Volleyball streak ends with 3-2 loss to Lipscomb
Junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton
Junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton
In a hard fought rematch of the 2007 A-Sun Tournament Championship, three Dolphins finished with double-doubles and junior libero Shelley Walroth notched a career-high 38 digs but the JU volleyball team fell to Lipscomb (24-26, 25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 5-15), Saturday evening at Swisher Gymnasium.

JU (8-5, 5-2), which had its six-match winning streak snapped and dropped its first match at home, despite hitting a match-high .222 (63-22-185) and tallying a season-high 14 team blocks. LU (8-6, 6-0) hit .150 (61-31-200) but took advantage of 16 unforced errors by the Dolphins (11 serving, three receiving, two ball handling) while only committing six (four serving, one receiving, one ball handling).

“Despite the loss tonight, we saw some good things out of our team,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We hit well and blocked much better tonight. We showed flashes of being a great team but we need to be consistent. Our serving was a weak spot for us but we will get that under control. Lipscomb is a great team and we look forward to seeing them again in Nashville.”

Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf, who notched her fourth straight double-double, tallied a match-high 22 kills and 11 digs to run her total to seven for the year. Junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton tallied her first career double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs while also hitting .333 (12-3-27). Freshman setter Ashley August also doubled up with 29 assists and 10 digs.

Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager chipped in with 11 kills while sophomore middle hitter Abby Gruenbacher (match-high eight blocks) and freshman outside hitter Kathryn Kane (five blocks) added to the defense.

Amy Trykowski led the Bison with 15 kills, a match-high .448 (15-2-29) hitting percentage and four blocks. Stefine Pease (match-high 49 assists, 13 digs) and Alex Kelly (14 kills, 13 digs) each doubled up for LU while Jessica Turner led the defense with 32 digs.

In the first set, LU took an early 6-2 after consecutive attack errors the Dolphins but JU chipped away to even the contest, 13-13, with a block by sophomore middle blocker Brittany Lehman and Yeager. JU would continue its streak with a 3-0 run to take a 16-13 advantage but the Bisons answered with a 4-1 run to tie the contest at 17-17. JU used a 5-1 run to take a 22-18 lead but LU answered with a 4-0 run to even the contest again, this time at 22-22. Both teams battled through two more ties until the Bisons got a kill by Kelly and an ace by Erin Pierce to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Dolphins lead from start to finish beginning with a 9-5 advantage. The Dolphins increased the margin to 12-7 after an attack error by Kelly and then pushed the lead to 19-12 with a kill by Bendorf. The Dolphins used a 6-2 run, capped by an attack error by Pease, to even the match.

In the third frame, JU took a 7-3 lead after a kill by Singleton and increased the margin to 10-5 after an attack error by Pierce. LU cut the deficit to 12-11 after consecutive kills by Katie Rose but the Dolphins answered with a 2-0 run, capped by a kill by Yeager, to push the margin to 14-11. The Bisons evened the contest, 15-15, with a 4-1 run and both team would battle through one more tie (17-17) before LU used a 3-0 run to take a 20-17 lead. The Dolphins answered right back with a 4-0 run, capped by a kill by Bendorf, to take a 21-20 lead but the Bisons would tie the contest two more times before ending the set on a 3-1 run to take a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the fourth set, both teams battled went through two ties before JU used a 3-0 run to take a 10-7 lead on a block by Gruenbacher and Kane. LU would cut the deficit to 12-11 with a kill by Kelly but the Dolphins righted the ship and took a commanding 21-13 advantage on the heels of a 6-0 run. The Bisons would battle back late to cut the deficit to 24-20 but JU got a kill by Kane to even the match

In the final frame, the Bisons dominated from start to finish as they jumped out to an early 4-0 lead. LU made it 9-2 after a kill by Katie Bradley but JU would attempt a comeback by trimming the deficit to 9-4 on a block by Singleton and junior middle blocker Nicki Kent. LU would cruise the rest of the way, ending the set with a 6-1 run, to take the match.

JU will return to the road this week beginning with a non-conference match against UNC-Wilmington on Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.