SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2002
Volleyball Downs Northeastern to Finish 3-1 On Road Trip
Sept. 21, 2002
VALPARAISO, Ind. - Senior middle hitter Brooke Ahrens (Benson, Ill.) and junior outside hitter Radka Dimitrova (Sofia, Bulgaria) found their groove this weekend to lead the Jacksonville University volleyball team to a victory over Northeastern after dropping their morning match to host Valparaiso in the Crusader Classic Saturday at the Athletic-Recreation Center. Dimitrova and senior outside hitter Kristy Smith (Carleton, Mich.) earned all-tournament honors as the Dolphins finished their four-match weekend road trip with a 3-1 record.
In their afternoon match the Dolphins (5-7), winners of four of their last five matches, got off to another fast start and held off Northeastern for a 30-22, 30-27, 22-30, 30-24 victory. Ahrens and Dimitrova led JU with 23 kills each as both players had hitting percentages above .300 for the match. Dimitrova added 15 digs and two blocks, while Smith had a career- and match-high 24 digs, nine kills, three aces and two blocks. Senior setter Kristin Withrow (St. Petersburg, Fla.) paced the Dolphin attack with 51 assists, the third time this season she has topped 50 in a match.
JU had 90 digs with senior outside hitter Alesha Rodriguez (Cleveland, Ohio) adding 14 and freshman libero Erin Donivan (Sarasota, Fla.) contributing 12, the eighth time this season she has recorded double-digit digs.
Against Valpo, the Dolphins stormed out of the gate with a .400 hitting percentage for game one and took the advantage with a 30-15 rout in the opening frame, but JU couldn't maintain the momentum over the final three games as the Crusaders took a 15-30, 30-25, 30-24, 30-19 decision.
Ahrens led JU by hitting .444 for the match with 19 kills and two blocks. Dimitrova tallied 16 kills and had eight digs, while Withrow led the Dolphins with 50 assists and 14 digs. The Dolphins are back in action when they return home for the first time in nearly a month when they host Troy State in their Atlantic Sun Conference opener on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 11 a.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.