Volleyball hosts FGCU and Stetson this weekend

After bouncing back with a 3-0 week, the JU volleyball team (6-5, 2-2) will host A-Sun regular-season champion Florida Gulf Coast (6-6, 5-1) at Swisher Gymnasium on Friday at 7 p.m. The Dolphins will complete the homestand against Stetson (0-11, 0-5) on Saturday at 3 p.m. Last season, the Dolphins and Eagles protected their home court as the programs split in the season series for the first time since FGCU joined the A-Sun in 2006. Against the Hatters, JU won the season series for the sixth straight season and have won its last 12 matches over Stetson. The matches can be viewed on ASun.TV by logging onto 

Dolphin notables
After being shutout in straight sets last weekend against Belmont and Lipscomb, JU shut out three straight opponents this week with wins over UNF, Bethune-Cookman and USC Upstate...against UNF, senior libero Shelley Walroth racked up a match-high 20 digs…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...against Bethune-Cookman, Walroth notched 20 digs while Singleton and Lehman each finished with 11 kills…Singleton also finished with a match-high .455 (11-1-22) hitting percentage, while Lehman hit .391 (11-2-23)…Kent tallied a match-high three blocks while notching six kills and a .333 (6-2-12) hitting percentage…junior setter Hannah Munneke paced the offense with 20 assists...against USC Upstate, Kent tallied 11 kills while Lehman registered 10 kills and a match-high .571 hitting percentage…JU 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…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 Singleton chipped in with seven kills and five digs…Munneke paced the offense with 24 assists.

Walroth counting down
Senior libero Shelley Walroth reached yet another milestone and is setting her sights on cracking the top 25 spots in NCAA history. After tallying the JU single-season record for digs as a freshman, Walroth surpassed Julie Heipp - 1,324 (1991-94) on the career list last season with 25 against Georgia Southern on Sept. 30, 2008. As a junior, she earned first team all-conference and A-Sun Defensive “Player of the Year” accolades while also garnering 2008 AVCA “Libero of the Year” Honorable Mention honors after ranking fourth in the nation with 5.87 dps. This year, Walroth added an A-Sun record to her belt by overtaking Ann Mullins of Lipscomb (1,969) for career digs with 21 against Sam Houston State on Sept. 5. With 17 at Belmont she surpassed 2,000 in her career and her next targets are family bragging rights and the NCAA Top 25. Walroth’s sister, Julie, tallied 2,095 career digs to set the program record at Evansville (2004-07). The younger Walroth currently holds the family single-season record but sits at 2,068 in her career and needs 27 to become the undisputed head of the family. In the NCAA career standings, Walroth needs 152 digs to crack the top 25 all-time and has a chance to etch her name in the record books for some time. The Division I record for career digs is 3,176 by Lara Newberry of Chattanooga from 2005-08. Walroth currently leads the A-Sun with an average of 5.47 digs per set. She has also found her way into the national rankings by sitting 11th with her digs per set average.

No “Clark” in this Kent
Senior middle hitter Nicki Kent is coming into her own in 2009 after being in the shadows of former teammates Melissa Merchant and Abby Gruenbacher. Since her arrival as a transfer from Wyoming in 2007, Kent has mainly been used off the bench or as a serving specialist as she tried to find her niche. Now in her final season with the program, she is the main presence at the net for the Dolphins and the numbers are beginning to reflect it. Kent currently leads the A-Sun in blocks with 1.19 blocks per set and also ranks sixth in the conference with .307 hitting percentage.

Dolphins in the A-Sun rankings
In the team rankings, JU is first in opponent hitting percentage (.151)..second in digs (16.50 dps)...third in service aces (1.64 aps)....fourth in blocks (1.83 bps). Individually, senior libero Shelley Walroth is first in digs per set (5.47) and second in digs (197)...senior middle blocker Nicki Kent is first in blocks per set (1.19) and tied for sixth in hitting percentage (.307)....junior middle blocker Brittany Lehman is fourth in aces per set (0.42) and ninth in hitting percentage (.294)...sophomore setter Ashley August is tied for sixth in service aces (0.36 aps)...junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager is eighth in kills per set (2.96).