HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 18, 2010 - After going 10-4 in conference play during the regular season, the James Madison volleyball team travels to Newark, Del. this weekend for the Colonial Athletic Association Championships hosted by top-seeded University of Delaware.
The second-seeded Dukes will take on third-seeded Northeastern at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Barb Viera Court in the Carpenter Sports Building. Top-seed Delaware will take fourth-seeded Virginia Commonwealth at 7:30 p.m. with the winners meeting on Sunday at 5 p.m.
JMU picked up a pair of 3-1 wins over Northeastern and Hofstra last weekend to qualify for the championship for the first time since 2007. Madison is looking for its first conference championship since winning back-to-back titles in 1999 and 2000 and its fourth title overall.
At 22-7 this year's Dukes are on pace to finish with the sixth-best winning percentage in school history and the fourth best since moving to Division I in 1986.
Senior Lindsay Callahan (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) led the Dukes to a pair of victories in league play on her way to being named CAA Defensive Player of the Week. Against Northeastern, Callahan set a new career-high with 21 digs while also contributing 10 kills and six blocks assists for her ninth double-double of the year. In the 3-1 win over Hofstra, she added 10 kills, two assists, two service aces, five digs and five blocks.
Sophomore Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-best 32 kills while junior Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) chipped in with 20 kills and 11 blocks. Freshman Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) led the team in digs in both matches. Setters Lauren Fanelli (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) and Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) combined for 89 assists and 27 digs.
JMU ran its record at home to 13-1 over the weekend to tie for the second-best home record in school history. Callahan moved into eighth on the school's all-time digs list with 962.
The Huskies finished the 2010 regular season at 18-10 overall and 9-5 in CAA play for its fifth-straight winning season. This is NU's fourth appearance in the CAA Championships in the last five years. The Huskies earned their postseason berth by winning four of its last five matches.
Senior Britney Brown was named CAA co-Offensive Player of the Week and leads the team in both kills (331) and assists (581). She is averaging a league-best 3.52 kills per set. Freshman Janelle Tucker ranks second on the team with 307 kills and 275 digs while libero Jessica LaScola has a team-best 514 digs and is second in the CAA with 4.94 digs per set.
JMU leads the all-time series with the Huskies 9-8 including a pair of wins this season. JMU defeated NU 3-2 in Boston before defending its home court with a 3-1 win in Harrisonburg last weekend. The team's are tied at 3-3 in games played on a neutral court.
The Blue Hens earned the tournament's top seed after going 24-5 overall and 13-1 in league play. Delaware gets to host the tournament on its home court, where it is a perfect 13-0 this season.
This is the second consecutive CAA regular season title for UD which has also won two of the last three conference tournaments.
Delaware is riding a 12-match winning streak, including at least one win over each of the other three teams in this weekend's championship. Last week the Blue Hens defeated UNC Wilmington 3-1 on Friday before dismissing Georgia State by the same margin on Saturday.
Katie Dennehy and Alissa Alker lead the attack, totaling 350 and 323 kills respectively. Dennehy's 3.30 kills per set is the third-best average in the CAA. Libero Greta Gibboney is the only player to register over 600 digs in the CAA this season and her 5.64 digs per set average ranks seventh in the nation.
Delaware leads the all-time series against JMU 19-17, including a 12-2 advantage in games played in Newark.
The Rams grabbed the fourth in this weekend's tournament courtesy of a 11-19 overall mark and a 9-5 record in conference play. This is the fourth postseason appearance for VCU in the last five years.
Mariel Frey leads the team with 295 kills while Kristin Boyd has chipped in 280 kills on the season. Libero Marissa Low totaled 431 digs during the regular season, averaging 3.78 per set.
As a team, the Rams are the best in the CAA with 2.54 blocks per set average. Kelsie Clegg boast a team-best 135 blocks, averaging 1.21 blocks per set.
JMU leads the all-time series against VCU 35-25 despite a 3-1 setback earlier this season. The Rams are 5-1 in games played on a neutral court.
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