Email This Page
UMBC Volleyball Snaps Four-Match Losing Streak at New Hampshire, 3-1
Freshman Alyssa Lang had her second consecutive double-double Sunday.
DURHAM, N.H.—The UMBC volleyball team snapped a four-match losing streak Sunday, defeating New Hampshire in a very close 26-24, 28-26, 23-25, 25-20 victory in Durham, N.H. With the victory, the Retrievers improve to 16-10 and 5-4 in America East action. The Wildcats drop to 6-19, 3-6 in conference action.
“New Hampshire is always a tough place to play,” said head coach Ian Blanchard. “For us to come in here and take home a very tough-fought victory is very satisfying.”
Coupled with Maine’s loss to Albany today, the Retrievers have moved in third place in the America East standings with no matches remaining against the fourth and fifth place teams, the Black Bears and UNH.
“Winning the four matches at the beginning of the conference season were huge for us,” said Blanchard, “but this match was the most important of the season so far.”
After three very close sets where both teams had nearly identical numbers, the Retrievers hit .286 in the fourth set with 11 kills against only three errors. UMBC served better than they had in their past four matches, earning three more aces and serving three fewer errors than the Wildcats for the match.
“I thought today was a complete performance,” said Blanchard. “To put the loss Friday night (to Maine) behind us so fast, we showed a lot of composure and were completely focused today.”
Freshman Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) had her best match of the UMBC career Sunday, hitting an outstanding .450 with a season-high 11 kills while adding three assisted blocks.
Fellow freshman Alyssa Lang (Richmond, Va./Deep Run) earned her second consecutive and ninth double-double of the season, adding a team-high 12 kills and 18 digs.
Blocking was another key for the Retrievers, with redshirt freshman Sarah Hill (Richmond, Va./L.C. Bird) earning seven assisted blocks and sophomore Bridget Scheetz (St. Louis, Mo./Ursuline Academy) and junior Kira Giles (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada/Glenlawn) adding five and four, respectively. Scheetz is now tied for the second-most assisted blocks in a season in UMBC history with 93.
“Our blocking in the fourth set was big for us and shifted the momentum back our favor after dropping a tough third set,” said Blanchard.
Junior Ashley Oscars (Bakersfield, Calif./Liberty) hit 11 kills and is now 10 shy of seventh place on the all-time list with 978 career kills.
In the first set, the Retrievers hit .205 to the Wildcats’.179, and at 24-24, Hill hit a kill to give UMBC the lead and a Scheetz service ace closed the set.
In the second set, Scheetz earned a kill to tie the set at 26, then two Wildcat hitting errors clinched the set for UMBC. In the third, UNH hit 16 kills to the Retrievers’ 11 to extend the match.
The Retrievers return to action Friday night at 7 p.m. at second-place Binghamton.