Volleyball Hits the Road for First Time in Conference Play to Face Albany, Binghamton
Senior Hallie Carter
BALTIMORE Ė The UMBC Volleyball team hits the road for the first time in conference play this weekend to take on Albany and defending league champion Binghamton. The Retrievers will face the Great Danes in the New York state capital on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. at University Gymnasium before heading west to battle the Bearcats on Saturday afternoon at West Gym.
Scouting the Retrievers
The Retrievers swept UMass Lowell in three sets on Friday before falling to New Hampshire in a competitive four-set match on Sunday afternoon. Senior Ali Goc (Oshawa, Ontario/R.S. McLaughlin) recorded 11 kills and scooped up 19 digs in the loss to the Wildcats, completing her eighth double-double of the season.
Goc remains the overall offensive leader for the Black and Gold, having racked up 188 kills on the season, while sophomore Sherelle Walker (New Freedom, Pa./Susquehannock) has also sparked the Retrieversí offense with 164 kills. Senior Emily Witsaman (Medina, Ohio/Medina) leads the America East Conference in hitting percentage with a .290 attack efficiency.
The Retrieversí defense stands strong with Witsamanís 0.98 average blocks on the season the league. Freshman Casey Griffith (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) has scooped up double figure digs in 14 of 17 contests this season providing consistency for the Black and Gold.
Scouting the Great Danes
After defeating Hartford in four sets on Friday evening in Connecticut, Albany (2-13, 2-1 AE) saw its brief two-match winning streak come to an end with a straight-set loss at Providence on Sunday. Tatum Jungsten recorded a team-best ten kills while Lauren Spreen picked up 15 digs in the loss.
Junior libero Viktoiia Stroilo, the 2012 America East Defensive Player of the Year, has continued to shine for the Great Danes this season and ranks sixth in the conference in digs with a 3.78 digs per set average. The Albany attack has proven versatile as six athletes have recorded at least 40 kills this season, led by freshman Amanda Dolan who ranks seventh in the league with a .227 hitting percentage.
The Great Danes extended their win streak over the Retrievers to 13 matches with a four-set victory in New York, but then UMBC snapped the losing streak with a four-set win at the RAC Arena on Nov 2. The series split gave Albany an all-time series lead of 22-3, with an 18-2 advantage in America East contests. Previously, UMBC had not defeated its conference rivals since taking a five-set decision in 2007 in Baltimore.
The Retrievers were able to earn the victory last year behind a career day from setter Mallory McIntyre (Winnipeg, Manitoba/St. Maryís Academy) who handed out a career-best 59 assists while also scooping up 15 assists. Outside hitter Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) was also instrumental in the victory, putting away 18 winners and picking up ten digs.
Scouting the Bearcats
After picking up a win in four sets against Providence last Friday evening at the road, the Bearcats (3-13, 1-2 AE) fell to Hartford in three sets on Sunday. Senior libero Xiomara Ortiz led the Bearcatsí back line versus the Hawks, scooping up a match-high 19 digs, while freshman Allison Hovie led BU in 11 kills.
Junior setter Amanda Dettmann, the 2012 America East Co-Setter of the Year, is averaging 9.80 assists per set in 2013, which ranks fourth in the conference, while Ortiz leads the America East in digs with a 5.30 digs per set average.
The Bearcats fell behind 9-6 in the fifth set, but rallied to win nine straight points to defeat the Retrievers in the semifinals of the 2012 America East Championships. The victory extended BUís all-time series lead to 15-10, with a 13-7 advantage in America East contests.
The Retrieversí offense was led by Sherelle Walker and Krystal Mlemchukwu (Balitmore, Md./Western Tech) who sent down 16 and 15 kills, respectively. The UMBC backline was led by the trio of Hannah Schmidt, Ali Goc and Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) who all recorded double-digit digs. Schmidt scooped a team-best with 18 digs, while Goc and Carter picked-up 17 and 14 digs.
Retriever Stat Pack
at Loyola (Md.)
at West Virginia
Ali Goc (2)
Ali Goc (3)
Ali Goc (4)
Mallory McIntyre (2)
Ali Goc (5)
Ali Goc (6)
at West Virginia
Mallory McIntyre (3)
Ali Goc (7)
Hannah Schmidt (2)
Ali Goc (8)