7 Atlantic Sun) defeated the Jacksonville University Dolphins (12-16, 4-7 Atlantic Sun) Nov. 4 to complete the sweep of the River-City Rumble and gain the lead in the race for the sixth and final spot in the Atlantic Sun tournament.

“We have gone through a lot in the last few weeks,” said head coach Kevin Campbell, “and have been getting better.”

The win seemed similar to the Osprey’s Oct. 21 victory over the Dolphins. The Ospreys came back from being down two sets but rose from the ashes and beat JU 3-2. The same thing happened during the latest installment of the rivalry.

After losing the first set by a score of 18-25 and the second set 12-25, things looked grim for the Ospreys, who desperately needed this win to have a shot at the postseason.

UNF gained its first lead of the entire match early in the third set when they went on a four-
point surge. Losing 12-8, the Dolphins found a way to fight back and tie the game at 15 apiece.

The Dolphins would add two more points to extend a lead, but the Ospreys rallied to even the set at 20 before rattling off four straight points. Eventually, a kill by Marija Pantovic kill won the Ospreys their first set of the match.

Aggressive play seemed to be the theme of the fourth set. With strong defensive play, the
Ospreys raced to a 12-8 advantage. Junior middle blocker Carolyn Jenkins, who was named A-Sun Player of the Week Nov. 7, added back-to-back kills to extend the Ospreys’ lead to 20-14.

Jenkins’ fifth kill of the set would prove to be the pivotal point in the match, as the Dolphins and Ospreys headed toward a grueling and decisive fifth set yet again.

Sophomore defensive specialist Kelsey Smith, who recorded three aces in the match, scored four consecutive points to help the Ospreys jump to an early 6-2 lead in the final set. Eventually, the Ospreys would reach match point at 14-12 after intense back-and-forth play. Dagnija Medina grabbed the game winning kill, and the Ospreys managed another remarkable comeback against their cross town rival.

However, this comeback was much more important for the Ospreys. They have now moved into the sixth and final spot in the A-Sun conference, tied with JU.

With only two must-win games remaining, the Ospreys hold their fate in their hands.

“I think it was good for us to have a down moment [last week against Mercer] because now
we’re bouncing back even harder,” junior Paige Pridgeon said.

Upcoming games:

Vs. Florida Gulf Coast Nov. 11

Vs. Stetson Nov. 12