Volleyball handles USC Upstate, 3-0

Sept. 22, 2007

Box Score

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Junior outside hitter Kesley Clark and freshman outside hitter Brittany Lehman each finished with nine kills to lead the JU volleyball team to a win over USC Upstate, 3-0 (30-17, 30-19, 30-22), Saturday evening in Atlantic Sun Conference action at the Hodge Center.

JU (6-9, 1-1) finished with a match-high 13 aces and hit .204 (39-19-98) from the floor to bounce back from a gut wrenching loss at ETSU last night. USC Upstate (4-9, 0-2) managed only a .032 (25-22-94) hitting percentage in the contest.

Along with Lehman and Clark, senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant finished with seven kills, four blocks and a match-high .417 (7-2-12) hitting percentage. Freshman middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher added a match-high five blocks and sophomore libero Michelle Walroth racked up a match-high 16 digs.

Katie Downey finished with nine kills and 11 digs to lead the Spartans. Jessicah Ambrisco added eight kills and Megan Healey registered 10 digs to also help the Upstate defense.

In game one, USC Upstate jumped out to an early 6-2 lead after an attack error by the Dolphins. JU answered with a 10-0 run to take a 10-6 advantage, which was fueled by three aces by Walroth and two kills by Lehman. The Dolphins made it a 25-9 contest with a 12-0 run to run away with the opening game.

In the second frame, both teams went toe-to-toe through seven ties and three lead changes until JU used a 3-0 run to lead 15-12 after a kill by Merchant. The Dolphins would have no troubles for the remainder of the game after using runs of 3-0, 6-0 and 4-0 to hold the Spartans under 20 points for the second straight game.

In the final game, the Spartans took a 4-1 lead after a service error by the Dolphins but JU answered with a 5-1 run to take a 6-5 advantage after a kill by Lehman. The two teams would go through seven ties and two lead changes before JU used a 5-0 run to lead 23-18 after an ace by Gruenbacher. The Dolphins would pull away in the game with a pair of 3-0 runs to end the frame and win the match.

JU will end its road trip with a non-conference match against UNC Asheville on Sunday at 1 p.m...