Volleyball Drops Final Two Matches at Furman Invitational

Sept. 11, 2004

GREENVILLE, S.C. - The JU volleyball team continues to feel the effects of a late start to the 2004 season after dropping a pair of 3-0 matches to host Furman (30-20, 30-27, 30-14) and Mercer (30-24, 30-26, 30-23) in the final day of the Furman Volleyball Invitational, Saturday afternoon at Timmons Arena. The Dolphins fall to 0-3 on the year while Furman and Mercer improve to 3-3 and 4-3, respectively. Sophomore outside hitter Eva Stoilova (Sofia, Bulgaria) led the Dolphin offense with nine kills and 12 digs against the Paladins while senior libero Kelly Ryals (Gainesville/Oak Hall) paced the squad with 18 kills and 16 digs against the Bears for JU's first double-double this season.

Against Furman, Ryals and sophomore outside hitter Petya Borisova (Sofia, Bulgaria) added 15 and 12 digs, respectively, to help the JU defense. Senior Candice Rose (Mechanicsville, Md.) teamed with Stoilova to provide an offensive spark with eight kills and junior middle hitter Danielle Neville (Greenwood Village, Colo.) led all players with three total blocks.

Furman's Whitney Purser collected a match-high 20 kills and Molly Rybak spotted 46 assists and 11 digs to pace the Paladins. Ally Hock (19), Rosey Cashman (17) and Chibuzo Aguocha (12) also tallied double-digit digs.

In game one, both squads traded points early on until Furman took a 7-4 lead after a kill by Julia Frederickson. JU took its first advantage of the tournament (13-12) when Frederickson hit consecutive hitting errors to end a 9-5 Dolphin run. Purser took control of the game with three consecutive kills to give Furman a 17-13 edge and the Paladins sealed a 13-7 run to end the set on consecutive kills by Frederickson.

In game two, each team only held a one-point edge until Furman took a 10-8 advantage on a kill by Purser. JU rallied for a 12-10 lead after a kill by Stoilova and consecutive attack errors by Ally Hock. After the Paladins regained control, 20-17, the Dolphins took their largest lead of the contest (24-21) with five consecutive kills. Furman evened the score at 25-25 and finished the game with a 5-2 run to go up 2-0.

In game three, Furman jumped out to an early 14-4 lead and never looked back as the Paladins finished the sweep.

Against Mercer, Rose and sophomore setter Erin Hickman (San Antonio, Texas) each finished with eight kills to assist Ryals while freshman middle hitter Katie Hendrian (Cincinnati, Ohio) and junior setter Erin Donivan (Sarasota, Fla.) finished with 12 and 11 digs, respectively. Junior middle hitter Lindsay Ward (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) provided a presence at the net with a match-high four blocks.

Jackie Viren (20 kills/11 digs), Julie Darty (15 kills/11 digs) and Katie Plummer (11 kills/17 digs) led the Bears with double-doubles while Catie Clemens added 48 assists.

The Dolphins will next compete in the George Washington Invitational on Friday-Saturday, Sept. 17-18, in Washington, D.C. JU will open against George Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. before playing Saturday against Akron at 10 a.m. and Binghamton at 3 p.m.