Volleyball sees streak end with 3-1 loss to Lipscomb

Oct. 13, 2007

Box Score

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Senior middle blocker Melissa Merchant tallied 12 kills and five blocks but the JU volleyball team could not overcome a sluggish start as the Dolphins had their season-high winning streak end with a loss to Lipscomb, 3-1 (19-30, 26-30, 30-28, 21-30), Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (12-10, 6-2) hit only .123 (46-25-171) in the contest, including below .100 in three of the four game, to see its longest winning streak under head coach Shaun Kupferberg end at seven.

Lipscomb (12-9, 5-2) was all over the court defensively with a match-high 87 digs, including five players in double figures, and also connected on 10 aces in the game. The Bisons have now recorded wins against a conference leader in consecutive weeks, including a 3-2 win over Florida Gulf Coast on Oct. 7.

"Lipscomb is a strong team and they are making a run in the conference by knocking off some good teams in the past few weeks," said Kupferberg. "We stumbled today but we need to put it behind us and continue to progress. We need to mature as a team and be able to stay in matches together for a solid weekend."

Merchant was the only Dolphins to finish with double-figure kills while tallying a match-high .524 (12-1-21) hitting percentage. Freshman setter Hannah Munneke tallied her team-leading ninth double-double (34 assists, 11 digs) and sophomore libero Michelle Walroth notched a team-high 17 digs to lead the defense. Freshman outside hitter Abby Gruenbacher and Aidan Yeager each chipped with six blocks, respectively.

Sara Snider tallied a match-high 29 kills to go along with 10 digs and four blocks to spark the Bisons. Stefine Pease paced the offense with a match-high 55 assists and finished with 10 digs. Jessica Enderle and Alex Kelly each added 13 kills to round out the offense. Ann Mullins racked up a match-high 33 digs and Grace Gilmore came off the bench to finish with 11 digs.

In game one, Lipscomb jumped on JU early and never looked back by starting with a 6-1 lead on an ace by Enderle. The Dolphins answered with a 3-0 run to cut the margin to 6-4 after a handling error by Pease, but the Bisons returned the favor with a 6-1 run to push the advantage to 12-5 on an attack error by the Dolphins. JU would get to within four (17-13) on an attack error by Kelly but Lipscomb used a 5-1 run to push the lead to 22-14 on an ace by Pease. The results would get no better for the Dolphins, who scored below 20 points in a game for the first time since Sept. 21 (ETSU), as the Bisons ended the match on a 4-0 run to take a 1-0 lead.

In the second game, the Bisons took another early, 7-3, on a kill by Scruggs but the Dolphins started to show some life by cutting the margin to one point on three occasions before tying the contest, 13-13, on a kill by Yeager. Once again, Lipscomb answered back quickly, this time with a 3-0 run, to put the Dolphins in a 16-13 hole. The Dolphins scratched their way back to another tie, 20-20, on a handling error by Gilmore but a 3-0 run by the Bisons made it 23-20. JU would answered back again with a run of its own, 5-0, to take its first lead of the match (25-23) but Lipscomb used a 3-1 run to tie the game (26-26) and ended it quickly with a 4-0 run to take a 2-0 lead.

In game three, the Dolphins battled their way back into the match as both teams went through 16 ties and four lead changes in the frame. Neither squad held a lead larger than two in the early going until JU opened up a 10-7 lead after an attack error by Kelly. Lipscomb answered back quickly with a 3-0 run, sparked by two Snider kills, to tie the game and induced seven ties in the next 16 plays. The Bisons were the first to pull away by taking a 23-19 lead on an attack error by the Dolphins but JU came back to tie the contest again (24-24) after an attack error by Katie Bradley. Both teams battled through four more ties until the Dolphins got consecutive kills from Yeager to make it a 2-1 match.

In the final frame, the Dolphins seemed to right the ship with an early 3-1 lead but the Bisons used a 10-3 run to take control of the game, 12-6. JU could not recover as Lipscomb's lead never dipped lower than four points, the last being 22-18, after an attack error by Snider. The Bisons would go on to win the match by ending the frame with an 8-3 run.

The Dolphins play a pair of non-conference matches at Bethune-Cookman (Oct. 18 at 7 p.m.) and Florida Gulf Coast (Oct. 19 7 p.m.) before returning to A-Sun play at Stetson on Oct. 20 at 5 p.m.