Volleyball rallies for 3-2 win over Tennessee Tech in the final match of the Big Orange Bash
After two matches without a consistent offense, the Dolphins got double-digit kills from three players to rally from a 2-1 deficit and lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-2 (12-25, 25-23, 17-25, 25-20, 15-9) win over Tennessee Tech, Saturday afternoon in the Big Orange Bash at Jervey Gymnasium.

JU (1-2) hit .254 in the match including a match-high .538 in the final frame. TTU (0-3) hit .500 in set one and three but could not overcome 14 hitting errors and 10 service errors. Freshman outside hitter Alyssa Robertson was also named to the all-tournament team.

“We started out slow again but we finally hit our rhythm and it was fun to watch,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “With such a young team, you know there is going to be struggles but this group has the talent to do some things this year. It’s all of question of how long it will take for us to gel.”

Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager and sophomore outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki each led the squad with 13 kills. Alyssa Robertson added 11 kills, a team-high .400 (11-3-20) hitting percentage and four blocks. Freshman outside hitter Taylor Nyquist added eight kills and eight digs while freshman setter Kendall Courtney paced the offense with 46 assists. Junior libero Ashley August led the defense with 10 digs.

Marie Peddicord led TTU with a match-high 15 kills and a .722 (15-2-18) while Leah Meffert added 13 kills. Allison May led the defense with a match-high 11 digs.

Casey Wright led Albany with 13 kills, a .600 (13-1-20) hitting percentage and six blocks. Teresa Coppiellie added eight kills and 11 blocks while Laurie Gonzalez led the defense with a match-high 24 digs.

In the first set, TTU opened up a 4-1 lead after a kill by Natalie Penrod but the Dolphins would pull to within one point (7-6) with a kill by junior outside hitter Kathryn Kane. TTU broke things open with an 8-0 to take a 15-6 lead and would cruise to a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, JU jumped out to a 7-1 lead on a block by freshman middle blocker Alyssa Robertson and senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager. TTU would battle back to even the score, 11-11, with an ace by Allison May. Both teams would battle through 11 more ties until JU got a kill by junior libero Ashley August and a solo block by Kane and freshman middle blocker Kylie Jacob to even the match.

In the third set, both teams went through a 2-2 tie until TTU used a 10-1 run to open up a 12-3 advantage. The Dolphins would get no closer than six points for the remainder of the frame as TTU opened up a 2-1 advantage in the match.

In the third frame, both teams went through two ties until TTU used a 5-0 run to open up an 8-3 advantage. JU would battle back to even the score, 13-13, after an attack error by Kelsey Gray. Both teams would go through four more ties until TTU used a 2-0 run to take an 18-16 lead on a kill by Penrod. The Dolphins would rally again, this time using a 5-0 run, to take a 22-18 advantage. Both teams would trade points until the Dolphins got a kill by freshman outside hitter Taylor Nyquist to even the match, 2-2.

In the final set, JU jumped out to an early 4-1 lead after an attack error by Penrod and then increased the lead to 8-3 on a kill by Yeager. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Drzewiecki gave JU the match.

JU will return to action next weekend as the Dolphins compete in the Sacred Heart University Tournament beginning on Sept. 3 against Dartmouth at 4 p.m.