JMU roundup: Finley named to watch list

NEW YORK — Senior attacker Stephanie Finley of the James Madison University women’s lacrosse team was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List on Thursday night. The award honors both the top men’s and women’s lacrosse player in the nation.

Finley, the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Co-Player of the Year and 2015 Preseason Player of the Year, has opened her senior campaign with 10 goals and two assists in just four games while tallying at least five draw controls in each of her last three contests. Additionally, the senior captain has collected 10 ground balls while leading JMU to a three-straight wins and a 3-1 mark to open the year. Finley earned CAA Co-Player of the Week on Feb. 17, the first weekly award given by the conference of the season, after scoring three goals each against Virginia Tech and UConn while picking up 11 draw controls and five ground balls between the two games.

A First Team All-CAA performer in 2014, Finley has started 2015 right where she left off last season, when she notched 44 goals and 15 assists while collecting a school-record 69 draw controls. In starting all 18 games, she tied for first in the CAA with three game-winning goals in conference play and was second in the league in goals per game (2.44) throughout JMU’s five conference matchups. Following the season, she was selected to be a part of the U.S. National Team for the 2014-15 campaign.

Finley is the ninth JMU player since 2002 to be in the running for the Tewaaraton Award. Other Dukes that have made the list include Casey Ancarrow (2011, 2012 and 2013), Mary Kate Lomady (2011), Kim Griffin (2010), Annie Wagner (2008), Kelly Berger (2007), Ashlee Dardine (2005), Gail Decker (2003, 2004) and Lisa Staedt (2002, 2003).

The selection committee for the award is made up of premier collegiate coaches appointed annually by The Tewaaraton Foundation. On April 23, the field will be narrowed to 25 men’s and 25 women’s nominees. Five men’s and five women’s finalists will be announced on May 7 and invited to the final ceremony, which will be held in Washington, D.C. on May 28 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.

JMU will take its three-game winning streak to Baltimore, Md., on Saturday evening when it takes on No. 14 Loyola (Md.).

Women’s tennis

DAVIDSON, N.C. — James Madison women’s tennis used a 4-0 stretch to open singles play to take down Davidson 4-3 on Thursday afternoon at the Knobloch Tennis Center.

The Dukes (5-2, 1-0 CAA) dropped the doubles point to the Wildcats (5-2, 0-0 A-10) before picking up the first four singles points for the match victory.

The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead into singles action after winning two of three doubles matches. At No. 2 doubles, the senior-freshman duo of Sarah Khan and Kimmy Herrock dropped a 6-0 decision to Ally Sexton and Anna C. Feaster to give Davidson a 1-0 lead. Sophomores Alex Huie and Emily Bradshaw fell 6-2 to Ava Todd and Sarah Stein at No. 3 doubles to clinch the doubles point for Davidson.

JMU ended doubles play with a win when senior Taylor Pinchoff and sophomore Rachel Nelson picked up a 6-3 win over Elaina Cummer and Jenna Brunner at the No. 1 position.

Nelson carried the momentum into singles action, earning a two-set victory (6-2, 6-3) over Feaster at the No. 2 position to tie the match at 1-all. Pinchoff gave the Dukes the 2-1 lead with a win over Cummer at No. 1 singles in straight 6-4 sets.

At No. 3 singles, Khan took down Stein 6-2, 7-5 and pushed the Dukes’ advantage to 3-1. Freshman Dylan Owens clinched the victory for JMU with a come-from-behind, three-set win (1-6, 6-2, 7-5) at No. 4 singles.

Herrock was unable to overcome Todd at No. 5 singles, falling 6-3, 6-4. Davidson wrapped up the day with a three-set win (3-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-6)) by Shell over Huie at No. 6 singles.

The Dukes’ match against NC State, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed due to the threat of inclement weather. JMU will now take on NC State on Saturday, and time of the match is to be determined.

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