NEWARK, Del., Nov. 18, 2011 – Fifth-seeded James Madison hit .355 as a team, including 13 kills on .520 hitting from sophomore middle blocker Kelly Maguire (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris Central) as it swept past fourth-seeded Georgia State, 3-0, in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championships in Newark, Del., on Friday night.
JMU won by set scores of 25-23, 25-16, 29-27 to improve to 20-10 while dropping GSU to 14-18. The Dukes advanced to the semifinals of the CAA Championships for the second consecutive season after missing the tournament the previous two seasons.
Maguire led the team with 13 kills and did not commit an error in 25 attempts while also adding two blocks. Junior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had nine kills on .348 hitting and picked up five digs, three blocks and three assists. Redshirt junior and First Team All-CAA selection Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) chipped in eight kills and 11 digs while senior outside hitter Holly Wall (Kaukauna, Wisc./Kaukauna) hit .250 (nine kills, three errors in 24 attempts) with 11 digs, three assists and two aces.
Sophomore libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-best 14 digs. Junior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) and CAA All-Rookie team setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) combined for 36 assists, 10 digs, three kills, two blocks and a service ace.
Georgia State was led by its two All-CAA recipients as Third Team selection Muki Kangwa had 17 kills and 15 digs while First Team honoree Vineece Verdun had 13 kills, three digs and a block. Setter Chelsea Perry had a match-high 40 assists and added five digs, two aces and a kill. Jamiee Freeman chipped in 12 digs and three kills while libero Emily Averbeck picked up 12 digs.
JMU out-hit GSU .355 to .237 and added five blocks to the Panthers two. GSU had 60 digs to Madison 51 and earned one more point via service ace than the Dukes.
Set one was tight throughout with neither team leading by more than three points. With the Dukes sitting on a 22-19 lead, Georgia State took a timeout that helped set up a 3-1 GSU run that tied the score at 23-23 and forced Steinbrecher to use her second timeout. Out of the break, freshman middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) picked up a kill before finishing off the set with a service ace to help JMU jump out to a 1-0 lead. The Dukes hit .378 as a team in the set, led by a .444 (4-for-9) attack percentage by Abel.
JMU used three separate runs of three points or greater to jump out to a 16-7 lead in set two. GSU used a 3-0 run to cut the lead to six points, but never got any closer as Madison went on to win the set 25-16. Briones and Maguire combined for seven kills and two blocks from the middle blocker position to pace the offense.
Trailing 3-2 early in set three, JMU used a 5-0 run to grab the lead 7-3. The Panthers battled by winning the next three points to cut the deficit to one. The lead hovered around three points for the Dukes until they went on 5-1 run to stretch it out to 17-11. Georgia State used a four-point run to get within two at 19-17 before a kill by Wall and a block by Briones and Erb killed the momentum and forced GSU to use a timeout. The Panthers regained their footing with another 4-0 run, tying the score at 22-22. Georgia State got to set point first at 24-23, but the Dukes fought off the Panther three straight times before finally winning the match at 29-27.
JMU returns to the court on Saturday night as it takes on the tournament’s top seed in Delaware at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Friday’s win gave JMU 20-plus wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1999 and 2000…The Dukes won their first CAA Tournament game since defeating William & Mary 3-1 in 2007.
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