HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 16, 2010 - Three James Madison volleyball players had over 20 kills, including career-highs from senior Lindsay Callahan (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown), junior Holly Wall (Kaukauna, Wisc./Kaukauna) and redshirt sophomore Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity), as the Dukes came from two sets down to win a thriller, 3-2, over William and Mary at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall on Saturday night.
JMU won by set scores of 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 32-30 and 15-12 to pick up its eighth win in its last nine matches and improve to 16-5 and 5-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes improved to 10-1 at home and 5-0 in five-set matches. The Tribe dropped to 8-11 and 2-5 in conference play.
"I'm so proud of [my team]," head coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. "They were so tough. It takes a certain type of kid who's tough, confident and passionate to win a match like this and we have a team full of them."
The Dukes trailed the match two sets to none and 8-0 in set three before battling back to win. The eight-point deficit was the largest overcome by Madison in a set this season.
In addition to her career-high 23 kills, Abel also added 17 digs for her fourth double-double of the season and her second in as many nights. Callahan added her eighth double-double, finishing with 24 kills and 11 digs. The Virginia Beach, Va. native also recorded her 900th career dig to become just the sixth player in school history to record 1,000 kills and 900 digs. Wall finished with 20 kills and just two errors for a .429 attack percentage.
JMU also got a double-double from senior setter Lauren Fanelli (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area), who finished with a season-high 46 assists and 14 digs. Freshman Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) chipped in a career-high 27 digs while junior Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) had six blocks and seven kills.
Four different W&M players had double-digit kills, including 17 each from Erin Skipper and Ginny Bray. Skipper added 15 digs for one of three Tribe double-doubles. Julia Swalchick also had a double-double, finishing with 12 kills and 10 digs while setter Cassie Crumal had 57 assists, 13 digs and four kills. Bray and Anne Dorff led the team with six blocks apiece. Libero Celine Alasomuka had a team-best 26 digs.
The Dukes out-hit the Tribe .283 to .245 while W&M held a 12-9 advantage in blocks. JMU had four service aces to William and Mary's seven.
Facing an 8-0 deficit in set three, the Dukes start work on their comeback, winning five of the next seven points to cut the lead to five. JMU kept chipping away at the lead until eventually tying the score at 19. Madison closed the set on a 6-2 run to cut the Tribe lead in the match to 2-1.
The fourth set featured theatrics of its own, with JMU fighting off three match points and W&M winning three set points before the Dukes ultimately took the set 32-30. Madison trailed 23-20 before going on a 3-0 run to even things up. The Tribe won the next point to reach its first match point, but Abel responded with a kill to tie the score. The teams went back-and-forth until the Dukes put the match away with a 3-0 run, including a pair of kills by Abel.
JMU took a 2-1 lead in set five and never gave it up, stretching the lead to as much as four at 11-7. The Tribe responded, cutting the lead to 13-12, but back-to-back errors gave the Dukes the match.
JMU returns to the court on Wednesday, Oct. 20, at Norfolk State at Joseph G. Echols Hall.
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