HARRISONBURG, Va., Nov. 10, 2012 – Hofstra rallied to win the final three sets as it hit .205 on the night for a 3-1 win over the James Madison volleyball team at Sinclair Gymnasium on Saturday evening.
HU won by set scores of 14-25, 31-29, 25-22, 25-20 to sweep the season series with JMU. The Pride improved to 18-13 on the season and 6-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play. JMU dropped to 12-15 and 5-7 in the league.
The loss means the Dukes will be the sixth seed in next weekend’s CAA Championship hosted by Towson University. They face third-seeded Northeastern in the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 16.
Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb (Tampa, Fla./Plant) paced the Dukes on the evening with her 15th double-double of the season. She hit .286 with 10 kills and 13 digs. Four other players had between eight and 11 kills on the night led by sophomore middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) with 11 and four blocks. Freshmen Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) had nine kills each while redshirt senior Natalie Abel (Washington, Pa./Trinity) had eight.
Junior libero Katie Daorai (Tampa, Fla./Plant) had a team-high 18 digs, adding three assists and a kill. Senior setter Megan Wiechmann (Sunland, Calif./Village Christian) handed out 20 assists to go with three digs while freshman setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) had 22 helpers, three digs, a kill, a block and an ace.
Outside hitter Kelsie Wills lead all players with 18 kills and added 10 digs for a double-double. Outside hitter Nikki Kinnier contributed 17 kills, five digs and three blocks while outside hitter Emily Burke had 12 kills on .310 hitting. Libero Kylee Maneja led all players with 19 digs while setter Catalina Charry had 45 assists, 14 digs, four kills and a service ace.
The Pride outhit the Dukes .205 to .179 and picked up 67 digs to 63 for Madison. Each team had seven blocks and two service aces.
The first set was all JMU as it won the first three points and seven of the first nine to build a 7-2 advantage. HU never got closer than three points the remainder of the set as JMU closed out the set with a 25-14 win.
The second set featured 17 ties and six lead changes as the team’s battled back and forth the entire way. A Madison attack error with the score tied at 23 gave Hofstra its first set point of the night. The Dukes fought off five set points and even reached set point once themselves, but the Pride ultimately got a kill by middle blocker Sara Campolina and forced an attack error to win 31-29.
Out of the break, Hofstra took control of set three with a four-point run early in the set. The run put HU up 9-6 and it never ceded that lead. Back-to-back kills by Abel and Erb and a JMU block late in the set pulled Madison to within two and forced a timeout by the Pride, but Wills picked up a kill after the strategy session to close out the set.
The Pride closed out the match in the fourth set. They trailed 9-7, but won 13 of the next 20 points to open up a 20-16 lead. The Dukes cut the lead to three points three times, but Campolina and Wills earned consecutive kills to earn the 25-20 win in the set and 3-1 win in the match.
The CAA Championship starts with the quarterfinals on Friday, Nov. 16 with matches at 4 and 7 p.m. Semifinal matches are set for Saturday at the same time as the quarterfinals while Sunday’s championship game is scheduled to be played at 5 p.m.
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