Top Seeded Blue Hens Advance to CAA Championship Match with 3-1 Victory over #4 VCU; Meet #3 Northeastern on Sunday
November 20, 2010
Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - The University of Delaware volleyball team defended its home court in the Colonial Athletics Association semifinals, defeating #4 VCU, 3-1, Saturday night in front of a packed house on Viera Court. Set scores for the match were 26-24, 25-16, 20-25 and 25-16
With the win, the top seeded Blue Hens advance to the CAA championship match on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Carpenter Sports Building. They will face third seed Northeastern, as they knocked off #2 James Madison, 3-2, in the first semifinal on Saturday night.
The Delaware (25-5, 13-1 CAA) attack was led by Katie Dennehy (at right) who finished with 17 kills and a .368 attack percentage. Three other Blue Hens also tallied double figure kills, led by Kim Stewart and Alissa Alker with 15. Paige Erickson finished the night with 12 kills. Jess Chason (below) dished out 50 assists, allowing the Blue Hen hitters to a .376 attack percentage as a team. Pacing the Delaware defense was Greta Gibboney while recording 12 digs. Chason picked up her team leading 13th double-double as she gathered 11 digs.
The Blue Hens started out on fire in the first set, racing out to a 5-0 lead before allowing VCU to get on the scoreboard. But just as quickly as the Blue Hens grabbed the lead, the Rams climbed right back into it. The Rams took seven of the next nine points to knot the match at 7-7. Delaware tried to pull away again, taking a 16-11 lead on the strength of a Stewart kill. The Rams would not go away however, closing to as close as 19-18, before tying the match at 22-22. The teams traded the next five points, before a kill by Alker ended the match 26-24 for the Blue Hens.
The Blue Hens were back to their old selves again in the second set, turning a close set into a rout three quarters of the way through the game. Trailing 11-10, Delaware score 10 of the next 12 points to open up a 20-13 lead. Now ahead 22-16, an Alker kill and back-to-back Ram errors gave Delaware the set, 25-16.
The Blue Hens started slow in the third set, falling behind the Rams 5-0 before reeling off five of the next six points to crawl back into it. The Rams went on three different runs of three points to swing the momentum in their favor, as the Blue Hens couldn’t find their rhythm in the third frame. Delaware got it to as close as 18-20 after a kill by Dennehy and an attack error on VCU, but would not get any closer in the set. Kristin Boyd ended the set with a kill from Ciara Brown.
The Blue Hens got back to their winning ways in the fourth set, sprinting out to a 10-5 lead. Another four point swing came on the serve of Erickson, as Dennehy and Stewart recorded kills, extending the lead to 14-7. VCU tried to climb back into the picture with five straight points, but Dennehy ended the run with a kill as the lead went to 18-12. Delaware cruised to the finished line from there, as Erickson and Dennehy sent the Blue Hens to the Championship match with back-to-back kills.
Jessica Ojukwu finished with a team high 13 kills for VCU (12-20, 9-5 CAA). Boyd who tallied 12 kills off the bench for the Rams accompanied her as the only players with double digit kills. Boyd led all regulars hitting at a .526 clip. Brown had a team high 21 assists while Bridget Camacho followed close with 20. Marisa Low ended with a match high 15 digs, as Ojukwu tallied the double-double adding 14 digs.
In the first semifinal, Northeastern battled back from a two sets to one disadvantage to take the final two game and advance to the championship match. The Huskies were led by CAA Player of the Year Britney Brown, as she recorded a triple-double with 16 kills, 21 assists and 12 digs. Janelle Tucker recorded team highs of 19 kills and 22 digs in the win.
The championship match is set for 5 p.m. on Viera Court. Tickets will be sold at the door and will be $7 for adults and $5 for youth. Students will be accepted free of charge with a valid ID from a participating CAA institution.
CAA Semifinal 2:
#1 Delaware def. #4 VCU, 3-1 26-24, 25-16, 20-25, 25-16
Delaware (kills-assists-digs): Erickson (12-0-1), Stewart (15-1-9), Dennehy (17-0-4), Chason (2-50-11), Alker (15-2-8), Evans (4-0-1), Gibboney (0-3-12), Lawrence (0-0-0)
VCU: Hott (12-0-1), Frey (5-0-5), Waters (0-0-0), Clegg (9-0-2), Ojukwu (13-2-14), Camacho (1-20-7), Brown (1-21-1), Low (0-4-15), Farkas (2-0-0), Martins (2-0-1), Warner (0-0-3), Boyd (12-1-0).
Total Team Blocks: Delaware 7, VCU 10
CAA Semifinal 1:
#3 Northeastern def. #2 James Madison, 3-2 22-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19, 15-8
Northeastern: Tittl (3-0-5), Bishop (6-0-1), Tucker (19-0-22), Brown (16-21-12), Kamenova (0-28-6), Kurz (9-1-2), LaScola (0-1-16), Servillon (0-0-7), Ciszek (3-1-2)
James Madison: Abel (11-2-11), Erb (25-0-12), Zeroual (4-0-0), Callahan (15-0-16), Turner (4-1-4), Fanelli (0-28-16), Daorai (0-3-12), Wiechmann (2-25-1), Wall (0-0-0)
Total Team Blocks: Northeastern 12, JMU 10
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