VCU, Delaware Each Win Five-Set Thrillers In CAA Volleyball Semifinals
NEWARK, Del. (Nov. 19, 2011) - Top-seeded Delaware and sixth-seed VCU each scored five-set victories in the 2011 CAA Volleyball Championship Semifinals in Newark, Del. The Blue Hens will face the Rams Sunday at 5 p.m. for the league title.
#6 VCU 3, #2 NORTHEASTERN 2 (23-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12)
Sixth-seed VCU overcame an 8-3 deficit in the fifth-set to upset second-seed Northeastern in the first semifinal of the 2011 CAA Volleyball Championship. Senior Courtney Hott led the Rams with 17 kills, four digs and hit for a .464 hitting percentage.
VCU won by set scores of 23-25, 25-15, 20-25, 25-20, 15-12 to improve to 17-15 on the year, while Northeastern fell to 21-6 on the season. Northeastern's Kelly Bacon had 15 kills and eight digs and sophomore Janelle Tucker posted 12 kills and six digs.
One night after taking down third-seed Towson in five sets, VCU again made a comeback, taking the match to a decisive fifth set after trailing two sets to one.
"We knew this was going to be a hard fight," said Hott. "We just never gave up and kept fighting. We were down in the fifth game and just kept on pushing back."
In the final frame, the Huskies quickly jumped out to an 8-3 advantage, behind three Tucker kills. After regaining a 12-11 advantage, VCU's Cecilia Aragao assisted Hott for a kill, followed by another kill from Hott to put the game out of reach. Aragao and Hott teamed up for the winning block on match point for the Rams. Aragao had 50 assists and 12 digs on the night.
VCU held Northeastern to a hitting percentage of .159 and tallied 17 blocks.
The Rams will look to earn its first CAA volleyball crown since 2005 and will face top-seeded Delaware in Sunday's championship match at 5 p.m.
#1 DELAWARE 3, #5 JAMES MADISON 2 (20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-11)
Trailing 2-0 and 17-13 in the third set, the top-seeded and host Delaware Blue Hens clawed back to stun fifth-seeded James Madison, 3-2, in the second CAA Volleyball Championship Semifinal on Saturday night in Newark, Del.
Set scores for the match were 20-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-21, and 15-11. James Madison ended the year with a record of 20-11. The Dukes were led by senior Holly Wall with 19 kills and 16 digs for her eighth double-double of the season. She hit .245 for the match, adding three blocks and two assists. Junior Danielle Erb contributed nine kills and a match-high 21 digs.
With the win Delaware advanced to the CAA Championship match against sixth-seed VCU on Sunday, starting at 5 p.m.
Senior Kim Stewart led all attackers with 21 kills for the match. She added 14 digs for her seventh double-double of the season. She also had four assists, a service ace, and had a hand on a block assist to lead the Blue Hens back to the CAA Championship match for the second straight year, and fourth time in five years.
"Kim Stewart was our MVP tonight, by far," said Delaware head coach Bonnie Kenny. "She did everything. She served, played incredible defense and she hit spectacular. She led with her leadership in the locker room and her leadership on the floor. She was poised, she was confident and I could stay out of her way tonight."
After falling down quickly two sets, the Blue Hens used a kill by Stewart to inch ahead and put away a tight third set, 25-23. Delaware used the momentum and an energized home crowd en route to taking the fourth set, 25-21.
Delaware quickly jumped out to a 6-3 advantage in the deciding frame, before JMU made it interesting cutting the lead to 13-11 on a kill by Natalie Abel. Stewart again stepped up for Delaware putting away two emphatic kills, including match point to put the Blue Hens in Sunday's championship match.
CAA VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
Barbara Viera Court at the Carpenter Sports Building - Newark, Del.
November 18 - Quarterfinals
#6 VCU 3, #3 Towson 2 - F
#5 James Madison 3, #5 Georgia State 0 - F
November 19 - Semifinals
#6 VCU 3, #2 Northeastern 2 - F
#1 Delaware 3, #5 James Madison 2 - F
November 20 - Championship
#6 VCU at #1 Delaware (5:00 p.m.)