Volleyball heads back to the road with four match win streak

Oct. 4, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After winning a season-high four consecutive matches, the JU volleyball team (9-9, 3-1) will continue Atlantic Sun Conference play on the road this weekend.

The Dolphins begin the week at Campbell (3-12, 1-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. in Carter Gym before ending the weekend at Gardner-Webb (9-10, 1-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m.

JU's contest at Campbell is available through video streaming on only.

Heading into this weekend, senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant has seen her stock rise these days when it comes to playing defense at the net.

The Oakley, Calif. native, who leads the Atlantic Sun Conference in blocks, recently checked in at seventh place in the national rankings with an average of 1.69 blocks per game. She is also tied for first in the nation with 105 total blocks along with Endia Oliver of Tennessee State.

In a different perspective of her dominance in the A-Sun, she has surpassed the 100 block plateau (105) which is 32 ahead of Jen Darty of Mercer (73), who sits in second place.

Right here at home, Merchant reestablished herself in the JU record book by claiming the match high block record with 15 at ETSU on Sept. 21. She had tied the previous high of 13 at ETSU the year before.

Keeping it in the family
Sophomore libero Michelle Walroth is the single-season digs leader at JU and is second in the A-Sun with an average of 5.82 digs per game.

She has also finished with 30 digs on four occasions this season, including a season-high 32 against Butler and No. 23 Dayton.

Not only that, but Walroth joins fellow teammate Mellisa Merchant in the national rankings as she sits in the 16th spot. Even more interesting, is the fact she has company in the national rankings for digs by a member of the family.

Her sister, Julie, a senior libero at Evansville, and is currently ranked eightin in the nation with an average of 6.19 digs per game. Right back at ya

The Dolphin's first line of defense is setting the standard for the A-Sun and no one else is even close.

JU leads the conference with 2.98 blocks per game, which also ranks them 28th in the nation. The next team in the conference standings, Florida Gulf Coast, checks in with an average of 2.13 blocks per game.

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). The Dolphins followed up that effort with 20 blocks at ETSU (Sept. 21).

JU has tallied double figures in blocks in nine games and have been out blocked by only one opponent this season - No. 23 Dayton, 12-9.


With a 2-0 weekend, JU extended its season high winning streak to four matches. A closer look also reveals the Dolphins dropping only one game during that frame, going 12-1...the longest winning streak under the guidance of head coach Shaun Kupferberg is five from Oct. 20-Oct. 28 of last season...freshman setter Hannah Munneke ranks fourth in the conference with 11.32 assists per game...junior outside hitter Sara Bendorf ranks 10th in the conference with 3.13 kills and 0.43 aces per game...freshman outside hitters Aidan Yeager (1.15 bpg) and Abby Gruenbacher (1.07 bpg) are second and fourth, respectfully, in conference a team, JU is second in the A-Sun with a .165 opponent hitting percentage and third with a .206 hitting percentage.

ASun.TV now available
The JU Dolphins made their debut on ASun.TV against No. 8 Washington on Sept. 14 and 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.

Among the remaining matches on the 2007 schedule are Belmont (Oct. 12), UNF (Oct. 26/Nov. 8) and Savannah State (11/1).