VOLLEYBALL: Dolphins Get Revenge in Round Two of River City Rumble

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Though it took five sets, the Jacksonville University volleyball team was able to get revenge on rival North Florida in the second round of the River City Rumble.

The first set was close throughout, but North Florida was able to take control of the game at 10-9, holding JU off just long enough to win 25-22. There were eight ties and three lead changes in the second set, including when JU took the lead at 21-20, winning the set 25-22. The Dolphins dominated in the third set, winning the first point and never surrendering the lead. 

JU took the third set 25-15 to go up 2-1 on the Ospreys. In the fourth UNF got back on track, battling with the Dolphins through seven ties to win the fourth 25-23 with a tandem block by Tessa Alyman and Morgan Van Alstine. The fifth set was reflective of the entire series, tense and close throughout. JU and UNF each took the lead in the final set, but Jacksonville got on a role at 8-8, winning seven of the final eight points to take the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.

“They had a lot of fans here tonight, so it didn’t exactly feel like homecourt,” said JU coach Julie Darty. “But this is such a great rivalry, and it’s so great that they’re only ten minutes away. It’s always going to be a great rivalry, no matter where we’re playing them. We went five at their place and we went five here, so I think that no matter where we play it’s going to be a long, gritty match between these schools. It got feisty at the net and it got heated in the stands, and even I got caught up in it a couple times because we’re all in and it’s such a high-stress environment. Thankfully it’s also always a lot of fun.”

Emily Laskelle led in kills for the Dolphins with 16, and also had 12 digs. Both middles had terrific matches, with Ana Gabriella Nieto-Gomez swinging her way to 15 kills, and Jessica Armstrong hitting 12 kills and eight total blocks. Kelly Koop had another double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs, Jizzyan Gesualdo had 48 assists and 14 digs, and Mayara Prestes had 19 digs.

The Dolphins will be on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Stetson, FGCU, Lipscomb, and NJIT before returning home to close the regular season with USC Upstate and Kennesaw State.

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