JMU roundup: Briones leads Dukes to volleyball win

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG — Junior middle blocker Lizzy Briones collected 13 kills and a match-high nine blocks to help lead the James Madison volleyball team to a 3-1 Colonial Athletic Association win over Towson at Sinclair Gymnasium/Godwin Hall on Friday night.

JMU won by set scores of 25-18, 21-25, 25-23, 25-17 to improve to 7-10 overall and 2-2 in CAA play. Towson dropped to 6-16 and 0-4 in the league with the loss.

Briones hit .440 for the match, committing two errors in 25 attempts. She had one solo block and eight block assists, adding four digs, a service ace and an assist. Freshman right side Janey Goodman added a match-high 14 kills to go with two blocks and a dig while sophomore outside hitter Meghan Niski had seven kills and 11 digs. Freshman outside hitter Kate Whitmire contributed six blocks and six kills.

Sophomore setter Sarah Patterson paced JMU to a .170 attack percentage with 37 assists to go with five kills, eight digs, three blocks and an ace. Sophomore libero MacKenzie Kleespies led all players with 20 digs. It was her third 20-plus dig performance of the season.

JMU returns to CAA play on Sunday as it welcomes Delaware to Sinclair Gymnasium for a 1 p.m. match.

Women’s tennis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The James Madison women’s tennis squad went 6-1 in doubles and 1-0 in singles to start the Navy Blue & Gold Invitational.

In the lone singles match of the day for the Dukes, freshman Rachel Nelson powered to an 8-1 victory over Mary Washington’s Michaela Dowd in the opening round of Flight ‘C’ singles. She will compete in the full round-of-16 on Saturday.

Nelson also partnered with senior Jacqueline Palmucci for two victories in the Flight ‘B’ doubles bracket. The pair defeated Navy’s Allie Pavlansky and Vivian Chau 8-4 in the round-of-16 before taking down Longwood’s Sarah Moomau and Paloma Alatorre 8-2.

The Navy Blue & Gold Invitational continues Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in Annapolis, Md.