Volleyball sweeps road trip with 3-0 win over USC Upstate
Sophomore middle hitter Brittany Lehman
Sophomore middle hitter Brittany Lehman
The Dolphins increased their winning streak to five matches as senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf tallied her second straight double-double to lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-23) win over USC Upstate, Saturday afternoon at the Hodge Center.

JU (7-4, 4-1), which swept its first road trip against ETSU and USC Upstate, hit .300 (45-15-100) in the contest and tallied a match-high eight team blocks. USCU (3-9, 1-4) hit .123 (31-18-106) in the match.

“Everyone hit well today and we had a well balanced offensive attack but we need to develop more consistency,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We have a big weekend coming up so now we can shift our focus there. We need to work on gaining ground on the conference leaders.”

Bendorf tallied a match-high 17 kills and 10 digs to run her double-double total to five for the year. Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager finished with nine kills, a .467 (9-2-15) hitting percentage and three blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Brittany Lehman tallied five kills, a .625 (5-0-8) hitting percentage and a match-high four blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher also added a match-high four blocks while junior libero Shelley Walroth notched a match-high 25 digs.

Sandra Campbell led the Spartans with nine digs and two blocks while Holly Mauldin tallied 21 assists and seven digs. Jane Hawryliw also added a team-high .364 (5-1-11) hitting percentage.

In the first set, Upstate jumped out to a 7-2 lead after four consecutive errors by the Dolphins (one service, three attacking) and then increased the margin to 10-4 on another attack error by JU. The Dolphins answered with a 5-1 run, capped by a an attack error by Kelsie Queen, to cut the deficit to 11-9 and then cut the margin to one point on seven occasions until another attack error by Queen evened the contest at 20-20. Both teams traded points until JU used a short 2-0 run, fueled by a pair of kills by Bendorf, to take a 23-21 lead. After a kill by Jovana Lubura, the Dolphins got a kills by Bendorf and junior middle blocker Nicki Kent to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, both teams battled through five ties until JU opened the flood gates with an 8-0 run to open a 15-7 lead. The Dolphins increased the margin to 19-10 on a kill by Lehman before scoring the final six points of the set to take a 2-0 lead.

In the final frame, both team went through seven ties until Upstate used a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 advantage. JU answered back to tie the contest, 15-15, after an attack error by Angie Varnum which would lead to three more ties in the set. The Spartans broke the stalemate with a 4-0 run to take a 22-18 lead but the Dolphins came storming back with a 7-1 run, fueled by three consecutive attack errors by Upstate, to seal the match.

JU will return to Swisher Gymnasium for Atlantic Sun Conference this week beginning with Belmont on Friday at 7 p.m. The contest can be viewed live on ASun.TV.