Volleyball knocks off Charleston Southern, 3-0

Sept. 22, 2006

Box Score

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Melissa Merchant and Sara Bendorf had 12 kills apiece to lead the Jacksonville volleyball team to a 3-0 road win over Charleston Southern on Friday night.

The Dolphins (6-8) picked up their second straight win with an impressive offensive performance combined with some timely defense. JU had a hitting percentage of .424 as four players hit .400 or better in the match.

"We played well tonight and we're starting to see some of the things that we've worked on in practice pay off," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "We've still got some areas to improve on, but this was a good performance tonight."

Merchant and Bendorf got some help from their friends - namely Una Dzalba, who dished out 40 assists and Stevenique Richardson, who had nine kills and four blocks. Eva Stoilova added nine kills as well with Shelley Walroth leading the team with eight digs.

JU opened the match with a 30-21 win as the offense got hot early and often, racking up 15 kills and just two errors in the game. After CSU (5-7) cut the lead to one, 10-9, the Dolphins blew the game wide open by scoring seven of the next eight points to cruise to the 1-0 lead.

Game two saw the JU offense struggle, but its defense held on long enough for a 30-23 win. The Dolphins had only 12 kills in the game and CSU wouldn't go away despite a 12-6 run early in the game. CSU cut the lead to three, 23-20, but the Dolphins would rattle off seven of the next 10 points to take a commanding 2-0 lead.

The final game got off to a great start for JU as the Dolphins opened up a 10-4 lead and pushed it to 19-9 before the Bucs rallied late to fall 30-22. The Dolphins' offense was on fire, hitting .600 for the game while racking up 21 kills.

Jenni Shepherd led CSU with 13 kills and Ashlee Kadatz had nine blocks in the loss.

The Dolphins wrap up their South Carolina foray on Sunday against Coastal Carolina.