JMU volleyball defeated Long Beach State in three sets with scores of 25-21, 25-19 and 25-22. However, No. 11 Florida defeated JMU in three sets, going 25-19, 25-11 and 25-17. JMU is now 4-4 on the season and 1-1 coming out of the first day at the Gator Invitational.
Leading up to the match, Long Beach State dominated the series with JMU, taking the only two matches that teams had played. The Dukes finally defeated LBSU with a 3-0 sweep, and once again, the team’s freshmen made a big impact. Freshman middle hitter Sophia Davis had a team-high five blocks, as well as eight kills on the day. The Dukes also had some senior leadership in their first ever victory against Long Beach State, with senior striker Sarah Martin leading the team with 29 assists and nine digs. Martin and senior middle blocker M’Kaela White both had two aces, and senior Briley Brind’Amour led the team with 11 kills.
Long Beach State tried the rally back in the third set and was even leading JMU by seven points to try and force a fourth set before the Dukes rallied back. Senior middle blocker Yizhi Xue had 21 assists along with an ace for the 49ers, and sophomore outside hitter Kashauna Williams had a team-high 13 kills and also put up seven digs on the afternoon.
The match against Long Beach State went in JMU’s favor, but later that day, Florida defeated JMU in three sets on JMU’s second game of the day.
JMU kept it close in the first set with the help of Martin. She had another 21 assists against the Gators, which led the team. Sophomore defensive specialist Savannah Marshall also had 15 digs for the Dukes — which was a team-high — as well as a pair of assists. Brind’Amour led the Dukes with eight kills and had an ace as well.
The Gators prevailed quickly in the second set before putting the Dukes, rally away in the third set. Sophomore striker Marlie Monserez led the Gators with 27 assists and put up seven digs. Another main player for Florida was Thayer Hall, who led the team with 10 kills and three aces.
The Gators ultimately outplayed the Dukes in their second match of the day. Florida put up 52 points on the night compared to JMU’s 34, and had 37 kills to JMU’s 28. Florida had 42 digs during the match, with JMU only having 36.
JMU has a quick turnaround as they face off against South Florida on Saturday, with the first serve at 2 p.m.
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