The Kennesaw State University volleyball team extended its win streak to eight consecutive games over the weekend, defeating the Jacksonville University and North Florida University.
The Owls began their weekend Friday, Sept. 30, against a Jacksonville team that was desperate for a win.
Prior to the Dolphins’ match against the Owls, JU had dropped nine matches in a row.
Perhaps overlooking the team because of its record, KSU played “uncharacteristically,” according to head coach Keith Schunzel, letting the Dolphins hang around long enough to force a fifth set.
KSU battled back in sets two and three, winning them both by a score of 25-19. Junior outside hitter Aniah Boyer was the catalyst for a 5-0 run that put KSU up 19-13, sealing the set-three win. The Owls won the final set 15-10.
Grateful for a win against a conference opponent, Schunzel wasn’t very pleased with his team’s performance Friday and challenged them to show a better fight for the next match.
“Our overall mentality was unfortunately not very good tonight,” Schunzel said. “We struggled to find some of the edge that makes us who we are.”
KSU looked much better Saturday against the North Florida University Ospreys, and Schunzel commended his team’s effort.
“We were extremely focused leading up to and during the match, yet we played with the unbridled passion and edge that have become trademarks of our identity and program,” he said.
The Owls dropped the first set 25-23, but from then on the team dominated the match, sweeping the next three sets.
Boyer played well again for the Owls in this match, recording 23 kills as well as four blocks and three aces to go along with her 20 kills and 19 digs from the night before against JU.
Other key contributors for KSU’s weekend included:
- Kelly Marcinek, who had 27 kills and five digs
- Kristi Piedimonte, who had 96 assists and 22 digs
- Katrina Morton, who had 41 digs and 12 assists
“We grew a lot this weekend and took a huge step forward on the road,” Schunzel said. “We cannot wait to finally be back in the [Convocation Center] next Friday.”
Though the Owls play at home, Florida Gulf Coast University (16-2, 3-0 ASUN) will look to make it anything but comfortable. The Eagles come into the match 16-2 and share the top spot in the ASUN along with KSU.
The match will also be Griffin’s Game, where all the proceeds will go to help raise money for cancer.
“Last year it was such an honor to play in Griffin’s Game, just because we get to represent something that’s bigger than ourselves,” said sophomore middle blocker Liesel Engelbrecht. “It’s a volleyball game, and obviously we want to win, but it’s much more than that, and we’re playing for a cause.”
The Owls will take on FGCU at home at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7.