HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Nov. 17, 2013 – Hofstra was limited to a negative attack percentage and the James Madison volleyball team picked up 15 blocks as JMU closed out its regular season with a 3-0 sweep of HU at the Physical Education Center in Hempstead, N.Y., Sunday afternoon.
The Dukes won by set scores of 28-26, 25-12, 25-19 to earn its third consecutive win and it’s fourth in the last five matches. They head into next weekend’s Colonial Athletic Association Championship as the fourth-seed with a 13-14 overall mark and an 8-6 record in the league. The Pride drops to 16-14 overall and 6-8 in the league.
Madison’s defensive effort was paced by 11 blocks from junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) who tied the career-high she set on Friday. She added six kills on .235 hitting while sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) supplied eight kills, on .350 hitting, three blocks and three digs. Freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) contributed four blocks and six kills on .385 hitting.
Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) paced the Dukes to a .180 attack percentage, handing out 25 assists to go with five blocks, four digs and two kills. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) finished with five digs, three assists and a service ace.
Hofstra was led by outside hitter Kelsie Wills with 10 kills, 12 digs and three blocks while middle blocker Nuria Lopes da Silva added nine kills and two blocks, but committed six attack errors for a .158 attack percentage. Setter Hannah Klemm set up the Pride offense with 35 assists and five digs. Libero Corrina Delgadillo had seven digs.
The Pride committed 40 attack errors in 116 attempts to hit -.034 to JMU’s .180 attack percentage. The Dukes scored 15 points on blocks to four for the Pride and had three service aces while giving up none to Hofstra.
Madison trailed 23-18 late in the first set, but used a six-point run to reach the stanza’s first set point at 24-23. The run was fueled by five Pride attack errors. The team’s traded points for a while as Hofstra fought off the first three JMU attempts at winning the set, but a kill by Niski and an attack error by Wills put the frame away in favor of JMU. Briones and Radhi combined for seven kills in 14 attack attempts and had three blocks to pace the Dukes.
Set two was close early, featuring five tie scores and one lead change before Madison embarked on a 16-4 run to close out a 25-12 win. JMU did not commit an attack error, hitting .476 in the period. They finished 10 kills in 21 attempts while Hofstra had 11 errors against just 11 kills in 35 attacks to hit .000.
In set three, JMU picked up nine blocks to force Hofstra into 16 attack errors. That helped fuel a 5-1 run to close the match as the Dukes picked up a 25-19 win.
JMU and Hofstra square off in a rematch of today’s match in the quarterfinals of the CAA Championship. The fourth-seeded Dukes play the fifth-seeded Pride on Friday, Nov. 22 in Charleston, S.C. at 4 p.m. The winner of that match faces top-seeded Charleston on Saturday.
NOTES: Briones’ 22 blocks this weekend give her 151 on the season which is tied for the second-highest total in school history with Elizabeth Dean in 1990. She trails Kate Fuchs’ school record of 162 from 2002 by 11 heading into the CAA Championship… Briones also moved into ninth on the school’s career blocks list with 342.