Volleyball remains perfect in conference play

Volleyball remains perfect in conference play

The Kennesaw State volleyball team swept both Florida Gulf Coast (9-6) and Stetson (1-14) at home this weekend to improve to 3-0 in the ASUN conference.

This was the Owl’s first sweep of the FGCU Eagles since 2013 and the fifth sweep on the year. KSU (9-3) jumped out to a big lead in the first set and rode that momentum to victory.

“I was really happy with our defensive effort tonight,” said head coach Keith Schunzel after the FGCU game on Friday. “I thought we did a nice job keying in on the hitters that we needed to and sticking with our game plan on that side of the ball.”

Coming into the game, the Eagles led the ASUN conference with a .268 hitting percentage. The Owls were seemingly unfazed by this statistic as the defense limited the Eagles to a .096 hitting percentage in the match.

Senior Rachel Taylor — who earned ASUN Defensive Player of the Week honors last week — led KSU in blocks yet again. The starting offense struggled to get going early on, but sophomore Madeline Johnson helped push the Owls when they needed it most.

“There are times when I would like our offense to run a little smoother, but I thought we managed the match tonight really well and still put up some nice numbers,” Schunzel said. “Madeline Johnson made a big difference giving us a spark off the bench and changed the momentum of the game for us.”

Johnson finished with four big kills and two digs against FGCU.

The Owls capitalized on the win over FGCU as they faced Stetson Saturday and picked up their sixth sweep of the season.

The match remained competitive throughout the first set until it was tied at 22, but KSU’s offense was too much to handle as they stole the first set with three straight kills from Maddie Jones, Anaiah Boyer and Taylor.

The Owls carried their momentum into the second and third sets and never gave the Hatters a chance to come back. The defense was relentless again, limiting Stetson to a .106 hitting percentage.

“I loved what I saw out of our team tonight,” Schunzel said. “Stetson played a good level of volleyball in the first set and we kept our composure.”

“We adjusted to their style and we made a couple plays to win the first set,” Schunzel added. “From there on, we never once let our foot off the gas, we had good, consistent effort all night, and we controlled the rest of the match.”

The two victories put the Owls at a perfect 6-0 at home. KSU will travel to play Jacksonville on Friday and North Florida on Saturday. Both matches will be played at UNF Arena.

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