Volleyball competes in Black & Gold Challenge this weekend

Sept. 6, 2007


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After going 2-1 at The Loop Pizza Grill Invitational, the JU volleyball team will compete in the Black & Gold Challenge this weekend at Reynolds Gymnasium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Dolphins will open the tournament against Radford at 4:30 p.m., on Friday. JU will then have two matches on Saturday with No. 23 Dayton at 10 a.m., and host Wake Forest at 7 p.m.

All matches will be available on GameTracker at

Killer instinct
Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf is getting back on track after leading the Dolphins to a 2- 1 mark at The Loop Pizza Grill Invitational over the weekend. Bendorf earned all-tournament honors after leading the squad with 43 kills, 3.91 kills per game, a .375 hitting percentage and 11 aces while ranking third with 1.73 digs per game.

In all four matches last week, including Georgia, she finished with double-figure kills and also tallied a double-double (22K, 10D) against Presbyterian College. For the week, she finished with 53 kills, 3.79 kills per game, a .348 hitting percentage and 11 aces, 1.93 digs per game and four blocks.

Dig it
Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth directs the Dolphin defense in 2007 after setting a program record with 571 digs in her first year with the program. Her total shattered the previous mark of 465 by Terri Hallenbeck in 1987.

An A-Sun all-freshman team selection, Walroth also set a program record with 34 digs in a four-game match against North Florida, surpassing the previous mark of 30 by Cheryl Rothwell vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997.

This season, she is off to a good pace by averaging 5.78 digs per game, which ranks her second in the conference.

She also earned all-tournament honors for The Loop Pizza Grill Invitational after finishing with a tournament-high 57 digs and an average of 5.18 dpg.

Junior transfer Kesley Clark should be able to return to action this weekend after missing the first two weeks of the season with an ankle injury...JU had five players hit over .400 in a win over Providence on Sept. 1 - senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant (.438, 10-3-16), junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf (.450, 10-1-20) senior outside hitter Katie Hendrian (.800, 4-0-5), freshman middle hitter Abby Gruenbacher (.583, 7-0-12) and freshman outside hitter Aidan Yeager (.429, 4-1-7)...JU's contest against No. 23 Dayton on Saturday was selected as the A-Sun Match of the Week.

Head coach Shaun Kupferberg
Shaun Kupferberg enters his second season at the helm of the Dolphin volleyball program after five successful seasons as the head coach at Northwest University.

In his inaugural year at JU, Kupferberg went through growing pains with his new squad but eventually enjoyed the fruits of his labor at the end of the season as JU advanced to the A-Sun Tournament Finals for only the second time in program history.

His five-year record at Northwest was 91- 52, with only one losing season (his first) during that time frame. During his tenure, he led Northwest to its highest national ranking ever (10th) and to its first-ever regional championship match.

Lehman named all-tournament
Freshman outside hitter Brittany Lehman left a lasting impression on the coaching staff last weekend after being named to the Orange and Green Challenge all-tournament team.

In three matches, she led the squad with 31 kills, 2.82 kills per game and a .242 hitting percentage. She also ranked third on the squad with nine blocks and fourth with 20 digs.

She currently has a two match double- double streak under her belt as well.