HARRISONBURG, Va. (September 16, 2011) – Natalie Abel and Danielle Erb combined for 24 kills and 19 digs to lead James Madison past ETSU, 3-0 (25-20, 27-25, 25-17), Friday night on the opening day of the JMU Coca-Cola Classic at Sinclair Gymnasium.
With the victory, James Madison moves to 8-2 on the season, while extending its winning streak to eight straight matches. ETSU falls to an even 6-6 on the year.
Abel finished the night with 13 kills and 11 digs for a double-double, while Erb added 11 kills and nine digs. James Madison out-hit ETSU .235-.120, while also finishing the night with a decisive 45-30 advantage in kills.
Freshman Meredith Hardy (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the way for the Buccaneers by recording a team-high 11.5 points on the night. Hardy had six kills, four blocks and three service aces. Megan Devine (Kingsport, Tenn.) finished with a team-high eight kills to go along with 10 digs and a block for a total of 8.5 points. McKayla Barber (Columbus, Ind.) had a solid night with seven kills and a block, while hitting .250. Kayla Williams (El Paso, Texas) quarterbacked the ETSU offense with 21 assists, eight digs, five kills and two blocks, while hitting an impressive .625 for the match. Kiley Tamblyn (Torrance, Calif.) led the ETSU defense with a team-high 12 digs.
James Madison went on the first run of the match in the opening set as they broke a 5-5 tie to take a 10-5 lead after five straight points. After extending the lead to as much as six on two separate occasions, ETSU rallied back to tie the match at 15 apiece thanks to a 6-0 run. The Bucs could not manage to take the lead as James Madison extended the lead back out and eventually took the set, 25-20. Devine led the Bucs with five kills in the set. Abel led the JMU charge with seven kills in the frame.
After going on a 4-0 run to break a 7-7 tie in the second set, ETSU maintained the lead until the Dukes reeled off four straight of their own to take a 17-15 lead. After the Bucs cut the lead to one, JMU took the next five points to take the 23-17 lead. At that point it looked like the Dukes would cruise to the set victory, but ETSU had something else in mind. The Bucs roared back by taking the next four points to trail by just two at 23-21, forcing the JMU timeout. After the break, an ETSU attack error gave the Dukes set point at 24-21. Once again, the Buccaneers would not give up as they took the next three points to even up the match at 24 apiece. After a James Madison attack error, ETSU would gain set point for the first time in the match, which also forced a JMU timeout. After the timeout, the Dukes got a quick kill by Abel and a block by Abel and Lizzy Briones to gain set point once again at 26-25. JMU would not let the opportunity slip by again as an Erb kill clinched the set for the Dukes, 27-25.
In the third set, both teams traded points for the start of the stanza. After ETSU tied the score at 9-9, James Madison reeled off three straight points to take the 12-9 advantage. The Dukes would not look back from there as they never relinquished the lead, using a 5-0 run at the end of the set to take win it, 25-17, clinching the match as well.
ETSU continues play at the JMU Coca-Cola Classic tomorrow against longtime rival Appalachian State at 10 a.m. The Bucs close out the tournament tomorrow at 5 p.m. against Georgetown.
For more information on ETSU volleyball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the volleyball link.