Volleyball blanks Kennesaw State, 3-0
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
The Dolphins are enjoying the comforts of home as senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf finished with a match-high 11 kills and a .320 (11-2-28) hitting percentage to lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-18) win over Kennesaw State, Saturday afternoon in Atlantic Sun Conference action at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (4-4, 2-1), which won its second straight three-set match, hit .220 (40-16-108) in the contest and tallied a match-high eight team blocks. KSU (1-8, 0-3) hit only .030 (27-24-98) but finished with seven team blocks.

“Kennesaw State is a very athletic team and it can be a challenge but our defense played well,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Offensively we were average but consistent, which is a lot better than we were last weekend. We just have to keep building tomorrow and then continue to get better in the next few months.”

Along with Bendorf, sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager tallied 10 kills, a .210 (10-5-23) hitting percentage and three blocks. Junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton had eight kills, a .280 (8-2-21) hitting percentage and 10 digs. Junior libero Shelley Walroth led the defense with 16 digs.

Sabrita Gulley led the Owls with seven kills while Selina O’Leary led the defense with a match-high 19 digs.

In the first set, both teams went through two ties until JU used a 10-0 run to open a 12-2 advantage. The Dolphins increased the lead to 15-4 on a kill by Singleton and would cruise the rest of the way as JU’s lead would never dip below nine points (17-8).

In the second set, each team battled back-and-forth through seven ties before JU used a 2-0 run to open a 13-11 advantage. The Owls cut the deficit to one on three occasions before a kill by Yeager gave the Dolphins a 17-14 lead. After a timeout, KSU used a 3-0 run to event the contest (17-17) and both teams went through three more ties until a 3-0 run gave the Owls a 23-20 advantage. JU would answer with a 4-0 run, capped by a block by Bendorf and sophomore middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher, to give the Dolphins a 24-23 lead. After a kill by Asjia Stokes evened it up, JU used a 2-0 run to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the final frame, JU jumped out to a 7-2 lead and then increased the margin to 11-4 on a kill by Bendorf. KSU answered with a 4-0 run to cut the deficit to 11-8, but the Dolphins pushed the advantage to 18-12 on a kill by Bendorf. KSU would cut the margin to 21-18 on a block by Stokes and Callie Churchwell but JU ended the set with a 4-0 run, capped by a Singleton kill to take the match.

JU will return to action at Swisher Gymnasium on Sunday against Bethune-Cookman at 5 p.m.