HARRISONBURG, Va., Oct. 13, 2013 – Freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) knocked down a career-high 13 kills to help lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association win over Delaware at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall Sunday afternoon.
The Dukes won by set scores of 25-15, 22-25, 25-20, 25-22 to win their second straight CAA match. They improved to 8-10 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Delaware dropped to 10-9 overall and 2-3 in the league.
Whitmire’s 13 kills came on .244 hitting as she limited herself to three errors in 41 attack attempts. The rookie added seven digs and a block. Freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) contributed 10 kills and a match-high five blocks while freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) added four kills on .264 hitting and four blocks.
Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) paced JMU to a .245 attack percentage as a team as she finished with 38 kills, 12 digs, four kills and three service aces. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) picked up a team-high 23 digs, adding seven assists, a kill and a service ace while sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and junior defensive specialist Martha Stewart (Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) added 12 digs each.
Outside hitter Katie Hillman led the Blue Hen attack with 15 kills and 15 digs. Outside hitter Katie Hank added nine kills and a dig while middle blocker Chandler Bryant had nine kills, four blocks and a service ace. Outside hitter Autumn Jenkins came off the bench to supply six kills, eight digs, three blocks, two service aces and an assist. Setter Mackenzie Olsen supplied 34 assists while libero Ariel Shonk led all players with 26 digs.
JMU outhit UD .245 to .208. The Dukes also outblocked the Blue Hens nine to eight and had eight service aces to the Blue Hens four.
With set one tied 5-5, JMU used a five-point run to take control of the opening stanza. Delaware never got closer than four points as Madison ran away to a 25-15 win. Goodman connected on four of her eight attack attempts for a .500 attack percentage while Kleespies supplied six digs.
The Blue Hens fired back in the second set, building a lead as large as eight at 21-13. The Dukes responded by winning nine of the next 11 points to cut the advantage to just one at 23-22, but back-to-back Madison errors helped hand the set to UD. Hank and Hillman combined for nine kills against just two errors in the set to help supply the win.
After the break, the Dukes used a 5-0 run to turn a one-point lead into a 22-16 advantage. Whitmire picked up two kills and a Delaware service error helped put the set away. Five players recorded kills for JMU in the set while six Delaware service errors helped put Madison on the brink of winning.
The Dukes came out firing in set four, winning the first five points. The Blue Hens chipped away at the lead getting it down to two at 21-19 before JMU responded with two straight points. UD won the next three points to cut the deficit to one at 23-22, but a kill by Briones and a service ace from sophomore defensive specialist Jaclyn Placha (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny) put the match away.
JMU returns to the court next weekend as it plays its first road CAA matches with trips to UNCW and the College of Charleston.
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