JMU roundup: Burkholder earns CAA honor

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

RICHMOND – James Madison senior Kirby Burkholder is the 2014 CAA women’s basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Colonial Athletic Association announced today.

One student-athlete from each of the CAA’s 21 championship sports is awarded the honor each year. Nominees must be a starter or important reserve for their team with at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, and winners are chosen in a vote by the league’s athletics communications directors.

Burkholder is a senior sport and recreation management major who earned a spot on the President’s List for the fall 2013 semester. She made the 2014 CAA All-Academic Team, her third straight year on the team, and is a three-time CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award and JMU Athletic Director Scholar-Athlete recipient .

On the court, Burkholder earned the 2014 CAA Player of the Year distinction as well as a spot on the All-CAA First Team. The Richmond-Times Dispatchtabbed her Virginia’s Player of the Year after she led the Dukes to the CAA’s regular season and tournament titles as well as a first-round victory in the NCAA tournament.

She finished her career with the purple-and-gold ranked fifth all-time in scoring (1,647), third all-time in rebounds (929) and seventh all-time in steals (190). She set a school record for career free-throw percentage (87.0%) after shooting a league-best 89.3-percent from the charity stripe as a senior. From beyond the arc this season, she sank the second-most 3-pointers in conference history (110).

Women’s tennis
HARRISONBURG – James Madison women’s tennis remained undefeated at home with a 5-0 victory over Radford on Friday afternoon in an abbreviated match. The match ended early due to the threat of inclement weather.

The Dukes improved to 12-5 this season with a 3-0 record at home while the Highlanders dropped to 9-12 overall.

JMU started strong with an 8-1 win by sophomore Cara Wirth and redshirt junior Sarah Khan over Taylor Fay and Gisela Garcia at No. 3 doubles for the 1-0 advantage in doubles.

Seniors Ruxandra Andriescu and Jacqueline Palmucci clinched the doubles point with an 8-3 victory over Meg Napolitano and Grace Sarver at the No. 2 doubles spot.

The No. 1 doubles match between junior Taylor Pinchoff freshman Alex Huie and Gemma Valls/Taylor Newman ended in a 7-7 tie as it went unfinished once JMU clinched the doubles point.

JMU started off singles play with a 6-3, 6-2 win for Palmucci over Sarver at the No. 4 spot. Freshman Rachel Nelson followed at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Napolitano to give the Dukes a 3-0 lead.

Freshman Emily Bradshaw confirmed the match win for the Dukes as she dropped Fay in two sets (6-3, 6-1) at No. 5 doubles. Pinchoff tallied a two-set victory 6-3, 6-2) over Newman at No. 1 singles before the match came to an early end, leaving JMU with the 5-0 win.

The No. 2 singles match between Huie and Valls went unfinished, ending while the two were tied 3-all in the second set. Khan and Sara Andrade were also unable to finish, stopping with Andrade leading set two 4-1 while Khan held a 1-0 overall lead in the match (set one win at 6-3).

The Dukes wrap up the regular season hosting Howard University on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Hillside Courts. JMU celebrates Senior Day as well as head coach Maria Malerba’s final home match.

Women’s lacrosse
NEWARK, Del. – A late three-goal run by James Madison lacrosse secured the 11-9 victory over Delaware, the Dukes’ fourth straight win. Their victory also snapped the Blue Hens’ nine-game win-streak in home games.

JMU improved to 8-5 overall with a 2-0 record against Colonial Athletic Association opponents. Delaware fell to 9-5 this season with a 2-2 record in CAA play.

Tied 7-7 with 18:59 remaining, the Dukes broke away with a three-goal run over a 2:57 span. Sophomore midfielder Taylor Gress put JMU ahead for good with a solo shot at the 16:43 mark, giving the Dukes an 8-7 advantage.

Thirty-four seconds later, senior attacker Julianne Giles scored her lone tally of the day to put JMU ahead 9-7. With 13:46 left on the clock, junior attacker Stephanie Finley completed the run with her second goal of the day and pushed the Dukes to a three-goal advantage (10-7), their largest lead of the outing.

Delaware closed the gap to 10-8 with 9:08 remaining off an unassisted goal by Caitlin McCartney. Shannon Hawley pulled the Blue Hens to within one with 1:22 left off a pass from Kara Dattellas, but Finley corralled the ensuing draw control to secure the JMU possession.

Delaware committed a series of fouls in the final minute of the game, but were unable to take the ball from the Dukes. Finley picked up a pass from junior midfielder Ali Curwin for a last-second goal and the final 11-9 win.

In a game that featured six tie scores, junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy earned the win on nine allowed goals and five saves. Tori Zorovich was charged with the loss after 11 allowed goals and five saves.

Finley led the JMU scoring effort with a team-high three goals. Senior attacker Amy Roguski tied for game-high points (3) off one goal and a pair of assists. Gress and redshirt-senior attacker Megan Piotrowicz followed with two points each as Gress had two goals and Piotrowicz had a goal and an assist.

For the Blue Hens, Hawley led with a game-high four goals. Chelsea Fay added two goals of her own while McCartney posted a goal and an assist for two points on the evening.

Overall, JMU outshot Delaware 23-19. The Dukes also controlled 15 draws compared to the Blue Hens’ six, but UD was able to edge JMU 14-10 in ground balls.

On defense, senior defender Leah Perrotta (Forest Hills, Md./Fallston) led JMU with four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Curwin added two caused turnovers of her own while Healy and redshirt-junior defender Kaci Starkloff (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) picked up two grounds balls each.

JMU wraps up its regular-season road schedule on Sunday, April 13 as the Dukes travel to reigning CAA-champion Towson. Opening draw takes place at 1 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson, Md.