CHARLESTON, S.C., Oct. 20, 2013 – Freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) knocked down a career-high 15 kills and fellow rookie middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) added a career-best eight blocks, but the College of Charleston battled past the James Madison volleyball team 3-1 at T.D. Arena in Charleston, S.C., Sunday afternoon.
Charleston won by set scores of 25-23, 19-25, 26-24, 25-22 to stay perfect in Colonial Athletic Association play. It improved to 17-4 on the season and 7-0 in the league while JMU fell to 8-12 and 3-4 in the league.
Whitmire’s 15 kills came on 36 attempts with five errors for a .278 attack percentage while adding four digs for the Dukes. Radhi’s eight blocks came with six kills on .176 hitting and junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) added 13 kills, six blocks and two service aces for a team-high 19 points. Freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) contributed 10 kills for her 12th match of the season with double-digit kills.
Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) finished with a double-double with 44 assists and 14 digs to go with five blocks and three kills. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) and sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) led the Dukes’ defense with 16 and 17 digs, respectively.
The Cougars finished with four players with between 10 and 13 kills led by outside hitter Darcy Dorton with 13 kills and six digs. Emily Neideffer and Cara Howley added 12 kills each while outside hitter Melissa Morello had a double-double with 10 kills and 14 digs. Setters Kallie McKown and Taeler Davis combined for 51 assists, 18 digs, three service aces and two kills. Libero Andi Zbojniewicz led all players with 28 digs.
JMU outhit CofC .209 to .175 and held a 14-6 edge in blocks while each team finished with five service aces.
Set one featured nine tie scores and three lead changes. Madison led most of the early portion of the set with its largest lead at 15-12. The Cougars won eight of the next 12 points, including three straight to take the lead at 20-19. JMU fought back to tie the score at 23, but a kill by Dorton and a Charleston service ace put the set away in favor of CofC. Briones connected on seven kills in nine attack to hit .778 for the Dukes in the set.
JMU came out firing in set two, sprinting out to a 16-5 advantage. The Cougars trimmed the lead to as little as five at 24-19, but kill from Goodman put the set away in Madison’s favor. Five players finished with either two or three kills in the set for JMU, including three on seven swings by Whitmire.
Set three was the closest of the four sets as the teams traded the lead 10 times and had 14 tie scores. The Dukes were the first to reach set point, using a Goodman kill to jump in front 24-23. A kill by Kallie McKown blocks by Maddie Hills and Emily Neideffer allowed Charleston to overcome set point and win the set 26-24.
Charleston led most of the way in set four, taking the lead for good with a kill by Morello to take a 7-6 advantage. The lead grew to as much as four points before CofC ultimately put the set away 25-22.
The Dukes return to action next weekend as they travel north to Towson and Delaware for a pair of road CAA contests.
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