After falling in the fourth set, the Cougars (2-0) used a 6-1 run to hold off the stingy Dolphins (0-2) for the victory.
Freshman Sammie Strausbaugh recorded 23 kills and 25 digs to lead the Dolphins who had a match-high .222 hitting percentage (64-24-185). Senior Alison Loeppky chipped in with 13 kills, while freshman Emily Laskelle had 11 kills and five of JU’s 20 blocks.
Darcy Dalton was one of three Cougars with double-digit kills at 16. She also had 13 digs.
“I was very pleased with our performance this match,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “We competed hard every point and we improved our offensive efforts from our first match. The difference of the match was the second half of the fifth set, where we got out-scored 8-2. We will learn from this match and continue to improve, our team is on the right track and I am proud of our young women.”
In the first set, Laskelle and Loeppky had consecutive kills to give JU a 13-10 lead. The Dolphins later pushed the lead to 21-17 on two attack errors and a kill by Chunia Graves. The Cougars rallied back to get set point on a 6-2 run, but Loeppky spoiled it with consecutive kills. College of Charleston spoiled two JU set points before getting two Dalton kills for a 30-28 win and a 1-0 advantage.
In the second set, the Dolphins built a 12-7 lead on a four Cougars’ errors and a Strausbaugh ace. An ace by the Cougars cut the deficit to 16-12, but the Dolphins pulled away with a 6-1 stretch capped on a Strausbaugh kill for a 22-13 advantage. Two more Strausbaugh kills and a point from junior Kylie Jacob helped closed the set in JU’s favor.
After the Cougars took the third set, the teams tied nine times in the fourth set before JU broke free with a 21-18 lead on three errors. A kill from College of Charleston’s Lizzie Theesfeld tied it at 21, but Strausbaugh recorded two straight kills to help JU take four of the next five points to force a fifth set.
In the final set, the Dolphins took an 8-7 advantage on kills from Strausbaugh and Jacob. A Laskelle kill tied it a nine before College of Charleston scored six of the final seven points to hold off JU.
The Dolphins wrap the tourney against Sacramento State at 4:30 p.m.