THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2008
Volleyball competes in Florida Tournament this weekend
Junior middle blocker Nicki Kent
Junior middle blocker Nicki Kent
Off to its best start since 2000, the JU volleyball team will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to compete in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Tournament at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. The Dolphins open the weekend against host No. 8 Florida on Friday at 7 p.m. before closing the weekend against Florida A&M on Saturday at 3 p.m. JU's match against Florida can be purchased to view on gatorzone.com.

Another one bites the dust
Junior libero Shelley Walroth broke her own single-season digs record at JU with 672 last year and is poised to destroy the career record with two full seasons remaining in her career. After tallying the JU single-season record for digs, Walroth surpassed Julie Heipp - 1,324 (1991- 94) on the career list with 25 against Georgia Southern to give her 1,328 for her career. This season, Walroth is setting the standard in the A-Sun by leading the conference with 85 digs and 6.54 digs per set.

Bendorf named A-Sun "Player of the Week"
Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf was awarded the first Atlantic Sun Conference "Player of the Week" for 2008 after tallying three double-doubles to lead the Dolphins to a Holiday Inn Tournament title over the weekend in Statesboro, Ga. Bendorf, who also earned all-tournament honors for the weekend, becomes the first Dolphin to earn the weekly honor since she received the award for the first time on Sept. 25, 2006. Against UCF, she tallied 21 kills, 10 digs and a .190 (21-10-58) hitting percentage as the Dolphins fell to the Knights, 3-2, in day one. Against Presbyterian, Bendorf led the squad to its first win of 2008 with a match-high 15 kills and 10 digs while also tallying three blocks. In the tournament finale against host Georgia Southern, she finished with a match- high 18 kills and 10 digs while also tallying two blocks and a .292 (18-4- 48) hitting percentage. For the weekend, Bendorf led the squad with 54 kills and 4.15 kills per set while ranking second with a .233 hitting percentage and third with 30 digs and a 2.31 digs per set average. Her kills and kills per set average rank her second in the A-Sun.

Dolphin notables
JU is off to its best start to a season since beginning the 2000 campaign with a 4-1 record. Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf, junior libero Shelley Walroth and sophomore setter Hannah Munneke were each selected to the Holiday Inn Tournament all-tournament team.

Still big up front
Sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Abby Gruenbacher is also coming off a freshman campaign which earned her A-Sun all-freshman accolades but must fill the shoes of departed middle Melissa Merchant. As a freshman, Gruenbacher ranked third in the conference and led all freshmen with 98 total blocks, including a season-high 13 total blocks vs. New Orleans. She also ranked second on the squad in hitting percentage (.263) and went over .300 on 13 occasions. Gruenbacher is off to a nice start in 2008 by leading the squad with a .256 hitting percentage and 17 blocks while also ranking second with 36 kills. In the conference rankings, she leads the A-Sun with 17 blocks and 1.31 bpg and is seventh with 2.77 kills per set.

Hannah's money
Sophomore setter Hannah Munneke (pronounced mun-ah-key) was thrown into the pool without much security in her first season with the program but she certainly didn't sink. In her first season, Munneke earned Atlantic Sun Conference all-freshman honors after ranking third in the A-Sun with 11.61 assists per game while also leading all setters in service aces (35) and blocks (58). She also set a new single-season assists record (1,356) surpassing Erin Donivan (1,244 - 2005) and is on pace to shatter the career assist record of 3,969 by Michelle Glover (1991-94). In 2008, Munneke has paced the Dolphin offense to their best start since 2000 by leading the conference with 147 assists and 11.31 assists per set.