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Volleyball Rallies to Defeat UC Riverside, 3-1
Junior Katie Kelly
RIVERSIDE, Calif.—The UMBC volleyball team came-from-behind Monday afternoon to defeat UC Riverside, 23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-17 in a back-and-forth match at the UCR Student Recreation Center. Junior Katie Kelly (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) led the Retrievers (2-2) with a career-high nine blocks.
“It’s always great to get a win over a (University of) California team,” head coach Ian Blanchard said. “We had three really close sets, and it was a great test to see how we play under pressure.”
Kelly also hit .304 with nine kills, while sophomore Hallie Carter (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) notched her first double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs.
“Katie had another fantastic performance for us in the middle in both a hitting and blocking perspective,” the coach said.
UMBC had three players with seven blocks or more, with senior Iman Kennedy (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) and freshman Dalton Tolliver (Ortonville, Mich./Notre Dame Prep) each having seven to go with Kelly’s nine.
Reigning America East Rookie of the Week Hannah Schmidt (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales) continued her impressive early season with 14 kills, seven digs and four blocks.
In the first set, the Retrievers led, 23-19, but the Highlanders stormed back with six straight points to win 25-23. With almost the same situation as the first set, Kelly earned two kills to win the second, 25-21.
In the third set, it was Kelly again on set point, stuffing the UCR attack to win the set, 26-24. In the fourth, the Retrievers hit .343 with four blocks to control the set from the start to finish.
The Retrievers return back to Maryland Tuesday and back to action this weekend for the Battle of Baltimore. UMBC plays Coppin State and Loyola on Friday on the campus of Towson University, while the Retrievers face Tigers and the Bears on the campus of Morgan State Saturday.
“This has been an outstanding trip overall,” Blanchard said. “We played some very high level competition and improved in each match. It was a great team bonding experience and its important to us to get out here because we love recruiting West Coast kids and being able to play in front of their families is important to us.”