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JSU volleyball: Gamecocks remain unbeaten with first win at SIUE in six tries

JSU #12 Katie Montgomery and #23 Lexie Libs

JSU's Lexie Libs, front, and Katie Montgomery, middle, go for the block against Southeast Missouri.

If Jacksonville State's volleyball team had to travel all the way to Southeastern Illinois-Edwardsville, the Gamecocks might as well win.

SIUE is about an eight-hour drive from JSU, but the Gamecocks made the trip worthwhile by winning 25-19, 21-25, 26-24, 25-19 on Sunday afternoon. It's JSU's first win in six tries in Edwardsville.

The Gamecocks lost at SIUE on previous trips in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. JSU trails in the overall series 5-8 at all locations combined, but has won four of the last five.

This makes the Gamecocks 3-0 in Ohio Valley Conference play. Austin Peay and Morehead State are the only other OVC teams with wins in their first three matches. A fast start is especially important in the age of the pandemic. OVC teams play only 16 matches against league opponents, and only the top four of the conference's 12 teams will make the postseason tournament.

Five to know

—Lena Kindermann turned in another big match for JSU as she had a team-high 22 kills. A preseason All-OVC pick, Kindermann leads the team for the season with 46 kills in three matches.

—JSU managed a kill percentage of .302. The Gamecocks were at .353 in the final set. They entered the match with an OVC-leading percentage of .284, and they led the league at .233 last season when they won the regular-season championship.

—Lexie Libs, also a preseason All-OVC selection, had 48 assists. Freshman Courtney Glotzbach contributed 17 kills, which gives her 38 for the season.

—Defensive specialist Erin Carmichael led JSU with 13 digs, while Kaylie Milton added 10 and Libs had six. Milton also had 10 kills.

—JSU will face SIUE (2-1) again Monday at noon. You can see the match online on ESPN+. JSU will visit Tennessee State for two matches Feb. 21-22 and host Tennessee Tech on Feb. 28-March 1.

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.