HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 16, 2012 – James Madison volleyball rallied from a two-set deficit to force a tiebreaker, but Virginia held off the comeback for a 3-2 win at Sinclair Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.
Virginia won by set scores of 25-22, 25-17, 21-25, 24-26, 15-11 to improve to 6-14 overall. JMU dropped to 10-11 as it finished up the non-conference portion of its schedule.
Freshman middle blocker MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) powered the Dukes’ attack, finishing just two blocks shy of a triple-double. Kleespies had 11 kills, 14 digs and a match-high eight blocks to lead the team with 16 points. Redshirt senior outside hitter Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) finished with a team-high 12 kills and seven digs while senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a double-double with 11 kills, 14 digs and five blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) added nine kills and six blocks.
Senior Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) and freshman Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) combined for 39 assists, 13 digs, five kills and four blocks from the setter position while junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-high 19 digs.
The Cavaliers were led by outside hitter Kayla Sears with 21 kills on .157 hitting, adding four digs and four blocks. Outside hitter Natalie Bausback had 14 kills, six digs and three blocks while middle blocker Jessica O’Shoney contributed 11 kills, seven blocks, including four solo rejections, and three digs. Tori Janowski had a double-double with 52 assists, 12 digs, three aces and two blocks. Middle blocker Blair Morgan tied O’Shoney for the team lead in blocks with seven and libero Emily Rottman led all players with 26 digs.
JMU outhit UVA .169 to .154 while the Cavaliers held a slim 15-14 advantage in blocks. Both teams collected 83 digs and UVA had eight service aces to three for Madison.
The Cavaliers came out hot in winning sets one and two. They hit .225 in the first two sets, committing just 10 errors and had eight blocks.
JMU battled back by winning set three 25-21 and fought off match point in set four, winning the final three points for a 26-24 victory. Erb and Kleespies paced the late rally in set four. Erb had a kill and a block assist while Kleespies had two blocks, including a solo rejection.
UVA grabbed the early advantage in set four, using a 3-0 run to pull ahead 5-2 and force JMU head coach Lauren Steinbrecher to call timeout. The Dukes got as close as two points on three different occasions with the last time coming at 13-11 on a kill by Erb. UVA forced back-to-back attack errors by JMU to hold off a final JMU rally and claim the set 15-11.
The Dukes return to action on Friday, Oct. 19 as it travels to Atlanta, Ga., for a 7 p.m. match against Georgia State. The Dukes swept the Panthers, 3-0, in Harrisonburg earlier in the season.
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