Volleyball Pulls Out Thrilling Victory Over Birmingham Southern in Opener

Aug. 29, 2003

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - JU senior outside hitter Radka Dimitrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) had a career-high 29 kills, while adding 19 digs and six aces as the Dolphins rallied for a season-opening 3-2 (26-30, 26-30, 30-15, 31-29, 15-11) victory over Birmingham Southern in match two of the Hampton Inn/JU Invitational Friday night at Swisher Gymnasium. Dimitrova hit .324 for the match, while setting a new JU single-match record with 68 attempts in a five-game match. The win was also the first career victory for first-year head coach Courtney Dipert.

Junior outside hitter Kelly Ryals (Gainesville, Fla.) also had a double-double with 17 kills and a team-high 23 digs, while sophomore middle hitter Lindsay Ward (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) posted her first career double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs. Freshman setter Erin Hickman (San Antonio, Texas) had a tremendous debut with 62 assists, 12 digs, six kills and three blocks (1 solo).

The Dolphins (1-0) blew leads in each of the first two games to fall behind, 2-0, but junior outside hitter Candice Rose (Mechanicsville, Md.), who had 13 kills over the final three games, made her first appearance of the match in the third game to give the Dolphins a lift.

Rachel Malmborg led BSC (0-1) with 17 kills and added 20 digs, while Danielle Graff had 13 kills, a match-high 25 digs and five blocks. Kyndall Waters added 55 assists and 18 digs. In the first match, Xavier (1-0), which lost a thriller to JU in last year's opener, took care of Maryland-Baltimore County, 3-0 (30-27, 30-23, 30-28). Kate Duchek had 14 kills and Laci Hasenour added 10, while Jordan Brightwell had 17 digs for the Musketeers. Jocelyn Teoh recorded a double-double with 17 kills and 10 digs for the Retrivers.

The tournament continues on Saturday with BSC facing UMBC at 11 a.m., followed by JU hosting Xavier at 1 p.m. The action concludes with Xavier taking on BSC at 6 p.m., followed by JU facing UMBC at 8 p.m.