HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 14, 2012 – Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a season-high 20 kills, but Towson rallied to win the final two sets for a 3-2 win over the James Madison volleyball team at Sinclair Gymnasium on Sunday afternoon.
TU won by set scores of 27-25, 18-25, 15-25, 25-15, 15-13 to improve to 19-3 on the season and 6-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association. JMU dropped to 10-10 overall and 3-3 in the league.
“What a fun match to be a part of,” head coach Lauren Steinbrecher said. “I think opportunities like today are why all of us are in collegiate athletics. Towson is a great team with an unbelievable offense. I thought it was a great match all around.”
Erb finished with her 20 kills on .486 hitting, committing just three errors in 35 attempts. She added four blocks and nine digs for JMU. Sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) added 14 kills on .367 hitting and four blocks while redshirt senior outside hitter Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) had 14 kills and seven digs. Freshman middle blocker MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) led the team with five blocks, adding nine digs and three kills.
Junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a match-high 23 digs to go with five assists and a kill. Senior Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) and freshman Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) combined for 49 assists, six digs, three blocks and two kills.
Towson was paced by Marta Machos with 17 kills and four digs while Dayane Van Ass had 13 kills and a block. Reigning CAA Player of the Year Katy Buck finished with a double-double with 14 kills and 11 digs. Libero Paige Sekerak led the team with 19 digs and setter Aubrey Kirven handed out 59 assists and had 12 digs.
JMU outhit Towson .250 to .232 and turned back 11 blocks to just nine for the Tigers. TU collected four service aces to one for Madison.
Set one was tight throughout, but turned on a referee’s decision. With the Dukes leading 23-22, the serve by middle blocker Alysha McCreary floated out of bounds. After some discussion, the referees decided to replay the point after ruling that the crowd used artificial noise makers. Towson won five of the remaining seven points to close out the set and take a 1-0 lead in the match.
JMU was successful in keeping Towson out of system in sets two and three to coast to comfortable wins. The Tigers bounced back in set four to win 25-15 to set up the decisive fifth set.
TU struck the first blow of the fifth set, using a 3-0 run to take a 5-2 lead. After a timeout by Steinbrecher, the Dukes won the next two points to close to within one. Towson stretched the lead out to four at 10-6, but again Madison came back to cut the deficit to one at 11-10. TU never gave up the lead and reached its first set point, leading 14-11. A kill by Briones and an attack error by Machos tightened the set up, but Buck put away her 14th kill of the match to earn the win for her team.
The Dukes return to action on Tuesday, Oct. 16, as it hosts Virginia for a non-conference match at Sinclair Gymnasium. That game will be broadcast at 7 p.m. on MadiZONE.
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