JACKSONVILLE- The Jacksonville State University volleyball team defeated Eastern Kentucky 3-0 Saturday afternoon in the 16th sweep of the season.
With the win, the Gamecocks improve to 21-5 overall and 11-2 in the ASUN. In addition, JSU finishes the home season 15-1 overall marking the most home wins in a single season in program history. Under Head Coach Todd Garvey the Gamecocks are 44-9 at home, including a 23-1 mark since the beginning of last season.
“We take a lot of pride in going out and protecting our home court. I think the energy of our bench and the crowd definitely plays a part, but I think a lot of it is maturity too,” said Head Coach Todd Garvey. “We have a mature team that has won championships and they know what it takes and they are going to fight and bring their best every day and that starts with our two leader Kaylie and Lexie.”
The win over the Colonels Saturday pushes the season win total to 21 – the most single-season wins under Garvey and the most since 2017.
Before the match seniors Kaylie Milton and Lexie Libs were recognized for their outstanding achievements both on and off the court while part of the program. Milton appeared in her 136th contest, tying current assistant coach Mackenzie Rombach for fourth all-time in school history.
“It wasn’t our best match by any means but I think it’s because they care so much about each other and they wanted to play good for the seniors and I think there was a lot of emotions so I think that’s why we were a little bit sloppy at times but I am glad we were able to pull it out for the seniors,” “They have been a huge part of this program and we have an incredible home record over the past three years. It’s been amazing and those two are a huge part of that. I can’t say enough about either one of them.”
Lena Kindermann led the Gamecocks offensively in the sweep with 14 kills. Junior Kylee Quigley added nine while Katie Montgomery recorded eight. Libs added 33 assists to her career-total to lead the Gamecocks. The senior setter reached the 4,000-kill milestone in Friday’s match against Bellarmine.
After battling to begin the set the Gamecocks used a 6-1 run to take a 13-6 lead following a kill from Kindermann. EKU cut the lead to four, 14-18 before evening the score, 18-18, with a 4-0 run. JSU pushed the lead back to four, 22-18 with a 4-0 run of their own that was capped with a Kindermann kill. Back-to-back kills from Quigley and Kindermann helped hold off the Colonels 25-21, in the first set.
Like the first set, JSU gained a 12-5 advantage to start the second following 5-0 run that was capped with a kill from Montgomery. The Gamecocks held onto the lead and pushed the advantage to eight, 22-14, following an EKU error. After the Colonels cut the lead to five, 22-17, the Gamecocks close out the set on a 3-1 run to win, 25-18.
After trading points to begin, JSU established a five-point lead, 11-7 after a kill from Zoe Gonzales. The Gamecocks pushed the lead to six, 15-9, but EKU responded with a 4-0 run to cut the lead to three, 15-13. JSU used a 3-0 run to push the lead to six, but the Colonels wouldn’t go away. EKU tied the set 18-18 with a 5-0 run. Anna Nelson put the Gamecocks up by two, 20-18, with the 10th service ace of the night or the team. A kill from Kindermann gave the Gamecocks a 24-21 lead and Erin Carmichael recorded the 11th ace of the match to secure the set-win, 25-21 and the sweep, 3-0.
The Gamecocks held a large advantage in serving with 11 aces compared to just one for EKU. The 11 aces is a season-high. Libs, Montgomery, Carmichael and Brooklyn Schiffli each had two.
JSU hits the road next week for a match against North Alabama on Friday, Nov. 6 in Florence at 6 p.m.