Volleyball falls in weekend finale to Sacramento State
Junior Alyssa Robertson
Junior Alyssa Robertson
The JU volleyball team couldn’t continue its momentum from earlier in day as they take a 3-0 loss (9-25, 12-25, 29-31) to Sacramento State Saturday to close the Hampton Inn & Suites West Ashley Invitational.

The Hornets (1-2) hit better than .400 each set to pick up their first win of the season. The Dolphins (0-3), who lost in five sets to College of Charleston at noon, were held to a negative hitting percentage in the first two sets.

"We had a very rough start to the match,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. It was hard to catch up and fight back at the end, but I was pleased of how we turned around in set three and finished the match playing to our potential.”

The Hornets got double-digit kill efforts from Jessie Genger (14) and Janelle Curry (10) as they finished hitting .429 (49-7-98) for the match.

Freshman Sammie Strausbaugh (10) recorded double-digits kills for the second consecutive match to lead the Dolphins offense. Junior Kendall Courtney had 70 assists between the two matches (50, CofC; 20, SSU) to earn all-tournament honors.

In the first set, the Hornets opened with a 16-2 advantage on three straight aces by Syndey Kordic. They closed out the set by scoring nine of the next 15 points for the 1-0 lead.

In the second set, the Hornets capped an 11-4 run on an attack error for a 13-6 lead. Four straight JU attack errors and a Genger kill helped build a 19-6 lead before the Hornets secured the set.

The Dolphins found their rhythm in the third set by grabbing a 17-14 lead on a kill by junior Alyssa Robertson. Freshman Chunia Graves had a kill on an assist by Courtney for a 22-18 advantage. A Loeppky and Courtney block put the Dolphins a point away from the set, 24-23, but two Curry kills kept the Hornets alive. Strausbaugh recorded two kills to put the Dolphins up 27-26 before Genger matched her with two kills of her own. Freshman Emily Laskelle had a kill to give the Dolphins a 29-28 lead, but the Hornets took the next three points to secure the match.

JU finished the third set hitting, .462 (19-1-39), while Robertson finished her day with six kills.

“Overall, it was a very challenging weekend,” Collier said. “Our team showed signs of how we can play and perform at a very high level. We will go back to the gym on Monday and continue to work hard to keep getting better and to become more consistent.”

The Dolphins return to action Friday for the Holiday Inn UCF Invitational in Orlando, Fla.