HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 12, 2011 – Junior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had 14 kills on .300 hitting, but Towson hit .255 as a team to earn a 3-1 win over the James Madison volleyball team on Senior Night at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall on Saturday night.
Towson won by set scores of 26-24, 25-19, 13-25, 25-20 to improve to 23-8 overall and 10-4 in Colonial Athletic Association play. JMU dropped to 19-10 and 8-6 in league play.
“Towson is a really nice team,” head volleyball coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. “They run a different system than what most of the CAA runs. They run some really nice, fast offense and we did not get them out of system enough. They were able to run their offense at a high level for a majority of the evening and that gave us some troubles.”
Erb had 14 kills against just five errors while also adding eight digs, two blocks, an ace and an assist to pace the Dukes. Senior middle blocker Kelly Turner (Ontario, N.Y./Wayne Central) had nine kills on .250 hitting, two blocks and two digs and redshirt junior outside hitter Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) chipped in nine kills, five digs, a block and two service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Kelly Maguire (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) contributed eight kills and four blocks off the bench for the Dukes.
Junior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) added 33 assists, eight digs, two blocks and two kills while sophomore libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-high 10 digs.
The Tigers were led by Alysha McCreary with a match-high 16 kills on .333 hitting, adding three blocks, two digs and an assist. Katy Buck had 13 kills and six digs while I’ishah Keliikoa hit .667, collecting 11 kills against just one error in 15 attempts. Setter Aubrey Kirven led all players with 45 assists, 11 digs and four kills while Paige Sekerak had a match-high 17 digs.
TU out-hit JMU .255 to .195 while the Dukes picked up seven blocks and seven aces to just six and one, respectively, for the Tigers.
Madison seemed in control of the first set, leading 22-17 following a TU attack error, but TU won the next four points to draw to within one and forced a JMU timeout. Erb picked up a kill on the first play out of the timeout before the Tigers won back-to-back points to even the score. After a Wiechmann kill gave JMU the first crack at set point, McCreary and Buck combined for three straight kills to close out the set 26-24.
The teams went back-and-forth early on in set two. With JMU holding a 9-8 lead, Towson used an 8-2 run to open up a five-point lead. The Dukes got as close as three points a couple of times, but a pair of errors late in the set helped seal the 25-19.
Madison fell behind 3-0 to start out set three before winning 22 of the next 26 points to grab a commanding 22-7 lead. Senior outside hitter Holly Wall (Kaukauna, Wisc./Kaukauna) paced the run, serving seven straight points at one point, including a pair of aces. The Tigers were unable to recover from the big run, and dropped the set 25-13.
Towson struck the first blow in set four, using a 4-0 run to grab a 10-6 lead. JMU responding quickly, winning the next four points to tie the score, but gave up eight of the next nine points to stretch the lead back out to seven points. The Dukes chipped away at the lead and got as close as three at 23-22 before a kill and a block by TU put the match away.
JMU is back in action next weekend as it travels to Newark, Del., for the 2011 CAA Championships hosted by the University of Delaware. The Dukes will play in the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 18, with their opponent still to be determined by Sunday’s results.
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