LONG BEACH, Calif., Aug. 30, 2012 – Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-high 10 kills on .308 hitting, but Long Beach St. hit .301 as a team to pick up a 3-0 win over the James Madison volleyball team in the opening game of the Mizuno Invitational at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif., on Thursday night.
The 49ers, who received votes in the latest AVCA Division I Coaches poll, won by set scores of 25-14, 25-21, 25-12 to improve to 2-2 on the season. The Dukes dropped their third straight to fall to 1-3.
Erb paced the JMU attack with 10 kills against just one error in 26 attempts and added five digs. Sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) contributed seven kills and tied for the team lead with four blocks while freshman middle blocker Sarah Delaney (Herndon, Va./South Lakes) added three kills on .400 hitting. Senior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) had 24 assists, eight digs and four blocks while playing in front of her hometown crowd.
The four blocks by Wiechmann tied her career high which she previously set as a freshman against Norfolk State on Oct. 13, 2009. She also needs just 27 more assists to pass Molly Ball for sixth on the school’s all-time assist list.
The defense was led by junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) with 11 digs and three assists while freshman outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles) had four kills and three aces.
Middle blocker Chisom Okpala led the 49ers with 16 kills on .552 hitting. She added three digs, a block and assist. Setter Tara Roenicke had a double-double for LBSU, chipping in 32 assists and 10 digs while adding two kills and a service ace. Outside hitter Janisa Johnson was just one kill shy of a double-double, finishing with a team-high 13 digs and nine kills.
JMU finished with a six to three advantage in blocks while each team had a trio of service aces. LBSU outhit Madison .301 to .102 and had 47 digs to 39 for the Dukes.
JMU returns to the court on Friday for day two of the Long Beach State Mizuno Invitational as it takes on Wisconsin at 2 p.m. On Saturday, Madison wraps up the three-day event with a 6 p.m. game against Cal St. Northridge.
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