Volleyball opens A-Sun play this weekend on the road

Sept. 20, 2007


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After going 2-1 in their most recent homestand, the JU volleyball team (5-8) will open Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend on the road.

The Dolphins begin the week against East Tennessee State (7-7) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Brooks Gymnasium. JU will then take on conference newcomer USC Upstate on Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Hodge Center. The contest against the Spartans can be followed live on GameTracker.

Before making their way back to Florida, the squad will play UNC-Asheville for a non- conference match on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Justice Center.

Bendorf named Community First POW
Junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf was named Community First Credit Union "Student-Athlete of the Week" after leading the Dolphins to a 2-1 record last weekend.

Bendorf led the Dolphin offense with 39 kills and a 3.9 kills per game average while also ranking second with a .269 (39-14-93) hitting percentage. She was also a key part of the Dolphin defense, ranking second with 24 digs and an average of 2.4 digs per game.

In a 3-0 win over Bethune-Cookman, Bendorf finished with a team-high 10 kills and a match-high .643 (10-1-14) hitting percentage to go along with nine digs. Against No. 8 Washington, she led the Dolphins' offense once again by tallying 11 kills and a .233 (11-4-30) hitting percentage. She was also the only JU player to tally more than six kills against the Huskies in the contest. In a 3-2 win over New Orleans, she finished off her strong weekend with a double-double by tallying 18 kills and 11 digs.

Bendorf ranks ninth in the conference with 3.11 kpg and 1.02 aces per game.

Block party
The Dolphin's first line of defense has made its presence felt on the court and in the conference statistics.

JU leads the conference with 2.8 blocks per game, which also ranks them 41st in the nation.

A big jump in the rankings came at the hands of New Orleans as JU's 23 blocks against the Privateers tied a program record which was set by the squad last season at East Tennessee State (Oct. 5).

Along with the record tying blocks, freshman middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher set a program record with 13 blocks to surpass the previous record of 12 which was held by Melissa Merchant (2006) and Carrie Windell (1997).

To put the match in perspective, JU had three players finish with at least 10 blocks (Gruenbacher - 13, Aidan Yeager - 11, Merchant 10) while also getting seven blocks by setter Hannah Munneke.

All in the family
Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth is the single-season digs leader at JU and ranks 15th in the nation with 5.91 digs per game but she has competition in the family.

Her sister, Julie, is a senior libero at Evansville and is currently ranked seventh in the nation with an average of 6.3 digs per game.

Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant leads the conference and ranks 28th in the nation with 1.5 blocks per game...Freshman setter Hannah Munneke is third in the A-Sun with 11.21 assists per game...Junior outside hitter Kesley Clark made her JU debut against Bethune-Cookman on Sept. 13 after missing the first 10 matches with an ankle injury.

ASun.TV now available
The JU Dolphins made their debut on ASun.TV against No. 8 Washington on Sept. 14 and four more matches remain. To sign up to view any of the contests, or any other packages offered, log onto

ASun.TV events will be available for viewing both live and via on-demand replay to fans throughout the country that purchase a Single Event Pass ($5.99 per event), a monthly All-Event Pass ($9.99 per month), or an annual All-Event pass ($69.99 per year). Both the annual and monthly All- Event Passes allow unlimited access to games within their respective timeframes.

The remaining matches on the 2007 schedule are Belmont (Oct. 12), UNF (Oct. 26/Nov. 8) and Savannah State (11/1). The Shaun Kupferberg Show will also be available every Tuesday as a special feature and can either be purchased individually or can be seen free after choosing the annual All-Event pass.