Volleyball blanks UNC-Wilmington, 3-0
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf tallied a match-high 13 kills and junior libero Shelley Walroth notched a match-high 21 digs to lead the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-16) win over UNC-Wilmington, Thursday evening in a non-conference match at Hanover Hall.

JU (9-5), which is off to its best start since 2000, hit over .350 in two of its three sets to finish with a match-high .347 (45-11-98) hitting percentage. UNCW (5-10) hit .149 (30-15-101) and finished with a match-high 13 unforced errors (six serving, five receiving, three ball handling).

“We played solid tonight and we controlled the ball well,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We worked well together and tried to add a few wrinkles to continue to improve. Now we get back into conference and continue on our journey to get better.”

Bendorf had her four match double-double streak snapped but finished with a .357 (13-3-28) hitting percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager chipped in with eight kills while sophomore middle hitter Brittany Lehman had a match-high .750 (6-0-8) hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher added a match-high three blocks while junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton had six kills, six digs and two blocks.

Jennifer Mallard led the Seahawks with 10 kills and two blocks while Ashlyn Morris led the defense with 13 digs.

In the first set, JU took an early 11-2 advantage after a ball handling error by Jacqueline Crane but the Seahawks answered with a 5-0 run to cut the margin to 11-7. UNCW cut the deficit to 15-12 after an attack error by the Dolphins but JU answered with a 10-1 run, capped by a kill by Lehman, to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, the Dolphins took a 10-4 lead on an ace by sophomore setter Hannah Munneke but the Seahawks cut the margin to 17-12 with a kill by Lindsey Strucko. JU answered with a 6-2 run, capped by an ace by Lehman, to make it 23-14. UNCW made things interesting with a 6-1 run to cut the margin to 24-20, but JU got a kill by Singleton to increase the lead to 2-0.

In the final frame, each team went through two early ties before JU used a 9-1 run to make it 13-5. The Seahawks pulled to within four points (18-14) with a kill by Mallard but JU sealed the match quickly with a 7-2 run.

JU ends its two-match road trip with an A-Sun match against Campbell on Friday at 7 p.m. The match can be seen live on ASun.TV.