Sixth-Seeded JMU Upsets #3 Northeastern, 3-2
TOWSON, Md. (November 16, 2012) - Sixth-seeded James Madison rallied from a 2-0 deficit to upset third-seeded Northeastern, 3-2, in the first quarterfinal of the 2012 CAA Volleyball Championship. The Dukes will take on second-seeded Delaware in the first semifinal tomorrow at 4:00 p.m.
Senior outside hitter Danielle Erb led JMU (13-15, 5-7 CAA) with a career-high 26 kills, while junior libero Katie Daorai recorded a team-best 25 digs. Junior outside hitter Hanna Gibeau led the Huskies (20-7, 9-3 CAA) with 22 kills, while sophomore setter Jillian Briner finished with a match-high 31 assists and added 26 digs.
The Huskies jumped out to an early lead after taking the first set 25-21. Junior outside hitter Kelly Bacon, the CAA Player of the Year, led the way with five kills in the set and Briner added five assists.
The second set was a back-and-forth affair, featuring 11 ties and six lead changes. Neither team held a lead of more than three points as NU took a 2-0 lead in the match after winning the set 25-22. Gibeau led the Huskies with 11 kills going into the break, while Erb added 10 kills for the Dukes.
James Madison fought off elimination in the third set with a slim 25-23 victory. The stanza featured nine tie scores and four lead changes. Erb posted 11 kills to lead the Dukes into fourth set.
The fourth set featured multiple rallies from both teams and had to be settled with several extra points. Following a four-point deficit late in the set, the Dukes seized momentum and picked up a hard-fought 29-27 victory to tie the match at 2-2. JMU fought off four Northeastern match-points late in the set.
JMU opened the decisive fifth set with a 4-0 run. The Dukes kept up the offensive pressure throughout the set and earned their biggest lead of the match at 11-5. Following two more points from the Huskies, the Dukes won the match with a Northeastern error at the net and completed the comeback victory.
Redshirt-senior outside hitter Natalie Abel added 18 kills and 10 digs for the Dukes, while senior setter Megan Wiechmann tallied 26 assists. Bacon finished with 20 kills for NU, while junior setter Ina Kamenova added 27 assists. Sophomore libero Natalia Skiba recorded a match-high 30 digs for the Huskies.
Tomorrow's semifinal match between JMU and Delaware will feature the two youngest teams in the CAA as the Dukes feature 11 underclassmen and the Blue Hens feature seven.