TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University volleyball team had three players record double digit kills en route to a 3-0 victory over James Madison on Saturday night in SECU Arena. The Tigers hit .315 to earn their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win of the year.
“We’ve been searching for that win for a long time,” said Towson head coach Don Metil. “We put ourselves in position before to get a win and had some error issues but it was nice tonight to see the team work through those previous errors and get that first CAA win.”
Towson (8-20, 1-9 CAA) had its strongest hitting percentage of the match in the first set as the Tigers hit .385. The Dukes would not go quietly though as they forced 10 ties early in the set. Towson led 16-14 before James Madison used a 5-0 run to take a 19-16 advantage. The Dukes pushed their lead to 24-22 on a kill from Kate Whitmire. Towson got a kill from sophomore Haley Pa’akaula on the next play. That kill started a 4-0 run that turned a two-point deficit into a 26-24 set victory for the home team. Junior Saitaua Iosia led the Tigers with six first set kills.
The two squads battled early in the second set and found themselves tied at 9-9 on a James Madison kill. A kill from junior Victoria Williams on the next serve gave Towson a lead it would not relinquish in the set. A service ace from Iosia pushed the Tiger advantage to 17-14. Senior Dayane Van Ass’ fourth kill of the set gave Towson a 22-19 lead and forced a James Madison timeout. The Dukes scored a point out of the timeout to make it 22-20. However, kills from Iosia and Pa’akaula followed by an attack error by the Dukes gave Towson a 25-20 set victory.
James Madison (9-13, 4-5 CAA) came out hot to start the third set and took a 6-3 advantage. Three straight kills from Pa’akaula tied the set at six all. The two teams traded points and found themselves tied at 13-13 on a kill from Van Ass. A 5-2 run by the Tigers gave the home team an 18-15 advantage and forced a Dukes timeout. A service error by the Tigers briefly halted the run by Towson. However, the Tigers scored seven of the final 10 points to close out the set. The Towson run was capped by a kill from sophomore Candace Steadman which sealed the 25-19 set win and victory in the match.
Pa’akaula continued her hot hitting to lead the Tigers. The sophomore had 12 kills and no attack errors for a .462 hitting percentage. She added seven digs and two blocks in the victory. Iosia and Van Ass were the other two Tigers to record double digits kills with 11 each. Van Ass hit .409 while Iosia had 10 digs for her ninth “double-double” of the year. Sophomore Kyana Miller finished with 22 assists and four digs while junior Aimee Schubert dished out 20 assists with nine digs. Junior Paige Sekerak contributed 15 digs.
Lizzy Briones led James Madison with 15 kills while Janey Goodman had 10 kills.
Towson is back in action on Friday, Nov. 1 when the Tigers head south to take on UNC Wilmington at 7 p.m.