Two days before it plays in the Sun Belt Championship Game as the East Division's…
The App State volleyball team fell, 3-1 (25-16, 15-25, 25-15, 25-23), in its second duel with the James Madison Dukes on Saturday in Boone.
“I am so proud of our team,” said head coach Sarah Rumely Noble. “We competed incredibly hard against a team receiving votes in the top-25. Our mentality and our fight always makes me proud. We will keep working to get a little bit better every day.”
Fifth year senior McCall Denny posted a team-high 12 kills and 11 digs, recording her 23rd career double-double. It also marks her sixth double-double of the season. Sophomores Alyssa McBean and Kenady Roper recorded double-digit digs. Freshman Delanie Grevengoed slammed down six kills, surpassing the 100 career kills milestone. Junior Lauren Pledger led the team in the blocks category, totaling five, while freshman Ava Leahy totaled four. Senior Sophie Cain tallied 13 assists, while redshirt freshman Katie Cruise tallied 11.
The Mountaineers and Dukes fought through a tight first set, until JMU took a 19-10 lead after posting seven consecutive points. App State answered with a 5-0 run that included a solo block and kill from Leahy, as well as kills from Denny and Pledger, cutting the deficit to 19-15. JMU went on a 5-0 run to reach set point, and took the set, 25-16.
App State found momentum in the second set with a four-point run that featured kills from Leahy and Denny, and back-to-back kills from Pledger (5-2). Kills from Ambrose, Grevengoed, sophomore Maya Winterhoff and a block from Winterhoff/Grevengoed kept App State ahead, 11-5. A trio of 3-0 runs brought App State to a 21-10 lead. A kill from Grevengoed brought the Mountaineers to set point (24-15) and a kill from Ambrose capped the set for App State, 25-15.
In the third set, App State and JMU kept pace with each other until the Dukes began to pull away with a 6-0 run to lead 13-8. JMU continued to add to the deficit, despite kills from Ambrose, Denny and Grevengoed, as well as an ace from Cruise. JMU sealed the set, 25-15, after a 5-0 run.
Leahy and Denny posted early kills in the fourth and final sets, tying the score at 3-3. JMU took a 10-6 lead, which the Mountaineers cut to 10-9 after a JMU error, ace from McBean, and kill from Denny. A block from Pledger/Leahy tied things up at 11 all. JMU went on a 3-0 run, but the Mountaineers steadily chipped away at the Dukes’ lead until it was 19-18. A block from Leahy/Winterhoff kept the Mountaineers in range (21-19), while a kill from Denny and JMU error kept App State within one (23-22). James Madison took the set, 25-23, and the match, 3-1.
The Mountaineers will head to Conway, S.C. to take on Coastal Carolina on Sept. 29 and 30. Friday’s match is set for 6 p.m. and Saturday’s match is slated for 1 p.m. Both will be available to stream on ESPN+.