Volleyball falls to Butler, 3-1, at Orange and Green Challenge

Aug. 24, 2007

Box Score

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf tallied 12 kills and 17 digs while freshman setter Hannah Munneke registered 44 assists and 18 digs but the JU volleyball team fell to Butler in their 2007 season opener, 3-1 (23-30, 24-30, 31-29, 21-30), Friday evening in the first day of the Orange and Green Challenge in the Knights Sports Complex.

Bendorf, who played in her first contest since missing the final 12 matches of 2006 with a knee injury, registered her eighth career double-double. Munneke racked up her first double-double in the first match of her collegiate career.

"We are a very young team and we made some simple mistakes but we showed some good flashes," said JU head coach Shawn Kupferberg. "We would give them 10 points in a game and then battle back to tie it, but then we would give the points right back again. We still have to mesh as a team and work on our consistency but the athleticism is exciting to watch."

Freshman outside hitter Aidan Yeager added 12 kills while hitting .229 (12-4-35) from the floor and fellow freshman outside hitter Brittany Lehman rounded out the double digit kills (10) by finishing with a match-high .350 hitting percentage (10-3-20). Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth led the Dolphins defense with 32 digs and senior middle hitter Melissa Merchant chipped in with seven blocks (four solo).

Jessica Wolfe led Butler with a match-high 18 kills while Michelle DeGeeter (13) and Katie Daprile (13) also finished in double figures. Nina Inic registered 30 digs for the Bulldog defense and Brittany Awai added 23 assists.

Butler won the first game after hitting .317 as a squad (16-3-41) and taking an early 15-9 lead. The Dolphins would cut the deficit with a 6-0 run but the Bulldogs answered with a 10-1 run to take control.

In game two, the Bulldogs took advantage of a team-low .085 hitting percentage and 10 errors (15-10-59) by the Dolphins. With the game tied, 10-10, the Butler used a 7-1 run to create an insurmountable lead.

Game three went to the Dolphins after holding the Bulldogs to a match-low .021 hitting percentage, including 16 errors (17-16-47). The Butler held an early 10-4 advantage but a trio of runs by JU (four points, three points and three points) gave the Dolphins a 17-16 lead. Both teams would not lead by more than two points for the remainder of the game while also going through nine ties and four lead changes. The Dolphins faced match point (29-28) but finished with a 3-0 run while taking advantage of back-to-back hitting errors by Wolfe and a block by both Munneke and Merchant to win the game.

Butler ended the contest with a win in game four after both team battled to no more than a two point lead up until the Bulldogs held a 16-15 advantage. A trio of kills and three service aces by Cloe' Blasingame sparked a 6-0 run as the Bulldogs ended the game with a 14-6 advantage.

The Dolphins will conclude the weekend with two matches on Saturday, beginning with host Miami at 12:30 p.m. JU will then play its final match of the tournament against Hofstra at 5 p.m.