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Senior libero Zarah White serves the ball.

After closing out a dominant regular season, JMU volleyball traveled to Towson, Maryland for the CAA tournament. Although the tournament was smaller than in past seasons, the Dukes had the No. 1 seed in the CAA South Division to face No. 2 Northeastern. 

Prior to the start of the match, JMU announced it would be without a majority of the roster due to COVID-19 protocols, including CAA Rookie of the Year Miëtte Veldman and junior libero Savannah Marshall. With only eight players at head coach Lauren Steinbrecher’s disposal, the Dukes faced the Huskies. 

The match was close from the start. JMU and Northeastern went back-and-forth for the lead, and the Dukes slowly began to pull away by capitalizing on Huskies’ errors. Eyes fell on sophomore setter Caroline Dozier and sophomore middle blocker Sophia Davis to lead the way for JMU, and the two delivered throughout the first set. To cap off an action packed first set, the Dukes won 25-23.

Set two was nearly identical from set one, with the only difference being the winner. JMU kept the back-and-forth nature going as the set progressed, but Northeastern began to warm up offensively. Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Meyer did what she could to sway the board in JMU’s favor, but the Dukes ultimately fell 25-23.

Northeastern gained momentum in the third set, taking a threatening 10-point lead by the 20-point mark. Despite JMU’s best efforts, the Huskies won the third set 25-18 to take a 2-1 lead.

In a must-win fourth set, JMU had to bounce back to stay alive. When it seemed like Northeastern was pulling away, it changed in the back half of the set as JMU climbed out of a six-point hole to bring the Dukes within two. Despite the effort, Northeastern finished the match with a kill to win 25-22.

The Dukes finished the season 7-3 (6-2 CAA). Davis and Meyer finished the match with 14 kills, Dozier had 39 assists, and senior libero Zarah White led JMU in digs with 16. JMU now prepares for the fall season, with the schedule to be announced.

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