FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Walroth cracks 2,000 digs but volleyball falls to Belmont, 3-0
Senior libero Shelley Walroth surpassed 2,000 digs in her career.
Senior libero Shelley Walroth surpassed 2,000 digs in her career.
Senior libero Shelley Walroth surpassed another milestone but the JU volleyball team got off to a rough start to its grueling road trip by falling to Belmont, 3-0 (21-25, 21-25, 18-25), to open Atlantic Sun Conference play at the Curb Event Center.

JU (3-4, 0-1) dropped its first straight set match of the season after Belmont (3-7, 1-1) hit a blistering .322 in the contest, including a match-high .457 in the first frame. The Dolphins, who lead the conference in blocks, did not record a single block in the contest.

“We knew coming in that this was going to be a tough trip for us,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Unfortunately, Belmont suffered a bad loss earlier this week and they took it to us. We need to have a lot more consistency and drive if we are going to try and come away with a split for the weekend.”

Walroth, who recently broke the A-Sun all-time digs record, surpassed the 2,000 dig mark by tallying a match-high 17 against the Bruins.

Junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager led the Dolphins with 13 kills while junior middle blocker Brittany Lehman added nine kills, a team-high .375 hitting percentage (9-0-24) and five digs. Sophomore outside hitter Kathryn Kane chipped in with 10 digs while sophomore setter Ashley August tallied 13 assists.

Maggie Johnson led the Bruins with 13 kills and 12 digs and Channing Salava added 38 assists and 15 digs. Carly Frasier (11 kills) and Kayla Albritton (10 kills) also contributed to the offense while Megan Clements chipped in with 14 digs.

In the first set, both teams battled through nine ties until the Bruins used a 2-0 run to open up a 19-17 advantage on a kill by Gray. Each team would trade points until the Dolphins cut the deficit to 21-20 with a kill by Lehman. Both teams traded points again until a 2-0 run, capped by an ace by Johnson, gave Belmont a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, both teams went through four ties until Belmont used a 4-0 run to open up a 9-5 advantage after an attack error by the Dolphins. JU would cut the deficit to 12-10 with a kill by Lehman but the Bruins pushed the lead to 16-12 with a kill by Salava. The Dolphins would answer with a 3-0 run, capped by a bad set by Salava, to cut the margin to 16-15. Both teams would trade points until a 3-1 run by Belmont, capped by a kill by Frasier, to make it 20-17. Each team would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Johnson gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, the Bruins jumped out to a 5-1 advantage with a kill by Johnson but JU would cut the deficit to 7-5 with a kill by Lehman. The Bruins made it 9-5 with a kill by Johnson but the Dolphins would cut the margin to 9-8 with a kill by Yeager. Belmont answered with a 3-0 run to make it 12-8 with a kill by Frasier but JU cut the margin to 14-12 with a kill by Yeager. The Bruins answered with a 4-0 run, capped by kill by Johnson, to make it 18-12 and both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Frazier sealed the match for Belmont.

JU will continue A-Sun play on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET against Lipscomb.