Volleyball drops hard-fought contest, 3-1, to Binghamton
Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager tallied a match-high 17 kills to lead three Dolphins with double-digit kills but it was not enough as the JU volleyball team fell to Binghamton, 3-1 (25-19, 22-25, 25-27, 21-25), Friday evening in the Sacred Heart University Tournament at the Pitt Center.

JU (1-4) improved from its first match of the day with a .121 hitting percentage and finished with a match-high 13 blocks and 67 digs but the Dolphins could not take advantage of a 1-0 lead in the contest.

BU (1-3) did not fare much better offensively (.128) and trailed in nearly every statistical category but found a way to win three consecutive sets by less than five points.

“I was happy with our start after the way we played in the first match,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Another step in the growing process is learning to put away matches and tonight we didn’t do that. We did everything we needed to do to win but sometimes that’s not enough.”

Yeager also led the Dolphin offense by hitting .333 (17-7-30) in the contest but her defense was just as stellar with seven digs and a match-high seven blocks. Senior outside hitter Brittany Lehman (14 digs, 12 kills) and freshman setter Kendall Courtney (42 assists, 11 digs) each added JU’s first double-doubles of the season. Junior outside hitter Kathryn Kane (10 kills) and junior libero Ashley August (13 digs) also contributed for the squad.

Michelle McDonough led the Bearcats offensively with 17 kills while Alex Roland (six blocks) and Anna Lejina each added eight kills. Xiomara Ortiz led the defense with a match-high 17 digs while Sandra Devito added 12 digs.

In the first set, both teams battled through seven ties until BU opened up a 12-10 lead on a kill by Roland. The Bearcats increased the margin to 14-11 with a kill by McDonough but the Dolphins rallied with an 8-0 run, fueled by three Lehman kills, to open up a 19-14 lead. Both teams would trade point the rest of the way until a block by freshman middle blocker Kylie Jacob and Yeager gave JU a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, both teams battled through 12 ties throughout the set with the last even score coming at the 22-22 mark when McDonough registered a block at the net. From there, the Bearcats seized advantage of the opportunity with a 3-0 run to end the set and even the match.

In the third set, both teams went through four ties early on until a 3-0 run by the Bearcats gave BU a 10-7 lead. The Bearcats would increase the lead to 19-12 with a block by Roland and Lejina but JU would strike back with an 8-1 run, fueled by six BU errors, to even the score (20-20). Both teams would battle through four more ties until an attack error by the Dolphins and a block by Roland and Devito gave the Bearcats a 2-1 lead.

In the final frame, both teams battled through five more ties until BU used a 3-0 run to take an 11-8 lead. After fighting off two JU rallies, the last being a 13-12 deficit, the Bearcats used a 7-1 run to open up a 20-13 advantage. The Dolphins would try another rally, pulling to within 24-21, but a kill by Lejina would end the match.

JU will return to action on Saturday against host Sacred Heart at 9 a.m. The match can be followed through LiveStats or viewed through video streaming by logging onto