Dolphins’ student-athletes and coaches preview seasons


Administrators, coaches and student-athletes met the boosters, community supporters and the press during the Jacksonville University Athletics Media Day held on the Arlington campus.

Jacksonville University Director of Athletics Dr. Donnie Horner, head football coach Kerwin Bell, JU Hall of Fame basketball player Artis Gilmore, men’s soccer coach Mauricio B. Ruiz, Ron Grigg, director of cross country and track, women’s soccer coach Brian Copham, men’s golf coach Mike Blackburn, women’s golf coach Jennifer Borocz, volleyball coach Julie Darty and student-athletes have a preview of their seasons and answered questions.

The season has gotten off to a good start for JU.

SOCCER -The men’s team earned a 3-1 victory over Detroit Mercy Sunday evening to remain unbeaten. The team is off to its best start in four years. Currently sitting at 2-0-1 on the season, the It’s Jacksonville’s best start since it went 3-1-1 in the 2010 season. Junior goalkeeper Liam O’Connor received his first collegiate start in the match while sophomores Allan Morgan and Ejiroghene Mrabure came off the bench to score Jacksonville’s goals. The women’s soccer team fell to Miami (Fla.) at Southern Oak Stadium on Sunday 2-0. The Hurricanes controlled possession throughout the match and finished with a 27-5 advantage in shots and a 10-1 edge in shots on goal.

FOOTBALL - Coming off a historic win at Delaware, JU (1-0) will again be on the road for its second game of the year this Saturday against Newberry College. Jacksonville earned its first season-opening win since 2010 with last week’s 20-14 victory over Delaware. QB Kade Bell earned PFL Offensive Player of the Week by going 25-of-43 for 269 yards and one TD. Wide receiver Andy Jones was named the PFL Offensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness with nine receptions for 118 yards and 1 TD. Preseason All-PFL kicker Brandon Behr passed Donovan Curry on for second in JU history with 15 career field goals.

GOLF - The men’s team increased its lead in round two of the GolfWeek Program Challenge, finishing the day with a two-round score of 552. Three of JU’s golfers finished under par in the second round. David Wicks again led the Dolphins, completing 18 holes with a score of four-under 68. Wicks is currently in first place. Franck Medale also carded four-under 68, and is currently tied for second place. The women’s golf team finished eighth on the day, despite being just ten strokes behind first place. Amanda Detmer paced the Dolphins on the course with a two-under 69. She finished fourth in the first round of play. Megan Collins also had a good day, swinging her way to a tie for 25th overall with a score of 75.

VOLLEYBALL — Volleyball team came up against strong N.C. State and Ole Miss squads in the Cary Classic. “I think we came out stronger in our first match of the day,” said head coach Julie Darty. “Our energy was much more consistent against NC State.” Emily Laskelle was named to the All-Tournament team with 52 kills, 1 assist, 2 service aces, 24 digs, and 4 total blocks. The Dolphins will return to the court next weekend for the College of Charleston Challenge.

CROSS COUNTRY — The men’s and women’s cross country programs opened their 2015 season across town at the UNF Invitational. “I’m very happy with today’s races for both the men and women,” said head coach Ronald Grigg. “It was typically hot and humid, the course was soft from our recent rain, and each team was missing a freshman who should impact our top five scorers. Yet both teams ran very well.” Andrew Merrill was the first Dolphin to cross the finish line in the 8k race, finishing in 27:52.39 for 23rd overall. The women’s 5K race featured a pair of Dolphins in the top five. Kyla Siemens was JU’s best runner on day, the sophomore concluded the race in 18:36.64 to place third overall, and Katy Solis followed shortly behind her with a time of 18:45.74 to finish fourth.

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