Volleyball faces big conference weekend

Nov. 3, 2005

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After dropping its first Atlantic Sun Conference match in more than a year, the Jacksonville volleyball team has to regroup quickly as they face two huge conference matches this weekend.

Friday night, the Dolphins host Belmont in a match that will give the winner the inside track to the No. 2 seed and a first round bye at the upcoming A-Sun Tournament. Then on Saturday, Jacksonville faces Lipscomb, who is trying to improve its seeding.

"This is a really big weekend for us," said JU head coach Kevin Paul. "We have to put the loss to FAU behind us and focus on the next two matches. We have to give ourselves the best opportunity to win the tournament and that is by getting a bye in the first round. Belmont and Lipscomb are very good teams and we have to be ready for two tough matches this weekend."

While the six teams that are going to play in the conference tournament are decided, how the tournament will be seeded has not yet. Florida Atlantic is in the driver's seat for the No. 1 seed, but the No. 2, 3 and 4 seeds will go to Belmont, Lipscomb or JU, and in no particular order.

"Our conference is very competitive, especially at the top," Paul said. "We've got some top-notch competition in this league and everyone is trying to get the No. 2 seed and that bye in the first round."

The Dolphins (11-13) are also trying to get back to .500 for the first time this season. JU has pulled within one game of .500 twice, but just can't seem to get that one win to get back to even.

"Even though we had a tough start, we still have a chance at a winning record," Paul said. "We still have a chance at winning the conference tournament and going onto the NCAA Tournament, which has been our goal since the beginning of the season."