Volleyball drops heartbreaker to Presbyterian College, 3-2

Sept. 1, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf tallied a double-double but the JU volleyball team were their own worst enemy with 15 service errors and 10 receiving errors in a 3-2 (30-24, 23-30, 29-31, 30-19, 12-15) loss to Presbyterian College, Saturday afternoon in the second day of The Loop Pizza Grill Invitational at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (1-5) finished with a match-high .281 hitting percentage but could not come up with the big play at the critical time in games three and five. PC (2-4) is the only undefeated team in the tournament and will look for the tournament championship against The Citadel at 5 p.m.

"Presbyterian is a solid defensive team and they frustrated us with their ball control," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "Consistency is a big issue with us and until we get game experience, we will continue to have highs and lows like we have experience so far this season."

Bendorf finished with a season-high 22 kills and 10 digs while also hitting .410 from the floor (22-6-39). Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant tallied 11 kills and a match-high six blocks while freshman outside hitters Brittany Lehman (15), Aidan Yeager (11) also added double-figure kills for the Dolphins.

Freshman setter Hannah Munneke finished with a match-high 61 assists and added eight digs while sophomore libero Michelle Walroth led the defense with 23 digs. Freshman outside hitter Abby Gruenbacher led the squad with a .538 hitting percentage (8-1-13).

Lauren Mason led the Blue Hose with a tournament-high 33 kills and 16 digs while also hitting .400 (33-7-65). Amanda Kettles (11) and Kelsey McKee (10) also finished with double figure kills while Amanda Davis (15) and Rachael Lewis (12) contributed to the defensive digs.

In the first game, JU jumped out to a 7-3 lead after a kill by Gruenbacher and would push the advantage to 20-10 on a kill by Bendorf. The Blue Hose would cut the deficit to 25-22 on an ace by Justine Lanchester but the Dolphins ended the game on a 5-2 run to finish with a match-high .510 hitting percentage (18-2-31).

In the second game, PC took a 5-1 lead after a kill by Mason but JU cut the deficit to 9-8 on a kill by Merchant. The Blue Hose answered with a 5-1 run to lead 14-9 but the Dolphins pulled to with two (16-14) after a bad set by Lewis. PC answered with a 9-3 run to make it 25-17 after taking advantage of three attack errors by the Dolphins and two consecutive aces by the Blue Hose. The Dolphins would pull to within four (25-21) but PC ended the game on a 5-2 run and capitalized on a match-low .040 hitting percentage (11-9-47) by the Dolphins.

In game three, both teams played even throughout the entire game as neither squad held more than a two-point advantage while going through 17 ties and 10 lead changes. With the score tied at 29-29 after a kill by Bendorf, the Blue Hose ended the match with consecutive kills to finish with a .350 hitting percentage (19-4-42).

In the fourth game, JU bounced back quickly by using a 9-2 run to take a 16-9 advantage after a kill by Bendorf. The Dolphins cruised to an easy win in the remainder of the game after hitting .440 (18-3-34) from the floor and not allowing PC to get any closer than six points. In the deciding game, PC saved its best for last by hitting a match-high .410 (9-2-17). The Blue Hose took an early 3-1 lead before JU used an 8-4 run to lead 9-7 after a pair of aces by Gruenbacher. PC evened the game, 11-11, on a kill by Mason and ended the contest with a 4-1 run to seal the game.

JU will end The Loop Pizza Grill Invitational with a 7 p.m. contest against Providence at Swisher Gymnasium. Presbyterian and The Citadel will play at 5 p.m.

Providence defeated The Citadel, 3-0 (30-21, 30-27, 30-21) in the morning contest.