Volleyball makes it three straight shutouts with 3-0 win over USC Upstate
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent
Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent tallied 11 kills while junior outside hitter Brittany Lehman registered 10 kills and a match-high .571 hitting percentage to lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-19) win over USC Upstate, Friday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (6-5, 2-2), which won its third straight match in three sets, hit a season-best .435 (46-9-85) including a .500 (17-2-30) clip in set three and a nuclear .667 (16-0-24) in set one.

USCU (3-9, 0-5) finished .119 from the floor including a match-low -.062 in set two.

“We carried over our offensive output from last night and actually built on it so I was happy to see that,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We have ourselves on a little roll right now and hopefully this is what we need to get us ready to face a tough week ahead.”

Walroth, who finished with a match-high 11 digs, is now 152 digs shy of cracking the top 25 all-time in NCAA history.

Kent also hit .500 (11-1-20) in the contest while also registering a match-high three blocks. Freshman outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki also added eight kills and four digs while senior outside hitter Brooke Singleton chipped in with seven kills and five digs. Junior setter Hannah Munneke paced the offense with 24 assists.

Morgan Thomas led the Spartans with 10 kills and a .533 (10-2-15) hitting percentage. Emily Sanders paced the offense with 19 assists while adding five digs. Paige Weiland chipped in with six digs and four kills.

In the first set, JU jumped out to an early 8-2 advantage after an attack error by Kelsie Queen and then increased the lead to 17-9 with a kill by Drzewiecki. After a kill by Erin Jacobsen, the Dolphins used an 8-2 run, capped by a kill by Drzewiecki, to end the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second frame, JU took an early 8-4 lead after an attack error by Jacobsen but the Spartans answered with a 6-2 run to even the contest (11-11). Both teams would go through four more ties until JU used a 3-0 run, capped by an ace by junior outside hitter Brittany Lehman, to open up an 18-15 advantage. USCU would cut the deficit to 20-19 with a kill by Morgan Thomas but JU answered with a 3-0 run to make it 23-19 with a kill by Drzewiecki. After a 2-0 run by the Spartans made it 23-21, JU got a kill by Lehman and an attack error by Queen to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third set, both teams battled through five ties until JU used a 2-0 run to take a 7-5 lead on a kill by Lehman. The Dolphins increased the margin to 13-9 with an ace by Walroth and would use a 4-1 run to make it 17-10 on a kill by Singleton. JU increased the lead to 20-12 with a kill by Lehman and both teams would trade points until a service error by Jane Hawryliw ended the match.

JU will continue A-Sun action at Swisher Gymnasium as the Dolphins host Florida Gulf Coast on Friday at 7 p.m.