SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2009
Walroth sets A-Sun record in 3-0 win over Sam Houston State
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent earned all-tournament honors
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent earned all-tournament honors
Senior libero Shelley Walroth surpassed another milestone while leading the JU volleyball team over Sam Houston State, 3-0 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17), Saturday afternoon in the final day of the Southern Miss La Quinta Inn Invitational at Reed Green Coliseum.

JU (3-3) came out swinging in the contest, hitting over .220 in all three sets, to out hit SMSU (4-4) .256-.187 and snap a two match skid.

Walroth, who holds the individual and career dig records at JU, surpassed Anne Mullins of Lipscomb for the Atlantic Sun Conference all-time record with a match-high 21 digs. She is now nine digs shy of reaching 2,000 digs for her career.

“This was a great way to end the weekend offensively and for Shelley to set the record made it even better,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We are all very excited for her and I know she is going to continue to play at a high level for the rest of the season. As a team, we need to carry this momentum into a tough road trip next weekend in Nashville.”

Junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager, who missed the last two matches due to illness, led the Dolphins with 10 kills. Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent, who was named to the all-tournament team, finished with nine kills, a .429 (9-0-21) hitting percentage and four blocks. Sophomore setter Ashley August notched 25 assists and 10 digs and senior outside hitter Brooke Singleton chipped in with nine kills and eight digs. Sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Kane added 10 digs and eight kills.

Carli Kolbe led the Bearkats with a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs while Kym Loving added a match-high 35 assists and 11 digs. Jamie Haas (11 digs) and Kaylee Hawkins (10 digs) also led the squad defensively.

In the first set, both teams went through four ties until JU used a 5-1 run to open up a 9-5 advantage following a kill by Kane. The Dolphins increased the margin to 12-7 with a kill by Kent before making it 15-9 with a block assist by Yeager and junior middle blocker Brittany Lehman. JU increased the margin to 17-10 with a kill by Singleton but SMSU cut the deficit to 19-16 with a kill by Shamira Washington. The Dolphins would push the lead to 22-17 with a kill by Yeager but the Bearkats would use a 4-1 run to cut the margin to 23-21 after a bad set by the Dolphins. JU would get kills by Yeager and Lehman to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, both teams went through two ties until the Bearkats opened up a 9-6 lead with a kill by Jamie Kaleh. SMSU increased the lead to 12-7 after an attack error by the Dolphins but would not increase the margin throughout the set as JU slowly scratched its way back into the contest. The Dolphins would finally even the frame, 22-22, with a kill by August and would take a 23-22 lead with an ace by Singleton. After SMSU countered with a kill by Kolbe, JU got a kill by Lehman to make it 24-23. Kolbe evened the score again with a kill but her service error and a block assist by Kent and Kane would give JU a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, both teams battled through four ties until JU used a 5-1 run to open up a 12-8 advantage on an ace by August. The Dolphins would use a 7-3 run, capped by a kill by Lehman, to push the lead to 19-11. The Bearkats answered with a 3-0 run to cut the deficit to 19-14 but both teams would trade points the rest of the way until consecutive errors by SMSU gave JU the win.

JU will open its A-Sun schedule on Friday, Sept. 11 at 8:30 p.m. ET against conference tournament champion Belmont.