HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 11, 2013 – Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) collected 13 kills and a match-high nine blocks to help lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association win over Towson at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall Friday night.
JMU won by set scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 25-17 to improve to 7-10 overall and 2-2 in CAA play. Towson dropped to 6-16 and 0-4 in the league with the loss.
Briones hit .440 for the match, committing two errors in 25 attempts. She had one solo block and eight block assists, adding four digs, a service ace and an assist. Freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) added a match-high 14 kills to go with two blocks and a dig while sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St Charles East) had seven kills and 11 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) contributed six blocks and six kills.
Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) paced JMU to a .170 attack percentage with 37 assists to go with five kills, eight digs, three blocks and an ace. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) led all players with 20 digs. It was her third 20-plus dig performance of the season.
Towson picked up a double-double from outside hitter Saitaua Iosia with 14 kills and 19 digs. Outside hitter Dayane Van Ass knocked down 10 kills and had three blocks, but committed three attack errors to finish with a .029 hitting percentage. Outside Hitter Haley Pa’akaula had 11 digs, six blocks and four digs while middle hitter Lindsay Flaherty had a team-best eight blocks. Setters Casey Giovanazzi and Aimee Schubert combined for 38 assists, 11 digs, three kills and a service ace.
The Dukes outhit the Tigers .170 to .121 and collected three service aces to TU’s two. Towson edged Madison in blocks 15-14 while JMU held a 63-59 advantage in digs.
After six tie scores in set one, the Dukes took control of the set with a 6-0 run to grab a 13-8 lead. The Tigers would get as close as four points following a 4-0 run, but JMU immediately responded with a 3-0 run and eventually closed out a 25-18 win in the set. Goodman had six kills in 11 attempts and Briones turned away three attacks with blocks to pace the Dukes in the stanza.
TU grabbed control of the second set early and built its largest lead at 16-9. A 5-1 Madison run closed the gap to 18-16, but JMU got no closer as a late Tiger three-point run put the set away. TU hit .308 for the set, committing just five errors in 39 attempts.
JMU wrestled away control of set three with a four-point run to take a 16-13 lead. The Dukes went on to reach set point at 24-20, but were forced to call a timeout following three straight points from the Tigers. Out of the timeout, Towson served the ball out of bounds and JMU went on to win the set 25-23. Briones connected on three of her five attack attempts while the Madison defense forced Towson into 10 attack errors in the set.
Set four was a run away as JMU led by as many as 11 points and eventually closed out the set 25-17. Briones dominated in the frame with six kills, four blocks and two digs. She hit .556 while Patterson had nine assists, two kills, three digs and a block.
JMU returns to CAA play on Sunday as it welcomes Delaware to Sinclair Gymnasium for a 1 p.m. match.
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