JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville State volleyball team returns to Pete Mathews Coliseum this weekend to host Bellarmine on Friday at 6 p.m. and Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. for Senior Night.
The Gamecocks enter the final home stand of the season 19-5 overall and 9-2 in ASUN play, sitting atop the ASUN West Division. JSU will look to further extend a two-game lead in first place after finishing 2-1 at the ASUN Crossover event last weekend. The Gamecocks .792-win percentage in the 27th highest in the NCAA and is the second highest in the ASUN. In addition, JSU is 97th in the latest RPI rankings. Only FGCU (50) and North Florida (26) have higher RPI rankings. Jax State enters the final two home games 13-1 overall on the season with a chance to push the total to 15, setting a single-season program record for home wins.
JSU clinched a spot in the conference tournament last week and will currently hold on to a number one seed with three weeks left in the regular season.
Bellarmine enters the contest 6-17 overall on the season with a 2-9 ASUN record. In addition, the Knights are just 1-5 on the road and have dropped their last three games. The Knights picked up their last win on Oct. 16 against Eastern Kentucky 3-1. This is the second all-time meeting between JSU and Bellarmine. The Gamecocks lead the series 1-0, having won 3-0 earlier this season.
Eastern Kentucky is 6-19 on the season and 3-8 in the ASUN The Colonels have compiled just a 1-7 record on the road this season dropped their last five games. The last win for EKU was against North Alabama 3-1 on Oct. 2. Saturday’s matchup will mark the 39th all-time meeting between EKU and JSU as the Gamecocks lead the all-time series 22-16. Jax State defeated EKU 3-0 earlier this season.
With three weeks left in the season, the Gamecocks currently lead the ASUN with a13.87 kills per set and rank 25th across NCAA Division I. Lena Kindermann is third in kills per set overall with 3.63, just behind Emily Shomaker of Florida Gulf Coast (3.76). JSU also ranks in the top-20 in total kills with 1,137 despite having played just 82 sets. JSU is tied for first in the nation in kills among teams who have played at least 82 sets. Loyola-Chicago has also recorded1,137 kills this season in 82 sets. Of the NCAA Division I teams that have played 80 sets or more the Gamecocks are fifth in kills per set. UC Santa Barbra is averaging 14.48 through 83 sets. In addition, the Gamecocks boast the second-best hitting percentage in the ASUN, hitting .265, ranking 31st overall. When factoring in the number of sets played, JSU holds the fifth highest hit percentage in the nation among teams who have played 80 sets. Milwaukee leads in the regard, hitting. 269 through 87 sets. Zoe Gonzales leads the Gamecocks and the ASUN with a .426 hit percentage and is 12th in the nation. Kindermann is fourth in the ASUN, hitting .337 on the season with 283 kills – the third most in the league. Kindermann leads all player in the ASUN in hit percentage who have recorded at least 500 attacks on the season, she is also second in NCAA Division I in that regard. Kindermann has surpassed the .500 hit percentage mark with at least 20 attacks on six occasions this season and has hit .650 or better on 20 or more attacks twice. Her .667 mark against Purdue Fort Wayne is tied for the 19th best overall in the NCAA this season on 20 or more attacks. It was a career-high and the fourth highest mark in program history.
JSU will honor three members of the Gamecock volleyball program prior to Saturday’s match, including manager Rachel Sadler, setter Lexie Libs and outside hitter Kaylie Milton. Milton a five-year member of the JSU Volleyball team and Libs, a four-year member have combined for 96 wins and back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference Championships. Milton is sixth in career matches played at JSU and has amassed 845 kills and 959 digs. Milton has recorded 96 kills and 116 digs so far this season. Libs has played in 104 matches since joining the Gamecocks in 2018 as a transfer. She has totaled 3,991 career-assists and 856 digs. She is currently fourth all-time in career assists and currently in the top-10 of career-assists for active players across NCAA Division I. Libs leads the Gamecocks with 11.05. Sadler joined the Gamecocks in 2018 but her career was unfortunately sidelined due to injuries. Sadler remained part of the team and has served as one of the teams’ managers.
TRICK OR TREAT
Celebrate Halloween with the Gamecocks on Friday night against Bellarmine. AlaTrust Credit Union will be handing out free candy. Fans are encouraged to wear costumes!
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