HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 11, 2011 – Sophomore middle blocker Kelly Maguire (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) collected 18 kills on .394 hitting, but Delaware won five of the final six points in the decisive fifth set to slip past the James Madison volleyball team, 3-2, at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall on Friday night.
Delaware won by set scores of 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 to improve to 17-12 overall and 10-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes dropped to 19-9 overall and 8-5 in league play.
“Tonight was a lot of fun and the atmosphere was fantastic,” head volleyball coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. “The girls all competed on both sides of the net with a lot of fun rallies and a lot of great volleyball. Our passing was really good and we served aggressively. It was a lot of fun to watch.”
The 18 kills was a career-high for Maguire who also added three blocks and a dig. Senior outside hitter Holly Wall (Kaukauna, Wisc./Kaukauna), redshirt junior outside hitter Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and junior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) each contributed double-doubles led by Abel with 12 kills and 20 digs. Erb had 12 kills and tied her season-high with 17 digs while Wall had 11 kills and 21 digs. Senior middle blocker Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) came off the bench to add 10 kills on .333 hitting and seven digs.
Coming off a triple-double in her last match, redshirt freshman setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) had 30 assists, seven kills, four blocks and two digs. Junior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) returned to the starting lineup to contribute 26 assists, five digs, three kills and a service ace. Sophomore libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) picked up her sixth 20-plus dig game with a match-high 22.
Delaware was paced by outside hitter Alissa Alker with 24 kills on .368 hitting, adding 21 digs, five blocks, an ace and an assist. Katie Hank had 12 kills, seven digs, two aces and a block while Kim Stewart chipped in eight kills, 17 digs and three blocks. Middle blocker Chelsea Lawrence led all players with eight blocks and also had eight kills and three digs. Setter Renee Tomko picked up a double-double with 53 assists and 19 digs while libero Cara Rosehill contributed 19 digs.
The Dukes had a season-high 95 digs and out-hit the Blue Hens .244 to .228. UD had 12.5 blocks to just five for Madison and also picked up six points to JMU’s two via service ace.
The teams traded momentum through the first four sets with each team winning twice. The fifth set was just as tight with neither team leading by more than one point for the first 16 points. With the score tied 8-8 following a kill by Delaware’s Alker, JMU got back-to-back kills by Richardson and Maguire to grab a 10-8 advantage and force a timeout by UD coach Bonnie Kenny. Following the break, the Blue Hens won three straight points and five of six led by two kills and a service ace from Alker to claim the set 15-12.
The Dukes return to the court on Saturday night as they celebrate Senior Night against Towson beginning at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: With JMU’s loss on Friday, the Dukes were eliminated from the running to host next weekend’s CAA Volleyball Championships. With a win on Saturday against George Mason, Delaware will clinch the top seed. A loss by the Blue Hens coupled with a win by Northeastern at UNCW on Sunday and the Huskies will host the six-team event…JMU can still finish as high as the number three seed and as low as the number five seed, depending on the result of Saturday night’s match against Towson.
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