HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 4, 2013 – Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) connected for a match-high 17 kills on .412 hitting, but the College of Charleston fought off two set points in set three to win a spirited battle over the James Madison volleyball team, 3-1, at Godwin Hall/Sinclair Gymnasium Friday evening.
CofC won by set scores of 22-25, 25-22, 28-26, 25-15 to improve to 13-4 on the season and 3-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Dukes dropped to 6-9 and 1-1 in the league.
Briones added a match-best six blocks to go with her 17 kills and three digs. She committed just 3 errors in 34 attack attempts to hit .412. Freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) added 13 kills, four digs and two blocks while freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) had six kills on .625 hitting and three blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) added seven kills and 10 digs.
Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) paced Madison to a .160 attack percentage with 38 assists to go with nine digs, five kills and four blocks. Sophomore MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) made her second start of the year at libero, contributing a team-high 15 digs.
The Cougars were paced by preseason CAA Player of the Year Darcy Dorton with 16 kills and a match-high 18 digs. Dorton also added four blocks and an assist. Outside hitter Sloane White chipped in 15 kills on .312 hitting and five digs while middle blocker Kerstin Koehler had 14 kills, six blocks and three digs. Setters Kallie McKown and Taeler Davis combined for 59 assists and 14 digs while libero Andi Zboojniewicz collected 14 digs.
CofC outhit JMU .239 to .160 and led in blocks 12 to nine. The Dukes collected two service aces to Charleston’s one while the Cougars had 75 digs to Madison’s 56.
Trailing 20-16 in set one, the Dukes embarked on a 4-0 run to tie the score. They went on to win five of the final seven points to claim set one 25-22. Goodman paced JMU to a .217 hitting percentage with four kills in 10 attempts while Richardson had 10 assists, five digs and three kills in the frame.
The Cougars led nearly wire-to-wire in set two, taking the lead for good on a kill by Koehler to grab a 9-8 lead. CofC went on an 8-2 run to take its biggest lead at 16-10. JMU rallied for late in the set to cut the deficit to 24-22, but a kill by White put the set away and sent the teams into the break tied 1-1.
Charleston appeared in complete control of set three, leading 21-13, but the Dukes cut into the lead with a 6-0 run and eventually overtook the Cougars to reach set point at 24-23. CofC fought off two set points from Madison before a block by Koehler and outside hitter Cara Howley and a kill by outside hitter Melissa Morello put the set away. Niski paced the Dukes with four kills and five digs in the set while Briones had five kills, two digs and a block.
The Cougars ran away with the match in set four. They ran out to a 12-5 lead and never led Madison get closer than five points, winning the set 25-15.
The Dukes return to CAA action on Sunday as they host UNCW at Sinclair Gymnasium in a 1 p.m. match.
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