THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2007
Volleyball defeats Bethune-Cookman, 3-0, to open homestand

Sept. 13, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf finished with 10 kills, nine digs and a match-high .643 (10-1-14) hitting percentage while a host of Dolphins added solid efforts as the JU volleyball team defeated Bethune-Cookman, 3-0 (30-22, 30-22, 30-21), Thursday evening to open a three-game homestand at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (4-7) were fluid offensively as five Dolphins finished with at least five kills while freshman setter Hannah Munneke dished out a match-high 41 assists despite sitting out half of the third game. The Wildcats (1-4) hit .030 from the floor as a team and finished with 31 errors on offense.

"Things are staring to come together for us," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "Hannah had her best game as a Dolphin by being consistent with her setting. Our hitters also had a much better tempo and a sense of urgency. Every player we put in tonight played well for us."

Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant racked up a match-high seven kills to help the Dolphins tally 15 for the contest, including a five block effort by sophomore outside hitter Nicki Kent in the second game. Freshmen outside hitters Abby Gruenbacher (nine kills, three blocks), Aidan Yeager (six kills, five blocks) and Brittany Lehman (six kills, three blocks) and senior defensive specialist Katie O'Brien (nine digs) also finished with solid matches.

Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth led the back line with 17 digs while junior outside hitter Kesley Clark finished with nine kills and eight digs in her JU debut.

Danielle Goodrum led the Wildcats with a match-high 12 kills and Reina Carson added 11 kills to round out the B-CU players in double figures. Jessica Belton tallied a match-high 18 digs and Alyse Guzman added 11 digs to lead the defense.

In game one, JU jumped out to an early 6-1 lead after a kill by Merchant before the Dolphins increased the advantage to 12-5 on an attack error by Chelle Tison. JU would lead by as many as 10 points as B-CU would only get as close as six points (28-22) last in the game.

In the second frame, the Dolphins took a 7-2 lead after consecutive kills by Clark before the Wildcats cut the margin to 9-5 on a kill by Goodrum. JU answered with a 5-2 run to make it 14-7 as the Dolphins kept the pressure on by not trailing by any less than seven points for the remainder of the game.

In the final game, JU took another early 7-2 lead after consecutive attack errors by the Wildcats and increased the margin to 13-4 after a kill by Gruenbacher. B-CU would cut the margin to 18-13 after an attack error by JU but the Dolphin bench mob closed out the match, including a stint by O'Brien as the setter.

JU will next play No. 8 Washington on Friday at 7 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium as the Dolphins make their debut on ASun.TV. The contest will be shown live via video streaming and can be purchased for viewing, along with other package options, on www.judolphins.com.