Volleyball blanks UNF, 3-0, in first installment of SunTrust River City Rumble
Freshman outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki
Freshman outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki
Senior libero Shelley Walroth racked up a match-high 20 digs while serving and defense led the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-17) win over cross-town rival UNF, Wednesday evening in front of 1,012 fans in the first installment of the SunTrust River City Rumble at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (4-5, 1-2) snapped a two-match losing skid, while also notching the first Old Wooden Barrel Point, by tallying match highs with eight service aces and nine blocks.

UNF (4-6, 0-3) dropped its fourth consecutive contest after hitting a match-low .026, including two negative efforts in sets two and three (-.025, -.061) while also committing 20 errors (eight serving, eight receiving, four ball handling).

“It was a great atmosphere tonight and we responded to our home crowd,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We weren’t clicking offensively but our serving and defense came up big for us. Hopefully this will spark a big week as we get ready to play two more matches in two days.”

Walroth, who recently surpassed 2,000 career digs, is now 183 digs shy of cracking the top 25 all-time in NCAA history.

Junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager led the Dolphins with seven kills while senior middle blocker Nicki Kent, senior outside hitter Brooke Singleton and junior middle blocker Brittany Lehman each tallied five kills, respectively. Kent, Yeager and freshman middle blocker Alison Loeppky each finished with a match-high four blocks.

Paige Pridgeon led the Ospreys with a match-high 11 kills while Kaley Read added seven kills, 12 digs and three blocks. Nallelis Sanfeliz also chipped in with 12 digs while Agata Dawidowicz tallied three blocks to help the UNF defense.

In the first set, both teams battled through six ties until JU used a 5-1 run to open up an 11-7 lead with an ace by sophomore setter Ashley August. UNF would answer back with a 5-1 run to even the score (12-12) but the Dolphins would reply with a 4-1 run to make it 16-13 on a service error by Akaila Amara. The Ospreys responded once again, this time with a 5-0 run, to take an 18-16 lead after an attack error by the Dolphins. Both teams would trade points and go through two more ties until a 4-1 run by JU, capped by an attack error by Julie Fye, gave the Dolphins a 24-21 advantage. After a ball handling error by JU, the Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the match when Kent registered a kill.

In the second frame, UNF took a commanding 8-1 lead after JU fueled the run with five consecutive hitting errors. The Dolphins would slowly chip away at the defict until a 5-0 run, capped by a kill by Lehman, evened the contest (12-12). UNF answered with a 4-1 run to take a 16-13 advantage after a block assist by Read and Dawidowicz. JU would chip away again, this time using a 3-0 run, to even the set (18-18) after an attack error by Dawidowicz. Both teams would trade a point before JU ended the set with a 6-0 run, capped by a kill by Lehman, to take a 2-0 lead going into the break.

In the third set, JU opened an early 8-3 lead on an ace by freshman outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki. The Dolphins made it 11-5 with a kill by Loeppky and would push the advantage to 13-6 with a kill by Kent. The Ospreys would chip away at the margin, cutting it to 15-12 with a kill by Read, but JU answered with a 6-1 run to open up a 21-13 advantage. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way until a kill by Yeager sealed the match for the Dolphins.

JU will return to the court on Thursday at 7 p.m. as the Dolphins travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to face Bethune-Cookman.