NEWARK, Del., Oct. 25, 2013 – Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) connected for 16 kills on .556 hitting to lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association road win over Delaware at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del., Friday night.
JMU won by set scores of 25-22, 15-25, 25-17, 25-18 to complete the season sweep of UD. The Dukes improved to 9-12 on the season and 4-4 in the CAA while the Blue Hens dropped to 11-11 and 3-5 in the league.
Briones slammed down 16 kills against one error in 27 attack attempts to finish with her second-highest attack percentage of the season. She added a block to finish with a team-best 16.5 points. Freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) contributed 11 kills, six blocks and six digs while freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) had 10 kills, three blocks and two digs. Freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) was in on 10 of JMU’s 11 blocks to give her a career-high in blocks, adding four kills and a dig.
Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson (Roanoke, Va./Hidden Valley) paced the Dukes to a .224 attack percentage with 40 assists, adding six digs, three kills, a block and a service ace. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) tied her career-high with 25 digs, leading four Dukes in double figures. Fellow sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) also tied her career-best with 18 digs while junior defensive specialist Martha Stewart (Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) and sophomore defensive specialist Jaclyn Placha (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny) finished with 10 and 11 digs, respectively.
Middle blocker Chandler Bryant paced three Blue Hens in double figures with 18 kills on .389 hitting. Middle blocker Jill Meyers added 13 kills while outside hitter Katie Hillman added 11 kills, five digs, four blocks, two service aces and two assists. Libero Ariel Shonk led the defensive effort with 37 digs. Setter Kali Funk finished with a double-double with 37 assists, 11 digs and three kills.
JMU outhit UD .224 to .141 and also won the battle at the net with 11 blocks to Delaware’s six. Each team finished with four service aces while Delaware collected 84 digs to JMU’s 80.
Trailing 19-18 in set one, the Dukes won the next six points to reach set point at 24-19. The Blue Hens fended off the threat for a bit, winning the next three points, but Goodman came up with her third kill of the set to close the opening stanza out for Madison. Briones finished with five kills on seven attack attempts to power the Dukes in the set.
The Blue Hens used an early 4-0 run in set two to take a 6-2 advantage. The Dukes kept the set close for a while, cutting the lead to three on a service ace by Placha at 17-14 before Delaware went on an 8-1 run to close out the frame. UD collected four of its six blocks in the second set, led by three for Hillman.
JMU closed set three on a 10-3 run to turn a 15-14 lead into a 25-17 win. Goodman and Radhi combined for seven blocks in the set with Goodman adding three kills on 11 attacks. Whitmire finished off three of her five attack attempts to tie Goodman for the team lead in the frame.
Madison trailed 10-8 in set four before embarking on a six-point run to build a four-point lead. The Blue Hens never got closer than three points as the Dukes went on to win 12 of the final 19 points to finish off the win.
The Dukes return to play on Saturday evening as they travel to Towson for a 7 p.m. match at SECU Arena.
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