SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 08, 2007
Volleyball battles No. 23 Dayton in 3-1 loss

Sept. 8, 2007

Box Score

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf, freshman outside hitter Brittany Lehman and freshman setter Hannah Munneke each finished with a double-double as the JU volleyball team gave No. 23 Dayton a run for its money in a 3-1 (19-30, 23-30, 30-25, 30-27) loss, Saturday morning in the final day of the Black and Gold Challenge at Reynolds Gymnasium.

JU (3-6) won game three and held a late two-point advantage in game four before young mistakes helped fuel the Flyers to victory. Dayton (9-0) only out hit the Dolphins .175-.130 in the contest but dominated with 23 blocks and 13 service aces, compared to 11 and five, respectively, by JU.

"We played a great match against a top ranked team," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "We compete against them physically but we need to get more game experience so we know how to handle tough spots. We led 27-25 in the fourth but we could not put them away. They are a good team"

Bendorf, who now has three double-double on the year, had 12 digs and 10 kills. Lehman, who tallied her first collegiate double-double, led the squad with 11 kills while finishing with 11 digs. Munneke, who has a team-high five double-doubles, dished out 36 assists to pace the offense and added 11 digs. Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth registered a match-high 32 digs to lead the defense while senior outside hitter Katie Hendrian added a season-high 12 digs. Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant chipped in with eight kills and five blocks.

"We missed a lot of serves today but that was the only negative," Kupferberg said. "We hit well and our offense got going while our defense was flying to the ball a lot better. It looks like we have turned a corner in our season, but we will find out for sure tonight."

Jamie-Lee Richards had a match-high 15 kills and Yvonne Marten added 14 kills to lead the Dayton offense. Erin Schroeder dished out a match-high 42 assists to go along with 10 digs for the Flyers' only double-double. Rachael Boerman (12 digs) and Kortney Norris (10 digs) each paced the defense while Bethany Akerhielm added eight kills and a match-high seven blocks.

In game one, Dayton jumped out to an early 5-0 lead until the Dolphins cut the margin to 5-3 on an ace by Munneke. The Flyers made it 10-5 after a kill by Akerhielm and pushed the advantage to 21-9 after an attack error by the Dolphins. JU pulled to within 23-15 after a ball handling error by Schroeder but the Flyers outscored the Dolphins, 7-4, to win the game.

In the second frame, both teams battled each other through seven ties and four lead changes until Dayton took a 15-12 advantage on a block assist by Robynne Green and Mandy Robbe. JU cut the deficit to 17-16 after a block assist by Munneke and freshman middle hitter Abby Gruenbacher but the Flyers answered with a 5-0 run to make it 22-16 when Robbe recorded an ace. The Dolphins pulled to within 25-20 after an ace by Walroth but Dayton used a 4-0 run to seal the game.

In game three, the Dolphins took an early 3-1 lead after a service error by Tiffany Gaerke before both teams went through a pair of lead changes and six ties. JU pulled away with a 4-0 run, capped on an attack error by Marten, to open a 13-9 advantage. After a kill stopped the bleeding for the Flyers, the Dolphins racked up a 5-0 run to lead 18-10 after a kill by Lehman. Dayton cut the margin to 22-21 on an ace by Akerhielm but JU outscored the Flyers, 8-4, to win its first game.

In the fourth game, both teams played evenly again with eight ties and five lead changes until JU took opened up a 17-14 advantage after a kill by Bendorf. Dayton recaptured the lead, 20-19, on an attack error by the Dolphins but the squads battled through another four ties before Merchant's kill gave JU a 27-25 lead. Dayton answered with a 5-0 run, sparked by four kills by Reynolds, to end the Dolphins comeback attempt and end the match.

The Dolphins will end play in the Black & Gold Challenge against host Wake Forest at 7 p.m. The contest can be followed through GameTracker on www.judolphins.com.