Volleyball drops final two matches at the Miami Invitational

Sept. 16, 2006

Box Score

MIAMI, Fla.- - The JU volleyball team dropped a pair of 3-1 decision to Miami and Florida A&M in the final day of action at the Miami Invitational.

The Dolphins (4-8) have lost six in a row, but showed progress against two of the top teams in the state of Florida. JU's offense came alive as Sara Bendorf and Eva Stoilova recorded double figures in kills to lead the Dolphins in both matches.

"We played well again today against some tough competition," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "We continue to make positive strides and playing this level of competition will only help us as we get ready for conference play."

JU dropped the opening match against Miami (3-5) in four games. Bendorf led the Dolphins with 15 kills while Stoilova added 14. Defensively, three Dolphins had double figures in digs with Shelley Walroth leading the team with 13 while Katie Hendrian and Stoilova added 11 apiece.

The Dolphins jumped out early by winning the first game, but Florida A&M (3-6) won the last three to seal the match. FAMU got 27 kills from Maria Andonova and 25 kills from Marrita Royster-Croc while Rosa Rojas led the Rattlers with 21 digs. Setter Zaira Manzo dished out 59 assists.

For JU, Melissa Merchant led the team with 16 kills while Stoilova had her second double-double in as many matches with 10 kills and 12 digs. Walroth led the defense with 18 digs while Una Dzalba dished out 39 assists.

Against Miami, the Dolphins offense got off to a slow start as JU recorded only nine kills in a 30-22 loss. That turned around in game two as the Dolphins pulled out a 30-26 win, as the offense recorded 12 kills and hit .162 for the game.

The Dolphins lost a nail-biter in game three, 31-29. JU had 14 kills and hit .263 in the game but couldn't overcome Miami's 18 kills and a .220 hitting percentage.

Game four saw the Canes seal the match with a 30-23 win, as Miami recording 18 kills and a .333 hitting percentage.

In the final match against Florida A&M, the Dolphins jumped out with an impressive 30-21 win. JU's defense held FAMU to just 15 kills and a .065 hitting percentage while the Dolphins pounded out a .344 hitting percentage with 13 kills.

But the Dolphins firepower couldn't hold off FAMU in the final three games. The Rattlers picked up wins of 30-24, 30-20 and 30-15 to take the match. The Rattlers had 54 kills in the final three games and had a hitting percentage higher than .273 in each game.

JU's offense couldn't keep pace, as the Dolphins' best offensive output was 15 kills and a .200 hitting percentage in the second game.

JU is off until Tuesday's non-conference road trip to Savannah State. First serve is set for 5 p.m.