Volleyball to Play Two Matches in Nashville This Weekend

Sept. 30, 2004

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Riding a season-high two-match winning streak, the JU volleyball team (2-8, 1-1) will return to Atlantic Sun Conference action this weekend in Nashville, Tenn., as the Dolphins face Belmont on Friday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. and Lipscomb on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. JU ended an eight-match skid to open the 2004 season with a 3-1 win over Mercer on Sept. 25, at Swisher Gymnasium. The Dolphins continued their winning ways with a 3-1 non-conference win over Stetson in the Edmunds Center on Sept. 29.

Belmont enters the contest at 11-3 and 1-0 in A-Sun play after dropping a 3-0 non-conference contest to Western Kentucky on Sept. 28 at the Curb Event Center. The Bruins opened conference play on Sept. 24 with a 3-0 win over Troy.

Junior outside hitter Lindsay Cleveland leads Belmont with 185 kills (4.02 kpg) on the year while freshman setter Colleen Nilson paces the Bruin offense with 13.0 assists per game. JU leads the all-time series against Belmont, 5-0.

Lipscomb, currently 5-9 overall, will open A-Sun play this weekend against Stetson on Oct. 1, before hosting the Dolphins. The Lady Bison have won three of their last four matches, including a 3-0 win over Tennessee State on Sept. 28.

Senior outside hitter Brittany Lanius leads the squad with 154 kills (3.42 kpg) while freshman outside hitter Grace Gilmore controls the Lady Bison defense with 3.18 digs per game. JU leads the all-time series against Lipscomb, 2-0.

Head Coach Kevin Paul: After three years of serving as the Dolphins' top assistant, Kevin Paul enters his first season as head coach of the JU volleyball program. During his tenure, JU has reached the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament each season, including a 14-5 finish in 2003 after overcoming a 1-10 start. During the squad's 14-5 run to end the year, JU won 11 consecutive matches.

Paul joined the Dolphin staff after six seasons as an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky (1994-2000), where he helped coach seven Colonels to All-Ohio Valley Conference honors. In addition to assisting the EKU varsity squad, Paul also served as the head coach and played on the Eastern Kentucky men's club team. Paul helped lead the squad to a pair of National Intramural Recreational-Sports Association national rankings, finishing 13th in 1997 and 22nd in 1998.

Paul collected his first-career victory with a 3-1 win vs. Mercer on Sept. 25 at Swisher Gymnasium.

A Pair of Streaks and a Milestone: JU has had a busy week with streaks being ended and established while new milestones were etched into the record books since the Dolphins defeated Mercer on Sept. 25. With the win, JU snapped a nine-match losing streak dating back to last season, including an 0-8 start in 2004. The squad also earned the first victory for the program under first-year head coach Kevin Paul. Since their win against Stetson, the Dolphins are currently riding a two-match winning streak.

Dolphins in the Atlantic Sun Rankings: Despite getting off to a slow start, JU ranks in the top five amongst the 11-team conference in several team and individual categories as of Sept. 30.

As a team, the Dolphins currently rank second in blocks (2.26 bpg) and digs (2.26 dpg), third in assists (12.86 apg) and fourth in kills (14.26 kpg).

Individually, junior middle hitter Danielle Neville leads the A-Sun with an average of 1.34 blocks per game, 0.26 ahead of Amanda Stoutjesdyk (1.08) of UCF. Senior libero Kelly Ryals is also fifth in digs with an average of 3.97 per game.

Kill Factor: A big reason for the Dolphins' improvement in the past week has been the play of senior outside hitter Candice Rose. During JU's two-match winning streak, the native of Mechanicsville, Md., has recorded 38 kills (4.75 kpg), a .306 hitting percentage (38-8-98), 15 digs (1.88 dpg) and eight blocks (1.00 bpg). She has also managed to lead the squad with 19 kills in each match to jump into the team lead with 94 kills (2.85 kpg) on the season.

Double Trouble: After spending most of her time on the bench to start the 2004 season, sophomore outside hitter Petya Borisova has made her way back into the starting rotation after proving to be one of the Dolphins most consistent players.

In her last three matches, Borisova has posted a double-double against Georgia State (13 digs, 12 kills), Mercer (19 digs, 17 kills) and Stetson (20 digs, 11 kills). During the Dolphins' two-match winning streak, she finished second on the squad with 28 kills (3.50 kpg) and 39 digs (4.88 dpg) as well as recording the third-most aces (two).

Dolphin Notables: Freshman outside hitter Katie Hendrian recorded her first career double-double with 11 digs and 10 kills against Mercer...junior outside hitter Joanna Silva has provided good passing in the back row for the Dolphins, including 15 and 16 digs, respectively, in her last two matches...junior setter Erin Donivan has been the point person for the JU offense the past week and has posted 97 assists (12.12 apg), 31 digs (3.88 dpg) and eight kills (1.00 per game) during that span...JU has outhit its opponents .201-.149 during its current streak, including a 3.1-2.1 advantage in blocks per game...sophomore outside hitter Eva Stoilova finished with a match-high four aces at Stetson...senior libero Kelly Ryals has tallied at least 20 digs in her last two matches.