Volleyball falls to Lipscomb, 3-1
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager
The Dolphins found themselves in prime position to make a move at the top of the conference but could not finish things off as the JU volleyball team fell to second-place Lipscomb, 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 27-29, 25-27), Friday evening at Allen Arena.

JU (13-7, 8-4) evened the match at 1-1 and help set point in frames three and four. LU (14-9, 11-2) found ways to rally to extend its winning streak to four matches over the Dolphins.

“We had big leads in the last two sets but we couldn’t hold it,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “Lipscomb is a solid team and they were able to find a way to finish games off.”

Sophomore outside hitter Aidan Yeager led the Dolphins with 13 kills and a .355 (13-2-31) hitting percentage. Sophomore middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher added 11 kills and a match-high six blocks. Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf chipped in with nine kills, 16 digs and two blocks while sophomore middle blocker Brittany Lehman added six kills and a .417 (6-1-12) hitting percentage. Junior libero Shelley Walroth led the defense with a match-high 23 digs.

Alex Kelly led the Bisons with a match-high 17 kills and 18 digs while Stefine Pease added a match-high 50 assists and 14 digs. Erin Pierce also added a double-double (12 kills, 11 kills) and a .323 (12-2-31) hitting percentage. Jessica Turner led the defense with 20 digs.

In the first set, both teams went through two ties until used a 2-0 run to open up an early 4-2 lead. JU cut the deficit to one point on two occasions until the Bisons used an 8-3 run, capped by a block by Katie Rose and Amy Trykowski, to increased the margin to 14-8. The Dolphins cut the deficit to two points (15-13) after a ball handling error by Pease but LU answered with a 5-1 run to make it 20-14. The Dolphins got as close as four points (24-20) the rest of the way but a kill by Katie Bradley gave the Bison a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, both teams battled through 14 ties as no team held a lead larger than three points (JU, 8-5) until LU took a 21-19 lead with a kill by Bradley. After a timeout by JU, both teams traded a point but the Dolphins used a 4-0 run, fueled by three Bison errors, to make it 24-22. After a service error by JU, LU helped even up the match when Bradley finished the set with a hitting error.

In the third frame, both teams went through three ties until JU used a 5-1 run to open a 10-6 lead. LU cut the deficit to one point (12-11) but the Dolphins answered with a 4-1 run, capped by an attack error by Bradley, to increase the margin to 16-12. LU rallied with an 8-2 run to event the contest (18-18) and both team would battle through three more ties until the Dolphins used a 3-1 run to take a 24-22 advantage. LU answered with two kills by a Trykowski and an ace by Kaley Mohr to take a 25-24 lead but a kill by Yeager evened things up after a JU timeout. After each team traded a point, JU held set point again (27-26) after a block by Gruenbacher and Bendorf. The Bisons would rally again, this time with two kills by Kelly and an ace by Pierce, to take control of momentum with a 2-1 lead in the match.

In the final set, JU jumped out to an 11-6 lead with a kill by Lehman and would continue to hold lead (16-11) until the Bisons used a 6-1 run to even the contest. Both team would battle through five more ties until the Dolphins used a 2-0 run, fueled by kills from Yeager and Gruenbacher, to take a 24-22 advantage. LU would rally again, this time with a Kelly and Rose, the even the set at 24-24. Both teams would trade points again, until the Bisons ended the match with a kill by Trykowski and a kill by Rose.

JU will complete its road trip on Saturday against Belmont at 4 p.m. ET in the A-Sun “Match of the Week”. The contest can be seen live through video streaming on ASun.TV.