By: Gracie King | Contributing Writer
The South Alabama Women’s Volleyball team held their own for the majority of this nail-biting match. In the first set, it was clear that the Jaguars had confidence in themselves as a team, especially after coming off of a great win against Troy. They started off with a strong performance by reading and responding to the opposing offense plays.
South Alabama was physically outplaying the Chanticleers. There were some moments when the Chanticleers had clarity as they began to slowly catch up. However, South’s lead in the first set was too much to catch up to. The Jaguars won the first set 25-21.
The Jaguars kept up an impeccable offense in the second set. The team moved with finesse and clarity, getting stronger with each point scored. The Chanticleers made several technical errors played upon by the Jaguars, which led to a great deviation in points scored. Though each of the first two sets ended well for the Jaguars, they both started with a Chanticleer lead. This seemed to fuel the Jaguars, motivating them to escape with a clean win. The seemingly impenetrable defense and flawless offense carried them to another set win, winning the second set 25-17.
The third set proved to be a turning point away from the Jaguars. Subtle mistakes and inattention to detail seemed to be the cause of their fall. The Chanticleers were able to go on several scoring runs, increasing their lead handsomely. The Jaguars were flustered towards the end of the third set, letting technical errors take charge of the set. The Chanticleers heartily played off of these errors, leading to a Chanticleer set win 25-20.
After the unprecedented loss in the third set, Jaguar confidence seemed to dwindle in the fourth set. The Chanticleers were able to clinch a great lead, making it difficult for the Jaguars to come back. The advantage was too great to make up for the Jaguars, leading to a Chanticleer set win 25-17.
It became clear the Jaguars were up against a well-versed team both physically and psychologically. They gained some confidence back, scoring the first point of the set. However, the Chanticleers were able to score six points back to back, another morale blow to the Jaguars. The Jaguars were able to hold their own until the Chanticleers achieved match point, later leading to a final Chanticleer set win 15-9.
The Jaguars did rebound the next day against the Appalachian State Mountaineers by winning 3-1 sets. The Jaguars are now 19-8 with a 10-3 record in the Sun Belt Conference. South Alabama will travel to face the Troy Trojans on Friday night, November 8th.