Volleyball defeats Bethune-Cookman, 3-0, in second day of Radisson-UCF Invitational
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent
After starting off the season with a loss to host UCF, the Dolphins bounced back quickly as the JU volleyball team handled Bethune-Cookman, 3-0 (25-14, 25-17, 25-22), Saturday afternoon in the second day of the Radisson-UCF Invitational at the The Venue at UCF.

JU (1-1) came out swinging in the first set by tallying a match-high .417 hitting percentage while holding B-CU (0-1) to a negative hitting percentage (-.040, -.062) in the first two frames. The Dolphins finished with a match-high eight team blocks to notch their first win in 2009.

“We’re still working on getting our offense going but our defense was solid again,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “These early games are great for playing around with lineups and see who rises to the top.”

Walroth, who finished with a match-high 12 digs in a short match, is now 59 digs shy of surpassing Ann Mullins of Lipscomb for the Atlantic Sun Conference all-time record.

Junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager led the Dolphins offensively with seven kills while also adding four blocks. Sophomore setter Ashley August paced the offense with 11 assists while senior outside hitter Brooke Singleton added six kills and 11 digs. Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent added a match-high six blocks while adding four kills.

Chelle Ticeson led the Wildcats with seven kills and a .400 hitting percentage while Daryl Rodriguez added 19 assists and 11 digs. Shanicka Reddick also added 10 digs for the Wildcat defense.

In the first set, both teams battled through five ties until the Dolphins used a 5-0 run to take a 10-5 lead with a kill by junior middle blocker Brittany Lehman. After a point by B-CU, the Dolphins used another 5-0 run to push the advantage to 15-6 with a kill by Singleton. JU made it 20-9 after an attack error by the Wildcats and would cruise the rest of the way to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, JU jumped out to a 6-0 advantage on a kill by Kent but the Wildcats answered with a 3-0 run to cut the margin to 6-3. B-CU would cut the deficit to 8-6 with an ace by Ticeson, but JU responded with a 6-2 run to open up a 14-8 lead. The Dolphins made it 18-11 after an attack error by the Wildcats but B-CU answered with a 5-1 run to cut the deficit to 19-16. JU would answer with a 6-1 run to end the set and take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, both teams traded points until JU used a 6-0 run to open up a 14-6 advantage with a kill by Singleton. Both teams would trade points again until B-CU used a 5-1 run to cut the deficit to 21-18 on an ace by Ticeson. The Dolphins would answer with a 3-1 run, capped by a block assist by Kent and Yeager to make it 24-19 but the Wildcats made things interesting by rattling off three straight points to cut the margin to 24-22. JU would get the match point it needed when Kaiyana Johnson ended the set with an attack error.

JU will conclude play in the Radisson-UCF Invitational against Florida Atlantic at 5:30 p.m.