Stifling Defense Leads Volleyball to Sweep of Hartford

Stifling Defense Leads Volleyball to Sweep of Hartford

Baltimore, Md. — Freshman Carmen Freeman (Memphis, Tenn./St. Mary's) had a match-best 15 kills (.394) to go along with 14 digs as the UMBC Volleyball team held visiting Hartford to a .058 hitting percentage en route to a sweep, 25-20, 25-17, 25-16, Friday night in an America East match at the RAC Arena.

UMBC (13-7, 5-1 AE) hit .300 for the match and stifled the Hartford (5-15, 2-5 AE) attack, combining for 12 blocks and only allowing the Hawks to hit over .100 in just a single set (.114 in the second).

The Retrievers have won 12 of their last 14 matches and swept the season series with Hartford.

"Really great all-around effort by the team," said UMBC head coach Ian Blanchard. "Everybody showed up defensively, it was just a rock solid match for us. Carmen had a fantastic all-around match.To see them play so well tonight, there was very little we had to do adjustment-wise today. When we play like this, we can be very difficult to beat."

For Freeman, the four-time America East Rookie of the Week, it was her sixth double-double of the season. Redshirt junior Paola Rojas (San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico/Notre Dame) contributed nine kills, five blocks and four digs, while junior setter Krytsia Negron (San Juan, Puerto Rico/Colegio Adianez) added a match-high 35 assists with four digs and four blocks.

Kristin Watson (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) led the Retrievers with a match-high 16 digs. Senior captain Marissa Duncan (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) pitched in with six blocks and four kills.

Ashley Ramos (Orlando, Fla./Liberty/Monroe JC) added seven kills while Taylor Alexander (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Country Day School) helped with six digs.

The Retrievers took the lead early in each set and slowly stretched it out from there en route to the sweep.

UMBC plays next on Sunday against Albany (also 5-1 in the America East) at the RAC Arena. This will be a battle for first place in the conference and is the match that was rescheduled from Oct. 8.

The match will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will be streamed live on AmericaEast.tv