SATURDAY, OCTOBER 06, 2007
Volleyball sweeps road trip with 3-1 win over Gardner-Webb
Oct. 6, 2007
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -
Four Dolphins tallied double-doubles to lead the squad to a season-high six match winning streak as the JU volleyball team defeated Gardner-Webb in a defensive match, 3-1 (30-26, 27-30, 30-19, 30-25), Saturday afternoon at Paul Porter Arena.
JU (11-9, 5-1) had four players tally double-doubles for the first time this season while notching its highest winning streak under head coach Shaun Kupferberg. The Dolphins also had five players finished with double figure kills for the first time this season while five players notched double figure digs for only the second time this season (No. 23 Dayton). JU also hit at least .250 or higher in each of the four games in the contest, including a match-high .341 (18-3-44) in game three.
Gardner-Webb (10-12, 2-3) managed to out dig the Dolphins, 84-83, and had two players finish with over 20 kills.
"This was a big weekend for us and we were up for the challenge," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "We got a tremendous effort from everyone offensively and on defense. Now we need to prepare for a big match against Belmont and keep this momentum going. "
Senior middle hitter Melissa Merchant led the Dolphins with 18 kills and 10 blocks to tally her third double-double of the year. Freshman outside hitter Brittany Lehman registered her third double-double with a season-high tying 16 kills and 14 digs. Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf had 13 kills and 12 digs for her sixth double-double while freshman setter Hannah Munneke tallied 64 assists and a 13 digs to accomplish the feat for a team-leading seventh time.
Freshman outside hitter Aidan Yeager raked up 13 kills and eight blocks while freshman outside hitter Abby Gruenbacher tallied 10 kills and a match-high .450 hitting percentage (10-1-20). Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth recorded a match-high 28 digs and four aces while senior outside hitter Katie Hendrian chipped in with 10 digs.
Ashley Pidgeon tallied a match-high 24 kills and 10 digs to lead the Bulldogs. Bethany Martin added to the offense with 20 kills and a team-high .367 hitting percentage while Heidi Steinbrunner added 11 kills and 15 digs. Regina Feagin dished out 49 assists to go with 10 digs and Katie Matykowski led the squad with 23 digs.
In game one, both teams played well in the early going, as the Bulldogs took a 14-13 lead on a kill by Pridgeon. JU went on a 6-2 run before Pridgeon helped GWU fight back to tie the score at 23-23. The Dolphins were able to pull out game one thanks in part to attack errors by the home team by a 30-26 score.
In the second game, the Bulldogs powered out to a 12-5 lead on an ace by Martin. GWU continued to tack on points, earning another seven-point lead at 21-14 on a service error by the Dolphins. JU then pulled within one on a ball handling error by Carrie Long before kills by Steinebrunner and Pridgeon enabled the Bulldogs to even the game, 1-1, thanks in part to a team-high .340 (21-5-47) hitting percentage.
In game three, the Bulldogs took an early 6-5 lead on a Megan Eden ace before JU outscored GWU, 12-4, over the next 16 points. JU was able to convert the transition game into easy points as the Bulldogs' defense was unable to get a hand on many attacks. GWU never seriously challenged the Dolphins after the spurt, falling by a 30-19 score.
In the final frame, JU held a 20-15 advantage before GWU fought back to pull within one at 22-21. A few points later, Martin slammed home a ball to knot the score at 23-23. The Dolphins answered the call and sealed the match with a 7-2 run.
The Dolphins will return home to host Belmont on Friday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium. The match can be seen as part of the ASun.TV schedule on www.judolphins.com.