The Owls (14-7, 3-3 A-Sun) hit better than .300 in each winning set to snap a two-game conference losing streak. Turea Jones recorded 18 kills and 10 digs to lead the Owls. Keyaira Stevenson (14) and Baylee Strachan (11) each registered double-digit kills.
“We have a lot of missed opportunities tonight,” JU head coach Michelle Collier said. “We continue to struggle in playing one complete match. I did see some positives tonight and we will work on carrying them over into tomorrow’s contest.”
Freshman Sammie Strausbaugh had 13 kills and 15 digs to pace the Dolphins (3-16, 1-5) offense. Junior Kylie Jacob tallied 14 kills and a season-best nine blocks, while senior Alison Loeppky and junior Taylor Nyquist each finished with eight kills.
Despite falling in the first set, Nyquist recorded consecutive aces and a kill to close an 8-1 JU run for a 12-5 advantage in set two. The Dolphins extended the lead to 15-9 from a Strausbaugh kill. The Owls later pulled within a point, 18-17, on consecutive JU errors. After a JU timeout, junior Kendall Courtney recorded consecutive kills and Jacob added another kill for a 21-17 lead. Kennesaw State followed its own timeout with three straight errors before Strausbaugh had a kill to end the set in JU’s favor.
Following the intermission, the Dolphins came out flat in the third set as errors helped the Owls gain a commanding 18-10 lead. Strausbaugh recorded a kill to make it a 19-12 deficit before the Owls took six of the next 11 points to win the set.
In the fourth set, freshman Emily Laskelle recorded consecutive kills inside of a 5-0 stretch to give JU a 15-11 advantage. A Kennesaw State error helped JU extended the lead to 20-13. The Owls fought their way back to 24-21 before Strausbaugh recorded a kill quash the rally and force a fifth set.
In the fifth set, the Owls earned a 7-4 advantage on an attack error. Following a timeout, the Dolphins pulled the deficit with two on six occasions, but Jones tallied a kill to halt the comeback and secure the win.
The Dolphins close out the home stand tomorrow against Mercer at 3 p.m. Fans can follow the action through the live links on JUDolphins.com.