FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The USC Upstate volleyball team (8-13, 3-6 A-Sun) downed Atlantic Sun Conference opponent Jacksonville (4-18, 2-7 A-Sun) 3-0 Saturday inside the Hodge Center.
The Spartans led throughout most of the first two sets, taking the first game 25-22 and the second 25-17. Jacksonville regrouped during the intermission between the second and third sets, coming out strong in the third game. The Dolphins jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and forced the Spartans to play catch-up the rest of the set. Once JU took a commanding 17-8 advantage, the Spartans had to take a timeout to settle down.
Upstate then rattled of five-straight points, tightening the score to 17-13. The Dolphins strung together back-to-back points, extending their lead to 19-13. A kill from Upstate sophomore Kayla McAvoy (Boiling Springs, S.C.) sparked four-straight points for the Spartans as Jacksonville recorded three-straight attack errors, putting the score at 19-17. A Dolphin kill, a JU service ace and a Spartan attack error then extended the Jacksonville lead to 22-17.
Despite being down by five, the Spartans still had more left in the tank as a kill from freshman Kayla Eversgerd (Breese, Ill.), a pair of kills from freshman Jaina Jackson (Huntley, Ill.) and a Dolphin attack error cut the deficit to 22-21. Jacksonville and Upstate exchanged points for a few plays, eventually tying things up at 25-25. Back-to-back service aces from Jackson gave Upstate the 27-25 set victory and the 3-0 match win.
Upstate was led on the day by a double-double from Eversgerd, tallying 10 kills and 17 digs to go along with three service aces. This marks the freshman's seventh double-dip of the season. McAvoy and Jackson were second on the team with nine kills each. McAvoy led the Spartans at the net defensively, recording four total blocks, while Jackson posted three aces, including match-point.
Freshman Lexi Gober (Edwardsville, Ill.) quarterbacked the Upstate offensive effort, handing out 37 assists, scooping up four digs and registering three kills. She also had two assisted blocks. Jacksonville setter Kendall Courtney dished out 28 assists, completing the double-double with 19 digs.
Defensively, the Spartans were led by a quartet of diggers, three reaching double-figures. Senior Emily Sanders (Sullivan, Ill.) gathered a match-high 20 digs, while Eversgerd was second with 17. Sanders also had three service aces on the day. Junior Morgan Page (Woodstock, Ga.) collected 10 digs for Upstate, while senior Mindy Quimby (Keenesburg, Colo.) added eight.
Jacksonville was led by Kylie Jacob and Sammie Strausbaugh, recording seven kills apiece. Strausbaugh also scooped up 12 digs for JU, while Jacob tallied a match-high five assisted blocks. Nicole Teplitz posted nine digs for the Dolphins, while Taylor Nyquist had eight.