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James Madison Runs Past Volleyball, 3-1
Emily Witsaman led UMBC with 10 kills
BALTIMORE – Despite winning the opening set, the UMBC volleyball team could not hold off James Madison as the Dukes rallied to beat the Retrievers, 3-1 (23-25, 25-17, 25-16, 25-15), Saturday morning of day two of the Maddie Bingaman Tournament at the RAC Arena.
Junior middle blocker Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) recorded her fourth straight match with double-digit kills to lead UMBC (3-9) with ten put-aways against the Dukes. Freshman setter Paige Miller (Reading, Pa./Schuylkill Valley) keyed the defense with a career-best 17 digs.
The Retrievers outdug the Dukes, 66-65, but could not keep up with the visitors’ offense as JMU hit .301, compared to UMBC’s .079.
Freshman Meghan Niski and senior Danielle Erb sparked James Madison on both ends of the court, each recording double-doubles. Niski finished with a match-high 13 kills to go along with ten digs while Erb notched 11 kills and ten digs.
Coming off a late night from their match against Colorado on Friday evening, the Retrievers came out firing jumping out to a 3-0 lead on Witsaman’s first kill of the contest. James Madison rallied quickly to knot the set for the first time at six and the teams would trade the lead six times after that. After the final tie of the set at 23 points apiece, sophomore Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) gave UMBC the lead before classmate Tanaeri Santiago (Bayamon, Puerto Rico/American Military Academy) finished off the set with a service ace.
James Madison matched UMBC’s hot start in the second set with one of its own, winning the first five points of the frame. The Retrievers chipped away at the lead though and tied the score at seven on another kill by Schmidt who finished with eight in the match. Following another tie at eight, the Dukes won nine of the next 12 points to claim a 17-11 lead and did not look back, winning the set 25-17.
The teams went back-and-forth to start the third set, tying six times and trading the lead on three occasions. At 9-9, however, the visitors went on a 12-3 run to effectively put away the set. Niski capped the set with a kill on an assist from Megan Wiechmann who finished the contest with 42 helpers.
James Madison continued its roll in the fourth, running to a 10-3 cushion on a service ace by Martha Stewart. The Retrievers clawed their way back, cutting the lead to three, 14-11, on a kill by junior Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison), but could not get all the way back. The Dukes pulled away once again though and put the match away with a 25-15 set win.
UMBC now concludes tournament play by hosting local rival Howard, Saturday evening at the RAC at 4:30 p.m.
- UMBC is now 4-8 all-time against James Madison.
- Witsaman has recorded 45 kills in the Retrievers last four contests.