Bellarmine hosts Jacksonville, North Florida for ASUN contests Friday and Saturday


LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Bellarmine volleyball team returned to Knights Hall for a pair of ASUN conference games this week, hosting Jacksonville and North Florida on Friday and Saturday. The Knights host the Dolphins at 6 p.m. on Friday with a short turnover before facing the Ospreys on Saturday morning at 11 a.m.

Bellarmine is coming off a pair of thrilling wins over rival Eastern Kentucky last week that improved the Knights to 10-12 overall and 4-6 in the league. Junior outside hitter Bailey Venard paced Bellarmine’s offense last week, coming off a career-high 24 kills in Friday’s game from 20 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, senior Jayme Scott continues to post big numbers and enters the weekend leading ASUN in kills per set (4.27) and total kills (320). In defense, junior libero Anna Lococo and second grade intermediate blocker Jayda Harris both posted career highs against EKU in Friday’s game. Lococo racked up 33 digs while Harris totaled eight blocks against the Colonels.

Jacksonville (8-14, 2-8 ASUN) enters the week on a six-game losing streak. Despite the Dolphins’ recent woes, they feature many of ASUN’s best players. Center blocker Haley Hart is third in the league with a .352 hit percentage and leads the team with an average of 3.28 per set. Setter Rebecca Rocassin ranks second in ASUN for service aces, averaging 0.44 per set.

Defensively, Jacksonville owns ASUN’s leader in recovery, where Kariana Ayala-Drew is averaging 4.96 per set. The Dolphins also lead the league in blocks (98) and blocks per set (2.51) with Lyric Love and Hart ranking 3-4 in the league with averages of 1.14 and 1.12 blocks per set.

While Jacksonville has struggled to find the win column lately, North Florida (8-13, 6-4 ASUN) was on a roll and toppled co-leader ASUN Kennesaw State and fourth place Jacksonville State in five-put thrillers last week. In fact, the Ospreys have won four of their last five with the only five-set loss to co-league leaders Liberty.

North Florida can also claim some of ASUN’s top players. Mahalia White is one of the best hitters, ranking just behind Scott in takedowns, and she is the only other player in ASUN to average more than four takedowns per set with an average of 4.12. On defense, UNF’s Rocio Moro leads ASUN in total digs (387) and ranks second in digs per set at 4.78.

The North Florida game was moved to 11 a.m. (from the originally announced 1 p.m. start time) to accommodate the Ospreys’ travel schedule.

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