Delaware Defeats JMU, 3-1, In CAA VB Semis
TOWSON, Md. (November 17, 2012) - Senior outside hitter Alissa Alker recorded a double-double with 16 kills and 14 digs to lead second-seeded Delaware past sixth-seeded James Madison 3-1 in the first semifinal match of the CAA Volleyball Championship. The Blue Hens will be seeking their third straight CAA title in tomorrow's championship match against #4 Hofstra at 5:00 p.m.
CAA Defensive Specialist of the Year Ariel Shonk picked up a match-high 30 digs for Delaware (16-13, 9-3 CAA), while freshman setter Mackenzie Olsen added a match-high 39 assists. Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb and freshman outside hitter Meghan Niski led JMU (13-16, 5-7 CAA) with 13 kills apiece.
Delaware got off to a hot start in the first set and jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead. JMU rallied to tie the match at 12-12, but the Blue Hens quickly regained the momentum to take a 1-0 lead in the match with a 25-17 victory. Olsen finished with 10 assists in the set for Delaware.
JMU would storm back in the second set and grabbed its first lead of the match early at 4-3. The Dukes used a late 6-0 run to earn a 25-16 set victory, and tie the match at 1-1 heading into the break. Niski recorded five kills in the second set while Erb added seven digs and five kills of her own. The Blue Hens had 13 errors in the second frame and hit -0.071 compared to just two errors, and an attack clip of .276 for the Dukes.
The Blue Hens came out of the break and took back the momentum with a 5-0 run in the middle of the third set that gave them their biggest lead of the set at 14-7. UD cleaned up their play from the second set and hit a match-high .282 in the set, with just two errors to pick up a 25-19 victory and take a 2-1 match lead. Olsen contributed 10 assists in the set for the Blue Hens.
The first half of the fourth set was a back-and-fourth affair in which neither team lead by more than one point. However, JMU rallied towards the end of the set with a 3-0 run to take a 19-15 lead. Delaware would answer with a rally of their own later in the set, but still faced a 22-19 deficit and called a timeout to regroup. The Blue Hens would answer out of the timeout and finished the set with a 6-4 run to clinch the fourth set 25-23, and win the match 3-1. Shonk finished with seven digs in the match-clinching set, while Alker added five kills and recorded the match-clinching block along with junior outside hitter Katie Hank.