BALTIMORE, Md., Sept. 7, 2012 – Freshman outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) each finished with a match-high 13 kills to help lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-1 win over Howard in the opening game of the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament in Baltimore, Md., on Friday.
JMU won by set scores of 25-13, 25-15, 26-28, 25-15 to improve to 2-5 on the season. Howard dropped to 0-5 with the loss.
Niski finished with her third double-double of the season, collecting a career-high 13 kills and 14 digs. She hit .231 for the match after committing four errors in 39 attempts. Briones hit .308, finishing with 13 kills against five errors in 26 attempts. The sophomore also had four digs, three blocks and four service aces.
Senior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) also finished with a double-double for the Dukes, collecting 40 assists and 10 digs. She added one kill and one block. Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) continued her hot start to the 2012 season, contributing 12 kills on .200 hitting to go with six digs, three blocks, an ace and an assist. Junior Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) played libero for three of the four sets, finishing with 14 digs and a career-high four service aces. Sophomore outside hitter Martha Stewart (Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) made her second start of the season and had 10 digs, four kills and two aces.
The Bison were led by outside hitter Meagan Lagerlef with 11 kills on .212 hitting. She also collected 13 digs, a block and an assist. Outside hitter Jalezza Stoudermire had a match-high 20 digs and seven kills while Jasmine Tipton finished with 18 digs and a kill. Setter Stephanie Shultis collected 30 assists, five kills, four digs and three blocks.
JMU outhit Howard .203 to .143, ending the match with 48 kills to just 40 for HU. The Dukes won the battle at the net with five blocks to four for the Bison while out scoring Howard 11-0 in aces.
The teams traded points early in set one with neither team leading by more than two. With the score tied at 9-9, JMU ran off 12-2 run to grab a 21-11 lead. HU was forced to use both of its timeouts in an effort to stop the run, but could win just two of the final six points as Madison closed out the set 25-13.
The Dukes came out firing in set two, running out to leads of 7-1 and 12-5. Madison extended the lead to 16-7 and never allowed Howard to get closer than eight points the remainder of the set. Freshman outside hitter MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) eventually put the set away at 25-15 with her second kill of the set.
After a slow start in set three, JMU battled back to reach match point at 24-21, but the Bison fought off five match points to eventually claim the set 28-26.
The teams exchanged leads early in set four with neither team leading by more than two until a HU attack error put Madison in front 15-12. The Bison won the next point to get the deficit back to two, but Madison closed the match on a 10-2 run to win 25-15.
The Dukes return to action on Saturday for day two of the Madison Bingaman Memorial Tournament. The team faces tournament-host UMBC at 10:30 before finishing the day against Robert Morris at 7 p.m.
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