Volleyball falls to Belmont, 3-0
Junior libero Shelley Walroth
Junior libero Shelley Walroth
The Dolphins had a tough end to their road trip through Nashville as the JU volleyball team fell to third-place Belmont, 3-0 (19-25, 24-26, 24-26), Saturday afternoon at the Curb Event Center.

JU (13-8, 8-5) once again found themselves pushed past 25 points in the final two frames of a match and could not find a way to close things out. BU (16-7, 10-4) hit .305 in the contest while finishing with a match-high 10 team blocks.

“We found a way to lose for the second straight match,” said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. “We need to reestablish our identity and find out what our team stands for. The teams we played this weekend just wanted it more than us. We have to find out how much we really want an A-Sun Championship.”

Senior outside hitter Sara Bendorf led the Dolphins with 15 kills and a .286 (15-5-35) hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Brooke Singleton added six kills and 14 digs while junior libero Shelley Walroth led the defense with 20 digs.

Maggie Johnson led the Bruins with 13 kills and four blocks while hitting .407 (13-2-27) from the floor. Kayla Albritton added 11 kills five digs, four blocks and a .444 (11-3-18) hitting percentage. Cat Mundy (14 digs) and Jenny Gray (seven blocks) led the defense while Channing Salava paced the offense with 38 assists.

In the first set, BU jumped out to an 8-3 lead and then increased the margin to 15-8 with a kill by Johnson. After a block by Emily Cahill and Johnson made it 17-9, JU used a 7-3 run to make it 20-16 on a kill by Bendorf. Both teams would trade points the rest of the way as the Bruins secured a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second set, both teams battled through nine ties until BU used a 4-1 run to take a 15-12 advantage. The Bruins increased the lead to 20-15 with a with a kill by Cahill but JU used a 6-1 run, capped by a block by sophomore middle blocker Abby Gruenbacher and freshman outside hitter Kathryn Kane, to cut the deficit to 21-20. Both teams would trade points until JU used a 2-0 run to even the score (24-24) for the first time but the Bruins got a kill by Mundy and a block by Johnson and Gray to take a 2-0 lead in the match.

In the third frame, both teams battled through seven ties until JU used a 3-0 run to take a 12-9 lead. The Dolphins increased the margin to 14-10 after an attack error by Johnson but the Bruins used a 5-1 run to tie the contest again. Both teams battled through seven more ties, the last being 24-24, until the Bruins got a block by Albritton and Cahill and a kill by Albritton to win the match.

JU will return to Swisher Gymnasium to host cross-town rival UNF on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the SunTrust River City Rumble. The contest can be seen live through video streaming on ASun.TV.