North Florida, Kennesaw State Highlight A-Sun VB Weekend

Sunday, September 09, 2012

MACON, Ga. – Tournament hosts North Florida and Kennesaw State were both unbeaten during a busy weekend of A-Sun volleyball, as both claimed their respective tournament titles along with several individual honors.

North Florida and KSU were the only teams to post undefeated marks over the course of the weekend. The Ospreys were the only team to go 3-0 at the Radisson/North Florida Invitational, claiming the title on Saturday. North Florida (4-4) defeated Presbyterian and Florida A&M in straight sets and hung on to defeat Davidson in a 3-2 thriller. Senior Carolyn Jenkins was selected as the tournament's MVP after tallying 43 kills in three matches and averaging 3.91 kills per set. Senior libero Nicole Baran (82 digs, 7.45 digs/set) and junior setter Britt Claessens (133 assists, 12.09 assists/set) were also all-tournament selections.

Kennesaw State (8-3), also at home hosting the KSU Owls Invitational, defeated North Carolina Central, Tennessee State, Tennessee-Chattanooga and Troy in back-to-back days to claim the tournament title, its second of the season. Senior Baylee Strachan was named Tournament MVP after a stellar 38-kill, 13-block weekend that saw the middle blocker hit .338 over the four games. Keyaira Stevenson was named to the all-tournament team as well after picking up a team high 53 kills with a .324 attack percentage, the first all-tournament nod of her career.

Northern Kentucky (9-1) picked up two wins but also dropped its first match of the season, losing a tough five-set match to Manhattan at the Harvard Invitational. The Norse defeated Harvard and Providence in straight sets. Shelby Buscher, who was named the Harvard Invitational's Most Valuable Player, had five blocks and five digs to go with her 13 kills in the final win over Harvard. Kelly Morrissey posted two double-doubles on the weekend, and Jenna Schreiver, also named to the all-tournament team, added 33 assists, eight digs and four blocks.

Three teams, Stetson, Lipscomb ad Jacksonville, posted 1-2 records over the weekend.

The Hatters (3-9) lost to Rutgers and UNC Wilmington in straight sets and defeated host Norfolk State, 3-2, at the Spartan Classic in Norfolk, Va. The win was Stetson’s first five-set victory of the season. The Hatters were led by Kaley Melville in the victory, as her 19 kills tied a career-high and her six blocks set a career-high. She also added eight digs and three aces, and factored in five of the Hatters points during a late 7-1 run that helped secure the win.

Jacksonville (1-8) was in Gainesville, Fla., at the Active Ankle Invitational hosted by No. 15 Florida. The Dolphins lost to Georgia Tech and Florida in straight sets, but picked up their first win of the season in five sets against Lousiana-Lafayette. JU erased a 2-0 deficit to down Louisiana-Lafayette in five sets (14-25, 22-25, 25-23, 26-24, 16-14) and give Head Coach Michelle Collier her first career win. Freshman Gabriela Roman registered 20 kills and 10 digs in only her third match of the season to lead the Dolphins’ offense.

Lipscomb (3-7) opened the Arizona Invitational with a 3-0 lost to TCU, then rebounded with a straight set victory of its own over Iona. Host Arizona ended Lipscomb’s momentum with a 3-0 victory on Saturday. Senior Kaycee Green and sophomore Lauren Ford were named to the all-tournament team, as Green led the team against the Wildcats with 11 kills, her seventh-straight match with at least 10 kills. Ford led the team in kills in the first two matches of the tournament with a career-high 19 kills in each match. She added eight more kills against the Wildcats. Green had 36 kills during the tournament, while Ford had 46 kills and 16 digs.

ETSU (8-5) also picked up a win at the Bama Bash, knocking off Alabama State, 3-2, while dropping matches to Lamar (3-1), Austin Peay (3-2) and Alabama (3-0). Megan Devine tallied double-digit kills in three of the four matches (48 total) to lead the Bucs. FGCU (4-6) and Mercer each suffered three weekend losses.

Playing in the Rocket Classic in Toledo, FGCU dropped matches to Memphis (3-0), Toledo (3-1) and Illinois State (3-0). Olivia Mesner earned all-tournament honors for the Eagles.

After getting off to one of its better starts in recent history, Mercer (2-5) found itself unable to pick up a win in the Georgia State Invitational. The Bears fell to South Alabama, 3-1, to 2011 NCAA Tournament participant Samford, 3-0, and to host Georgia State, 3-1. Mercer senior Jamie Duffy earned a spot on the Georgia State Invitational All-Tournament team Saturday, knocking down 12 kills and recording 16 digs in a pair of losses.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.