Volleyball battles Seattle but eventually falls, 3-1
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Down 2-0 in the match, the Dolphins made things interesting but eventually fell in an extended set four as the JU volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (21-25, 21-25, 27-25, 29-31) contest to Seattle, Friday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (12-12) hit a match-low .178 but found a way to extend both set three and four to the brink.

SU (12-12), who defeated UNF 3-1 last night to begin its East Coast swing, hit .221 in the match while tallying a 12 team blocks.

“Seattle is a consistent team and they don’t give you any breathing room with mistakes,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We played better defensively, especially in the final two sets, and we were in each game. We have some more time to work on things before we head off to Nashville next weekend.”

Senior outside hitter Brittany Lehman led the Dolphins with a match-high 20 kills while adding 10 digs and hitting a team-high .378 (20-6-37). Freshman setter Kendall Courtney added 47 assists and 11 digs while junior libero Ashley August led the defense with 13 digs. Senior outside hitter Aidan Yeager added 10 kills and five blocks while sophomore outside hitter Alliya Drzewiecki chipped in with 10 kills and eight digs.

For Yeager, the 10 kills made her the sixth Dolphin to surpass 1,000 career kills and moved her past Sara Bendorf (2006-08, 1,006) for fifth on the all-time list.

Cristin Richards led the Redhawks with 19 kills while adding eight digs and five blocks. Janet Beckerman finished with 15 kills and a match-high .520 (15-2-25) hitting percentage. Sarah Jaeckel chipped in with 11 kills, seven digs and three blocks while Jamie Mellies paced the offense with a match-high 52 assists. Emily Deleissegues (17 digs) and Allison Farley (six blocks) each led the SU defense.

In the first set, both teams went through 13 ties through the frame (the last coming at 20-20) until the Redhawks used a 5-1 run to end the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, both teams went through 12 ties (the last coming at 14-14) until SU used a 5-1 run to take a 19-15 advantage of a block by Farley and Jaeckel. JU would cut the margin to 21-20 with a kill by Lehman but the Redhawks would answer with a 4-1 run to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

In the third frame, JU jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a block by freshman middle blocker Alyssa Robertson and a Yeager. SU would answer back to tie the score (5-5) after an attack error by the Dolphins. JU would answer with a 2-0 run, capped by a kill by Drzewiecki, to open up a 7-5 advantage and then push the lead to 12-9 after an attack error by Jordan Keller. The Redhawks would answer back with a 6-1 run to take a 15-13 lead on an attack error by the Dolphins but JU would even the score (16-16) with a kill by Yeager. Both teams would go through seven more ties (the last coming at 25-25) until the Dolphins got a kill by Yeager and sophomore middle blocker Alison Loeppky to cut the deficit to 2-1.

In the fourth set, JU took an early 10-5 lead after an attack error by Julia Bonadio but the Redhawks would claw back to tie the score (15-15) after an attack error by the Dolphins. Both teams would battle through 13 more ties (the last coming at 29-29) until a kill by Jaeckel and Richards would seal the match for SU.

The Dolphins will return to conference action with two matches in Nashville beginning with Belmont on Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. ET.