BOSTON, Mass., Nov. 15, 2013 – Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) and freshman right side Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) combined for 30 of James Madison’s 60 kills as they led JMU to a 3-2 win over Northeastern at the Cabot Center in Boston, Mass., Friday.
JMU won by set scores of 19-25, 25-15, 25-20, 23-25, 15-5 to pick up its second consecutive victory and third in its last four matches. It avenged a loss from 12 days ago against the Huskies to improve to 12-14 on the season and 7-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association. Northeastern had its three-match winning streak snapped, dropping it to 17-10 overall and 9-4 in the league.
Goodman led all players with 19 kills on .245 hitting. The left-hander limited herself to seven errors on a match-high 49 attack attempts, adding six blocks and three digs. Briones had a double-double with 11 kills and a career-best 11 blocks. She hit .286 for the match to go with three digs and two assists. Freshman middle blocker Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) contributed eight points with six kills on .357 hitting and four blocks while fellow rookie outside hitter Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) knocked down nine kills to go with four digs, a block and an assist.
Sophomores MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) and Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) paced the Dukes defensively, combining for 42 digs. Kleespies tied her career-high with 25 digs, supplying seven assists, three kills and a service ace. Niski had 17 digs, eight kills and a block. Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) paced Madison to a .253 attack percentage by handing out 41 assists. She finished with a double-double as she also contributed 14 digs, six blocks and four kills.
The Huskies were led by senior outside hitters Kelly Bacon and Janelle Tucker with 14 and 10 kills, respectively. Bacon had a double-double with 14 digs and three blocks while Tucker picked up eight digs and a block. Libero Natalia Skib led all players with 31 digs and setter Ina Kamenova supplied 28 assists, 10 digs and three aces. Middle hitter Nichole Kurz led the team with five blocks.
JMU outhit Northeastern .253 to .119 and earned 15 points by way of block to NU’s nine. The Dukes also had 85 digs in comparison to 72 for the Huskies. Northeastern out-served Madison, five aces to three.
After the team’s split the match’s first four sets, the decisive fifth-set tiebreaker was all JMU. Madison won six of the first seven points to wrestle control of the stanza and forced NU to burn its first timeout. Out of the strategy session, Northeastern won consecutive points to cut the deficit to three, but an 8-0 run by the Dukes extended the advantage to 14-3. Back-to-back kills by Bacon and middle blocker Kat Gueth trimmed the lead to nine points, but the Dukes forced one last Huskie attack error to claim the set 15-5. Briones picked up four kills on five attack attempts, adding two blocks in the set while Goodman connected on three kills in four attempts to pace Madison to a .417 attack percentage in the set.
JMU concludes its 2014 regular season on Sunday as it ventures to Long Island to play Hofstra at 1 p.m.
NOTES: JMU has played Northeastern nine times since head coach Lauren Steinbrecher took over in 2010. Five of the nine matches have gone five sets, with the Dukes owning a 3-2 record in those matches… Briones’ 11 blocks are the most by a Duke under Coach Steinbrecher… JMU improved to 6-2 in five-set matches this season
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