WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Nov. 8, 2013 – Redshirt junior setter Kristi Richardson (Glen Allen, Va./Hermitage) came off the bench to supply 42 assists, a career-high 23 digs, seven blocks and two kills to help lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over William & Mary at Kaplan Arena, Friday evening.
JMU won by set scores of 13-15, 19-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-10 to pick up its second win in its last three matches. It improved to 11-14 overall and 6-6 in the Colonial Athletic Association while clinching a spot in the upcoming CAA Championship. William & Mary had its four-match winning streak snapped, falling to 11-18 and 6-6 in the league.
Richardson was one of five Dukes with four or more blocks, joining junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones (Siloam Springs, Ark./Siloam Springs) and freshman Janey Goodman (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan), Hanna Radhi (Gainesville, Va./Battlefield) and Kate Whitmire (Alexandria, Va./T.C. Williams) to help JMU tie its season high with 17.5. Briones led all players with seven rejections, followed by Radhi with six, Whitmire with five and Goodman with four. Briones added a team-best 16 kills on .378 hitting and nine digs while Whitmire contributed 11 kills and six digs.
Sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) finished with a double-double with 10 kills and tied her career-high with 18 digs while sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies (Lincoln University, Pa./Avon Grove) led all players with 24 digs.
The Tribe was paced by outside hitter Dessi Koleva with 18 kills on .239 hitting. She added 22 digs, two blocks, two assists and a service ace. Outside hitter Mallory Brickerd supplied 17 kills on.180 hitting while middle blocker Monika Stanciauskas had five kills, four blocks and four digs. Setter Gabrielle Pe had a double-double with 27 assists and 17 digs with libero Celine Alasomuka contributing a team-best 23 digs. Secondary setter Stephanie Paul had a double-double with 14 assists and 10 digs.
JMU outhit W&M .175 to .126 on the night and won the battle at the nets with 17.5 blocks to the Tribe’s six. The Dukes finished with over 100 digs for the first time since collecting 103 against Georgia State on Oct. 26, 2007, knocking up 103 of them to W&M’s 98. The Tribe picked up the only two service aces in the match.
JMU is now 5-2 in five-set matches, including a 2-0 mark against William & Mary.
William & Mary used a 3-0 run early in the decisive fifth set to grab a 7-4 lead and force Madison to use its first timeout. Following the strategy session, the Dukes embarked on a 6-2 run to regain the lead at 10-9. After a timeout by William & Mary, the Tribe tied the score at 10-10 on a kill by outside hitter Paulette Grand Pre before giving up a 5-0 run by the Dukes to close out the match. Goodman collected three of her 10 kills in the set, hitting .600 in the final stanza.
The Dukes return to the court next weekend as they close out the regular season with trips to Northeastern and Hofstra. The Dukes play at the Huskies at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 before finishing the regular season on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the Pride.
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