HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 12, 2010 - Seniors Lindsay Callahan (Virginia Beach, Va./Landstown) and Lauren Fanelli (Moon Township, Pa./Moon Area) each recorded double-doubles to lift James Madison to a 3-1 win over Northeastern in a crucial Colonial Athletic Association battle at Sinclair Gymnasium on Friday evening.
The Dukes won by set scores of 25-21, 23-25, 25-22 and 25-14 to improve to 21-7 and 9-4 in the CAA. It is the most wins by JMU since finishing 21-10 in 2002. The win also improved the Dukes to 12-1 at home. Northeastern dropped to 17-10 and 9-5 in league play.
"I thought it was a complete team performance," head coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. "Our setters did a great job. Our whole team did a great job."
The win combined with losses by Virginia Commonwealth (3-2 vs. William and Mary) and Georgia State (3-0 at Towson) means that a Madison win over Hofstra on Saturday will clinch a spot in next weekend's CAA Championship. If the Dukes were to lose to the Pride they would need Northeastern to win at George Mason and a Delaware win over Georgia State to secure a spot in the tournament.
Callahan was one of four players to finish with 10 or more kills as she had 10 kills on .259 hitting, a career-high 21 digs and six blocks. It was her ninth double-double of the season while Fanelli finished with 22 assists and 12 digs for her sixth double-double. Freshman libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a match-high 22 digs.
Sophomore Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-best 15 kills on .220 hitting while redshirt sophomore Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) and junior Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) had 11 kills each. Turner led all players with eight blocks.
Britney Brown was one assist shy of a triple-double, finishing with 22 kills, nine assists and 10 digs to lead Northeastern. Libero Jessica LaScola tied Daorai with 22 digs and Janelle Tucker had 11 digs and seven kills but hit -.021.
The Dukes held a 13-8 edge in blocks and a 79-63 advantage in digs. JMU out-hit Northeastern .211 to .096.
Madison got off to a sluggish start in set one, falling behind 4-0 and 6-1 before getting untracked. The Dukes won nine of the next 12 points to take their first lead at 10-9. Neither team led by more than one until a 4-0 run by the Huskies gave them a 20-18 lead. JMU responded with a 7-1 run to close out the set and open up a 1-0 lead.
This time the Dukes got off to a quick start in set two running out to a 15-9 lead. A 9-3 NU run evened the score at 18 apiece before the Huskies closed the set with a 7-5 run to even the match at one apiece.
The fourth set featured 10 tied scores and four lead changes as neither team led by more than four until Madison went ahead 24-20 at set point. Northeastern rallied back to 24-22 before Erb closed out the set with a kill.
JMU left no room for doubt in set four, running out to a 9-4 advantage and never looking back. Madison expanded its lead to 17-7 and 24-14 before closing out the match with a solo block by Turner.
The Dukes return to the court Saturday evening against Hofstra at 7 p.m. It will be senior day for four Dukes playing their final home match at Sinclair Gymnasium.
# # #