TAMPA, Fla., Sept. 14, 2012 – Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) recorded 16 kills and a career-high five aces to lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of Bethune-Cookman in the opening game of the USF Volleyball Invitational in Tampa, Fla., on Friday.
JMU won by set scores of 25-11, 25-12, 25-21 to win its fifth straight and improve to 6-5 on the season. It is the team’s longest winning streak since winning eight games from Aug. 27-Sept. 17 in 2011. Bethune-Cookman dropped its 14th consecutive game to fall to 0-14 on the season.
Erb, playing in front of her hometown crowd, finished the game with 16 kills against just two errors on 31 attempts for a .452 attack percentage. She added eight digs, five aces and a block to lead the team with a season-high 21.5 points. The five aces is a career-high for Erb and moved her into 10th on the school’s all-time list with 113.
Freshman outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) added 10 kills on .400 hitting, and five digs while sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) had eight kills and two blocks. Briones did not commit error in 18 attempts for a .444 hitting percentage. Senior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) led the team to a .311 attack percentage, handing out 39 assists and added four digs.
Freshman MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) filled in at libero, recording a team-season-high 23 digs in just three sets played. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Alyssa Hall (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) made her first career start and contributed four kills and a block.
BCU was paced by outside hitter Krysta Gardner with seven kills and a team-high 12 digs. Outside hitter Janeen Davis added seven kills on .238 hitting. She also contributed three digs, three assists and a block. Monica Lowe picked up 10 digs and five assists while setter Aubrianna Curtis handed out 13 assists and had seven digs.
The Dukes outhit the Wildcats .311 to .074, but were out-blocked 4.5-3. JMU recorded six aces to zero for BCU.
JMU returns to the court this evening as it takes on tournament-host USF at 6 p.m., at the Corral in Tampa, Fla. Saturday, they Dukes take on FIU at 5 p.m., in the final game of the USF Volleyball Invitational.
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