Volleyball holds off ETSU, 3-1
Sophomore Ashley August
Sophomore Ashley August
Senior outside hitter Brooke Singleton tallied a match-high 17 kills and 10 digs while senior libero Shelley Walroth finished with a match-high 23 digs to lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-21, 28-26) win over ETSU, Friday evening in the A-Sun “Match of the Week” at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (11-5, 7-2), which now holds its longest winning streak under head coach Shaun Kupferberg, increased its streak to eight matches and its program record home winning streak to 12 (5-0 this season). The Dolphins hit a match-high .250 and tallied eight service aces, including two consecutive aces by sophomore middle blocker Kathryn Kane to seal the victory.

ETSU (6-11, 5-4) bounced back with a dominant win in set two and finished with a match-high seven team blocks but could not take advantage of 14 service errors by the Dolphins.

“ETSU really made us earn our victory tonight,” said Kupferberg. “They are a much better team than when we last saw them and they played great defense all night. We have been playing with some injuries and then some more popped up during the match. Luckily, we were able to push through and come up with a big win.”

Senior middle blocker Nicki Kent has been limited with a knee injury but was pressed into service when freshman middle blocker Alison Loeppky left the match in set two with a finger injury. Kane, who also has been playing with an ankle injury, was also used often at the net to make up for the lost bodies.

Walroth, who tallied her eighth 20 dig performance of the year, is now 39 digs shy of cracking the top 25 all-time in NCAA history.

Along with Singleton, junior outside hitter Aidan Yeager finished with 16 kills and a team-best .371 (16-3-35) hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Brittany Lehman also added 12 kills, seven digs and four blocks. Junior Hannah Munneke added a double-double (55 assists, 10 digs) while sophomore defensive specialist Ashley August helped the defense with 10 digs. Kent also chipped in with eight kills, a .357 (8-3-14) hitting percentage and two blocks.

Whitney Cogburn led the Lady Bucs with 11 kills and 11 digs while Alysa Long added 10 kills and a match-high .529 (10-1-17) hitting percentage. Amanda Youell paced the offense with 38 assists while adding eight digs and three blocks. Jen Neice (15 digs), Lauren Baufield (13 digs) and Dani Howe (10 digs) also contribute to the ETSU defense.

In the first set, both teams battled through five ties until JU used a 5-0 run to take a 12-7 advantage after a bad set by Youell. ETSU would answer with a 5-0 run, capped by a block assist by Youell and Alysa Long, to even the contest once again (12-12). Both teams would go through five more ties until the Dolphins used a 5-0 run, fueled by three consecutive attack error by the Lady Bucs, to make it 24-19. After an attack error by JU, the Dolphins took a 1-0 lead in the match after a kill by senior middle blocker Nicki Kent.

In the second frame, both teams went through three ties until ETSU used a 3-0 run to open up a 6-3 advantage on an ace by Jen Neice. After a kill by Yeager, the Bucs used a 4-0 run to push the lead to 9-4 on a block assist by Youell and McKayle Barber. After a service error by Cogburn, ETSU used a 4-0 run to make it 13-5 after an attack error by the Dolphins. ETSU increased the lead to 16-7 after another attack error by JU and both teams would trade points until a block by Kent and Lehman cut the margin to 24-19. ETSU would even the match, 1-1, heading into the break after a kill by Baufield.

In the third set, ETSU took an early 4-1 lead after a bad set by the Dolphins but JU answered with a 4-1 run to even the match (5-5) on a kill by Lehman. Both teams would battle through 11 more ties until JU used a 2-0 run, capped by a kill by Kent, to take a 22-20 advantage. After a kill by Long, the Dolphins ended the set with a 3-0 run to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth frame, both teams went through five ties until ETSU used a 3-1 run to open up a 13-10 lead on a kill by Cogburn. JU countered with a 4-1 run, capped by a kill by Yeager, to even the contest once again (14-14). Both teams would endure five more ties until JU used a 3-0 run, capped by an attack error by Cogburn, to open up a 22-19 lead. ETSU answered with a 4-0, capped by Baufield, to take a 23-22 advantage. Both teams would go through four more ties until Kane’s back-to-back aces won the match for JU.

JU will continue A-Sun action at home as the Dolphins host Kennesaw State on Saturday at 3 p.m.