Volleyball ends weekend with a 3-0 loss to Florida A&M
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
The JU volleyball team did not have the finish it was looking for to end the weekend as the Dolphins fell to Florida A&M, 3-0 (23-25, 18-25, 22-25), Saturday afternoon in the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Tournament at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

JU (2-3) hit .280 (33-10-82) for the match but finished with 19 errors (11 service, six receiving, two ball handling) as it dropped two sets by two points. FAMU (2-3) hit .292 (47-16-106) but had 13 errors (nine service, three ball handling, one receiving).

“We weren’t good today and I take the blame for that,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “I did not have us prepared to play this weekend and I can promise that it will never happen again.”

Freshman outside hitter Kathryn Kane finished with a team-high eight kills and a .500 (8-0-16) hitting percentage. Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf tallied seven kills, a .353 (7-1-17) hitting percentage and eight digs. Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager finished with seven kills, a .333 (7-2-15) hitting percentage and a match-high four blocks. Sophomore middle hitter Brittany Lehman hit .500 (4-0-8) and tallied two blocks while junior libero Shelley Walroth led the defense with 10 digs.

Jovanna Blazeski finished with a match-high 21 kills, a team-high .326 (21-7-43) hitting percentage, seven digs and three blocks. Maria Gomez added 13 kills while Susan Egoavail paced the offense with 41 assists.

In the first set, FAMU took a 4-1 lead after an ace by Samara Ferraz but JU came back to even things up, 5-5, after an attack error by Blazeski. Both teams went through one more tie (8-8) before the Rattlers used a 3-0 run to retake the lead, 11-8, on a kill by Ferraz. The Dolphins stormed back with a 6-0 run, capped by a block assist by Yeager and Lehman, to take their first lead of the set (14-11). JU increased the lead to 17-13 on a kill by Yeager but the Ratters answered back with a 9-2 run, capped by an attack error by the Dolphins, to take a 22-19 advantage. JU would cut the deficit to 23-22 on a service error by Ferraz but FAMU got a pair of kills from Gomez to give the Rattlers a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, both teams went through two ties before FAMU took a 7-4 lead on a block assist by Blazeski and Ferraz. JU cut the deficit to 8-7 with a kill by sophomore setter Hannah Munneke but the Rattlers answered back with a 4-1 run, capped by Gomez kill, to push the lead to 12-8. FAMU made it 15-10 after an attack error by the Dolphins before increasing the margin to 22-13 with a 4-1 run. The Rattlers would lead by no less than seven points the remainder of the way as they took a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the final frame, both teams battled through two ties before the Dolphins used a 3-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. FAMU answered back to tie the set more 11 times, trailing by no more than two points, before taking an 18-17 lead on a kill by Blazeski. Both teams went through four more ties until the Rattlers used a 4-1 run to take a 24-21 lead and seal the match.

JU will open Atlantic Sun Conference action on Tuesday at 7 p.m. as the Dolphins face cross-town rival UNF at UNF Arena.